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PGA European - Joburg Open Preview
From The Sports Network

DATES: Thursday, January 12th through Sunday, January 15th
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)
        
PAR: 71
YARDAGE: 7,592 (East Course)
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 4 516 yds10 - Par 4 518 yds
2 - Par 3 253 yds11 - Par 4 500 yds
3 - Par 4 475 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 4 420 yds16 - Par 3 208 yds
8 - Par 5 553 yds17 - Par 4 387 yds
9 - Par 4 425 yds18 - Par 5 551 yds
--------------------------
36 3,875 Yds35 3,717 Yds
 
PAR: 71
YARDAGE: 7,237 (West Course)
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 4 406 yds10 - Par 4 429 yds
2 - Par 5 539 yds11 - Par 4 379 yds
3 - Par 4 527 yds12 - Par 4 451 yds
4 - Par 4 389 yds13 - Par 3 207 yds
5 - Par 3 121 yds14 - Par 4 475 yds
6 - Par 4 409 yds15 - Par 5 539 yds
7 - Par 4 494 yds16 - Par 3 175 yds
8 - Par 3 237 yds17 - Par 4 381 yds
9 - Par 5 554 yds18 - Par 4 525 yds
--------------------------
36 3,676 Yds35 3,561 Yds
 
Annual:  6th
Television:  Golf Channel - Thursday/Sunday -- 9 a.m.-1 p.m. (et) - taped
Defending Champion:  Charl Schwartzel
Runner-Up:  Garth Mulroy
Tournament Record:  261 (Charl Schwartzel, 2010)
54-Hole Record:  195 (Charl Schwartzel, 2010)
36-Hole Record:  129 (Charl Schwartzel, Garth Mulroy, Jamie Elson, 2011)
Course Record:  61 (Charl Schwartzel, 2011 - West Course)
  63 (Charl Schwartzel, 2009 - East Course)
Total Purse:  $1,656,579 (1,300,000 euros)
Shares:  1st Place - $262,567; 2nd Place - $190,506; 3rd Place - $114,635
 
2011 Finish
PlayerScorePlayerScore
Charl Schwartzel265Scott Jamieson273
Garth Mulroy269James Kingston274
Thomas Aiken270Tjaart van der Walt274
Jamie Elson271Oscar Floren274
Jean-Baptiste Gonnet272George Coetzee274
Allan Versfeld274
 
Past Joburg Open Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
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
Player20072008200920102011
Charl SchwartzelT-19T-14T-4WonWon
Garth MulroyT-34T-2mc---2nd
Thomas AikenmcmcT-12mc3rd
T. van der Walt---------T-17T-7
James KingstonT-8T-41T-28mcT-7
George Coetzee---mc---mcT-7
Keith HorneT-12mcT-57T-2T-20
Hennie Otto3rdmcT-52T-6T-27
Danny Willett------T-4T-4T-33
Richard SterneT-17WonT-12T-44T-60
Ariel CaneteWonT-9mcT-30mc
Retief Goosen------T-23------
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Charl Schwartzel
Darkhorse - Craig Lee
 
Last Week's Pick to Win (Louis Oosthuizen) - Finished 1st
Last Week's Darkhorse (Garth Mulroy) - Finished tied for 34th
 
NOTES:
The European Tour continues the start of the 2012 season in South Africa this weeks with the Joburg Open in Johannesburg. This is the second of three straight events in South Africa to start the year. Louis Oosthuizen captured the Africa Open last week. 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, however, there are two South African major champions in the field - defending champion Charl Schwartzel and Retief Goosen. Schwartzel, the 2011 Masters winner, is the highest-ranked player in the field at No. 9. This will be his first tournament of 2012. Goosen, a two-time U.S. Open winner, finished third last week at the Africa Open.

Schwartzel will attempt to become the sixth player in European Tour history to win the same event three straight years. The players who have accomplished this feat are: Ian Woosnam (1990-92 Monte Carlo Open), Nick Faldo (1991-93 Irish Open), Colin Montgomerie (1998-2000 BMW PGA Championship), Ernie Els (2002-04 Heineken Classic) and Tiger Woods (2005-07 WGC-CA Championship and WGC-Bridgestone Invitational).

This tournament is one of only three events on the European Tour which plays on two or more courses. The others are the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship and the Barclays Singapore Open.

Last year, 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 at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club. He was the only player in the field to card four rounds in the 60s. Schwartzel shot a course-record 61 on the West Course in the second round and now owns the course record on the West Course and the East Course (63 - 2009).

In 2009, Anders Hansen birdied the 18th hole in the final round to shoot a five-under 66 and win by a shot over Andrew McLardy. Hansen finished at 15- under-par 269 for his third European Tour win and first since the 2007 BMW PGA Championship. 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 two-shot win over McLardy. Canete was the only player in the field to shoot four rounds in the 60s.

The expanded 210-player field will compete on the East and West courses at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club. The field consists of 103 players from both the European and Sunshine Tours and four amateurs. 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.

Next week, the European Tour remains in South Africa for the Volvo Golf Champions in George, where Paul Casey won the 2011 title.

01/10 15:24:39 ET

As of January 10, 2012, at 03:24 PM ET

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