The other two market leaders to come in for consideration were Johan

Edfors and Thongchai Jaidee, both of whom have unsuccessfully carried

our cash lately. It would be easy to construct a case for either on the

basis of their good recent form, though neither has ever really struck

me as a links specialist. Nor has defending champ Aguilar, who bounced

right back into form on a very different layout at the weekend.

One player who should enjoy the course is the ultra consistent Anthony

Wall, though he simply never seems to win, or even come that close to

winning. Still, I prefer him to Asian Tour stars Jyoti Randhawa or

Liang. The former showed his best form in an age in Malaysia, and his

price has crashed accordingly. As for Liang, while he’s a star on the

Asian Tour, his putting seems to fall apart amidst the added pressure

of these co-sanctioned events. In any case, neither are exactly obvious

candidates on a links-style course.

Considering he made the top-5 in the Open as an amateur, this may be an ideal opportunity for CHRIS WOOD

to open his account. He showed further promise over the winter in South

Africa, especially in the long game department. The consequence of that

was for his price to shorten to unrealistically low levels but after a

couple of disappointments he’s back to the much more realistic mark of

50/1. This is very different, and much less competitive, than Wood’s

last tournament in Dubai.

Others to consider include South African James Kamte, who was third in

this last year and has been in excellent form over the last few weeks.

If the course really is like Kapalua, then former Mercedes champ Daniel

Chopra would fancy his chances, but the Swede would have to improve

dramatically on some dire recent results. As for last week’s near-miss

Ross McGowan, the combination of very different conditions, a much

shorter price and an inevitable comedown effect having blown a golden

opportunity make him one to avoid.

Finally, these conditions could see yet another great Northern Irish

prospect storm into the wider public conciousness. After McIlroy and

Maybin, MICHAEL HOEY also carries a big reputation and has been

making steady progress on the Sunshine and Challenge Tours. Hoey

finished runner-up to Retief Goosen on his penultimate start, carrying

on from two promising top-12 finishes in the co-sanctioned

European/Sunshine Tour events. As there can’t be a golfer from Northern

Ireland without substantial links experience, this looks his best

opportunity to date.

Good Luck!