PGA European - Joburg Open Preview
From The Sports Network

DATES: Thursday, February 26th through Sunday, March 1st
SITE: Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club, Johannesburg, South Africa
COURSE ARCHITECT: East Course - Robert Grimsdell (1935), Mark Muller (1998)
         West Course - Major Hotchkin and Robert Grimsdell (1929),
         Mark Muller (1999) - redesign
        
PAR: 72
YARDAGE: 7,677 (East Course)
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 5 516 yds10 - Par 4 518 yds
2 - Par 3 253 yds11 - Par 4 500 yds
3 - Par 4 504 yds12 - Par 3 200 yds
4 - Par 4 476 yds13 - Par 4 420 yds
5 - Par 3 177 yds14 - Par 4 452 yds
6 - Par 5 580 yds15 - Par 4 481 yds
7 - Par 4 459 yds16 - Par 3 208 yds
8 - Par 5 553 yds17 - Par 4 387 yds
9 - Par 4 425 yds18 - Par 5 551 yds
--------------------------
37 3,962 Yds35 3,715 Yds
 
PAR: 71
YARDAGE: 7,228 (West Course)
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 4 409 yds10 - Par 4 422 yds
2 - Par 5 539 yds11 - Par 4 379 yds
3 - Par 4 536 yds12 - Par 4 451 yds
4 - Par 4 389 yds13 - Par 3 206 yds
5 - Par 3 121 yds14 - Par 4 475 yds
6 - Par 4 408 yds15 - Par 5 535 yds
7 - Par 4 492 yds16 - Par 3 175 yds
8 - Par 3 234 yds17 - Par 4 381 yds
9 - Par 5 554 yds18 - Par 4 525 yds
--------------------------
36 3,679 Yds35 3,549 Yds
 
Annual:  9th
Television:  Golf Channel - Thursday -- 5 a.m.-9 p.m. (et),
  - Friday -- 5:30 a.m.-9 p.m. (et),
  - Saturday -- 5 a.m. -9:30 a.m. (et),
  - Sunday -- 6-9:30 a.m. (et)
Defending Champion:  George Coetzee
Runner-Up:  Justin Walters, Jin Jeong, Tyrrell Hatton
Tournament Record:  260 (Richard Sterne, 2013)
54-Hole Record:  195 (Charl Schwartzel, 2010)
36-Hole Record:  128 (Richard Sterne, Trevor Fisher, Jr., 2013)
Course Record:  62 (Desvonde Botes, 2007 - West Course)
  63 (Darren Fichardt, 2008 - East Course)
Total Purse:  $1,471,505
Shares:  1st Place - $233,895; 2nd Place - $169,703; 3rd Place - $102,117
 
2014 Finish
PlayerScorePlayerScore
George Coetzee268Thomas Aiken272
Justin Walters271Matthew Baldwin272
Jin Jeong271Andy Sullivan272
Tyrrell Hatton271Danie Van Tonder273
Alvaro Quiros272Six players at274
 
Past Joburg Open Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2014George Coetzee (268) -- Justin Walters, Jin Jeong, Tyrrell Hatton
2013Richard Sterne (260) -- Charl Schwartzel
2012Branden Grace (270) -- Jamie Elson
2011Charl Schwartzel (265) -- Garth Mulroy
2010Charl Schwartzel (261) -- Darren Clarke, Keith Horne
2009Anders Hansen (269) -- Andrew McLardy
2008*Richard Sterne (271) -- Garth Mulroy, Magnus A. Carlsson
2007Ariel Canete (266) -- Andrew McLardy

* - Won in Playoff

Top Contenders in the Field
Player20072008200920102011201220132014
George Coetzee---mc---mcT-7T-14T-3Won
Justin WaltersT-29T-14mcT-41mcT-37T-16T-2
Tyrell Hatton---------------------T-2
Thomas AikenmcmcT-12mc3rdT-24T-6T-5
Andy Sullivan---------------mcT-60T-5
Gregory Bourdy------------------mcT-16
Jbe Kruger---T-41---T-22mcT-9T-47T-31
Keith HorneT-12mcT-57T-2T-20T-60T-6T-54
Garth MulroyT-34T-2mc---2ndmcT-9T-54
Richard SterneT-17WonT-12T-44T-60mcWonmc
S.S.P. Chawrasia------------mc---mc---
Darren Clarke---4th---T-2T-20---------
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Andy Sullivan
Darkhorse - Johan Carlsson
 
Last Week's Pick to Win (Miguel Angel Jimenez) - Finished tied for 45th
Last Week's Darkhorse (Scott Hend) - Missed the cut
 
NOTES:
The European Tour returns to South Africa this week with the Joburg Open in Johannesburg. This is the fourth event already played in South Africa so far in the 2014-15 season. This tournament is co-sanctioned by the European Tour and Sunshine Tour of South Africa.

Most of the big names on the European Tour are not competing this week, therefore, there are only two players ranked in the top-100 in the world in the field - Englishman Andy Sullivan (73), and South African and defending champion George Coetzee (81). Sullivan won the South African Open Championship in January for his first European Tour title.

The expanded 210-player field will compete on the East and West courses at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club. It is the largest field of the season. The golfers will play both courses during the first two rounds, while the East Course will be the only course used for the final two days. The East Course at Royal Johannesburg has held the South African Open seven times, with the last being in 1986 when David Frost captured the event.

Last year, Coetzee fired four rounds in the 60s and came from behind in the final round to win. Coetzee, who entered the day four strokes behind, earned his first career win on the European Tour at 19-under-par 268.

This tournament has been won by a South African player six times in its eight- year history. They are Richard Sterne (2008, '13), Charl Schwartzel (2010-11), Branden Grace (2012) and Coetzee (2014).

In 2013, Sterne pulled away with an 8-under 64 in the final round to win by seven strokes over Schwartzel. Sterne ended at 27-under 260 and picked up a long overdue sixth European Tour win. The South African titled here in 2008, but hadn't produced another victory since December of 2008. Sterne became the first player since Tiger Woods in 2002 to only drop one shot in a 72-hole European Tour event.

Grace took a 3-shot lead into the final round in 2012 and fired an even-par 72 to hold off Jamie Elson by one stroke. Grace went on to win three more times in 2012 for a European Tour-high four victories on the season.

In 2011, Schwartzel fired rounds of 68-61-69-67 to successfully defend his title. Schwartzel finished the tournament at 19-under 265 and won by four strokes over Garth Mulroy. He was the only player in the field to card four rounds in the 60s.

Anders Hansen birdied the 18th hole in the final round to shoot a 5-under 66 and win by a shot over Andrew McLardy in 2009. Hansen finished at 15-under-par 269 for his third European Tour win. Hansen's victory helped him win the 2009 Sunshine Tour Order of Merit, becoming the first European-born player to claim that title.

In 2007, Ariel Canete had three birdies in the final four holes to win his first European Tour title. Canete closed with a final-round 67 for a total of 19-under-par 266 and a 2-shot win over McLardy. Canete was the only player in the field to shoot four rounds in the 60s.

Next week, the European Tour remains in South Africa for the Africa Open in East London, where Thomas Aiken won the 2014 title in his home country. The best players on the European Tour will be in the United States for the WGC- Cadillac Championship in Florida, where Patrick Reed will defend his title.

02/28 09:36:43 ET

As of February 28, 2015, at 09:37 AM ET

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