Since its inception in 1996, the Dimension Data Pro-Am has seen its fair share of big name winners. In fact, five of the past 18 winners have gone on to win a major championship – an impressive conversion rate to say the least.
Players to win the event and also win a major are Nick Price, Darren Clarke, Retief Goosen, Trevor Immelman and Louis Oosthuizen, with the five players bagging eight majors between them. Multiple major winners on the list are Goosen and Price, with Goosen winning two US Opens and Price winning two PGA Championships and an Open Championship.
With those numbers in mind it may not be a bad idea to bet on a major champion coming from a former Dimension Data Pro-Am winner or from a player who is in the field this week.
A player who is becoming a favourite in the bookies’ offices, and is last year’s winner, is Branden Grace. The South African, as of yesterday, moved into the top 10 in the Official World Golf Rankings, and is focusing much of his attention on claiming a maiden major victory in 2016.
Having come so close to major triumph in 2015, Grace has already won big this year by claiming the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters and it seems winning big is something he loves to do.
From a purely South African perspective one has to look at the prolific talent coming through the youth ranks. It has been thoroughly documented this year that Brandon Stone, Haydn Porteous, Zander Lombard and Christiaan Bezuidenhout have lit up the golfing scene.
Stone’s victory in the BMW South African Open Championship and Porteous winning the Joburg Open have done fantastic things for South African golf, and a win this week for either will certainly continue that trend. Having established themselves on The European Tour and showing how capable they are, a Dimension Data Pro-Am win could further build the foundations of major success.
Players who will be looking to remind us of their capabilities will be Richard Sterne, Jaco van Zyl and George Coetzee and just like the youngsters, they are more than capable of using a Dimension Data Pro-Am win to generate major success.