Ernie showcased a new driver when winning last week’s Grand Slam of Golf and sounds in confident mood. He certainly shouldn’t have any problems with the climate, and generally thrives in Asia.
Fresh from another fine Ryder Cup display and previously runner-up in Tour Championship, Luke shares favouritism for what must be the first time in a PGA Tour event. The layout looks ideal, but this rare winner is never likely to appeal at short odds.
Surprisingly given that he’s rarely looked at his best, only money list leader Matt Kuchar has more top tens on this year’s PGA Tour than Goosen. He’s well acclimatised having played in the Johor Open, and was runner-up on this course in the 2003 Malaysian Open.
This is Allenby’s time of year with the Australian triple crown looming, and he signalled a return to form with third last time in the McGladrey Classic. Typically, he was relentlessly consistent from tee to green at Sea Island, and a repeat performance in that respect would serve him well on this layout.
Another global golfer who should have no worries about the climate. Clark fits the right profile of a short, straight hitter who scrambles well, and is in good form having finished sixth in the Frys.com Open a fortnight ago.
Last week’s 22nd was a reasonable result in an event that never suits the favourite. Nevertheless, nobody who played Summerlin was ever going to be picked as these conditions will be so different, and Rickie will be making his Asian debut.
No matter how strong the company, Jaidee always warrants respect in Asia. Recent form is promising, with a recent top ten in Portugal to his name, although I’m slightly deterred by the fact that he only finished 21st on this course in 2003, when the Thai must have been challenging for favouritism.
Atwal won that 2003 Malaysian Open on this course, and will be popular after winning the Wyndham Championship and finishing third at Sea Island. A dire performance over the weekend raises alarm bells, though.
Haas lacks experience in Asia, but has no worries on the form front, winning and finishing runner-up on his last two starts.
Moore ticks the right stat boxes, and was in good form prior to a break, finishing third and ninth in the last two FedEx Cup events. He was also third on his Chinese debut in last year’s HSBC Champions Trophy.
Na’s sole title came in Malaysia, so there is some logic to suggest he’ll advance past his PGA Tour rivals on this return to the region. Nevertheless, he will still have the same disadvantages as others who played Summerlin.
Similar comments apply to Wi, who made his name on the Asian Tour before establishing himself in the States. At least he missed Summerlin.
Another form pick, after losing Sunday’s play-off and making the top five in the Dunhill Links. This will be yet another completely different sort of test.
Nobody is striking the ball better than Senden right now. He used to play on Asian Tour, and was only ignored because he played at Summerlin.
Yang has completely lost the plot since a disastrous nine holes sent him from the US Open leaderboard to missing the cut. We know his capability, however, and it would be no surprise to see the former USPGA champ bounce back in his home region.
2010 STATS: +49pts
LONG-TERM ALREADY ADVISED
5pts MARTIN KAYMER TO WIN THE RACE TO DUBAI @ 9/1