Out of the Rough: The Jonsson Workwear Open (2023)
As the DP World Tour continues its short South African swing, it makes a stop at The Club at Steyn City for the Jonsson Workwear Open.
The event, like last week’s SDC Championship, will be co-sanctioned between the DP World Tour and Sunshine Tour.
The first edition of the event took place a year ago at the Durban Country Club and was co-sanctioned between the Challenge Tour and the Sunshine Tour.
The Club at Steyn City staged the Steyn City Championship and that is the event that will be used when attempting to break down this week’s stop.
The Steyn City Championship was won by South African Shaun Norris who amassed a 25-under-par total to beat out Dean Burmester by a stroke.
The Sunshine Tour will have many players featured in this week’s event although there will be plenty of DP World Tour players competing as well.
South Africans often have a very good showing in their homeland whenever the DP World Tour visits, such as the case was at the Steyn City Championship.
However, the same was said for last week’s SDC Championship that was ultimately won by England’s Matthew Baldwin and only one of the top nine finishers were South African.
The Club at Steyn City plays as a par 72 at 7,716 yards. Although long on paper, due to the elevation changes, the course plays more to the likes of 6,600 yards.
Paired with an easy-set up and the elevation changes having the course play relatively short, we can expect some very low scores this week, as was the case at the Steyn City Championship.
It features 75 sand bunkers and a multitude of water hazards as it attempts to defend against such low scores.
The course was built on a former quarry, on land once described as being barren to the point of being dead. It is a Jack Nicklaus design, such as last week’s St. Francis Links. However, this week’s track is a straightforward resort course, unlike last week. It was built with the recreational golfer in mind
The greens are bentgrass, a familiar grass type featured on golf courses all over the world. The fairways are generous and as well as the rough are a fescue/rye to ensure a green playing surface all year round.
In all, this isn’t a tough track by any means as the course played at a stroke average of 70.01 at last year’s Steyn City Championship. The hardest hole on the course played at only 0.21 over-par at last year’s Steyn City Championship. It happens to be the last hole golfers will encounter this week. It could make for an exciting finish.
Putting will be the most important statistic this week as Norris ranked first in Strokes Gained: Putting last year in route to his victory. Four of the top five in putting average finished inside the top-five or ties.
Weather could be a factor this week as rain showers are projected to hit the area on both Saturday and Sunday. As of the time of writing this, forecasts are calling for a 40-percent chance of precipitation on Saturday and 50-percent on Sunday. The rain will bring cooler temperatures as well as highs are set for the low 70 degrees for both Saturday and Sunday. Highs for Thursday and Friday are set in the high 70’s. Wind speeds are set at a standard 10 miles-per-hour for all four days.
Statistics to consider this week include:
Strokes Gained: Putting (SG: PUTT)
Strokes Gained: Tee to Green (SG: TTG)
Greens in Regulation Percentage (GIR%)
Sand Saves Percentage
Birdie or Better Percentage
Par 5 Scoring
Three Putt Avoidance
Joost Luiten (+2200)
This is the second consecutive week I’ve been in on Luiten. Last week at the SDC Championship, the Dutchman came in at +3500 and had himself a very good tournament. He hung around the top of the leaderboard before shooting a one-over final round and falling off the pace. This week he comes with much lower odds and that’s for good reason. He is currently 16th on the DP World Tour in sand saves percentage, 24th in SG: PUTT, 25th in SG: TTG, 29th in GIR%, 38th in three-putt avoidance, 39th in birdie or better percentage and 53rd in par five scoring average. As both SG: PUTT and SG: TTG are the two most important statistics this week and Luiten ranking within the top 25 of the entire Tour in both, you can’t go wrong with him this week. Luiten finished T9th a week ago as previously mentioned. He also had back-to-back third place finishes heading into last week. He placed third at each of the Hero Indian Open and Thailand Classic. He’ll be getting a donation of two units on my behalf this week.
Julien Brun (+2800)
I really like this +2800 number for a player of Julien Brun’s capabilities. Brun has already put together an impressive season with five top 25’s, four top 15’s, three top tens and two top fives. His season has been highlighted by a third place finish at the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open in December, a fifth place finish at the Hero Dubai Desert Classic in January and a T7th placement two weeks back at the Magical Kenya Open. We played Brun that week in Kenya actually. Now we’re back on the Frenchman this week. Brun is currently eighth on the DP World Tour in SG: PUTT, tenth in three-putt avoidance, 20th in GIR%, 41st in SG: TTG, 46th in sand saves percentage, 101st in par five average scoring and 125th in birdie or better percentage. I believe this could be the week that Brun competes deep into Sunday.
Tom McKibbin (+4000)
McKibbin has been playing some great golf dating back to November of last year. In 11 tournaments in that time span, he had missed just three cuts. In those same 11 tournaments he recorded six top 25’s and three top 15 finishes. He has not taken that next step in competing deep into Sunday yet this season, but The Club at Steyn City is a course that fits his game well. He is currently 13th in birdie or better percentage, 23rd in GIR%, 32nd in par five scoring average, 38th in SG: TTG, 60th in SG: PUTT, 74th in sand saves percentage and 93rd in three-putt avoidance. The Northern Ireland native will be seeing a few of my dollars riding on him this week.
Jamie Donaldson (+11000)
It hasn’t been the best of seasons for the Wales native as he missed the cut in his last event and withdrew from the one prior. He did make three consecutive cuts to start the calendar year at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, Hero Dubai Desert Classic and Singapore Classic. His best finish of the three events was a T38th at both the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship and Hero Dubai Desert Classic. Although he’s struggling a bit as of late, this is the type of course that fits his way of play. He is currently eighth in par five average scoring, ninth in three-putt avoidance, 31st in SG: PUTT, 33rd in GIR%, 40th in sand saves percentage, 48th in birdie or better percentage and 139th in SG: TTG. At +11000, you can’t go wrong throwing a few dollars that direction, especially on someone who fits The Club at Steyn City’s build.