At last, after a fine Masters, Yang has earned the respect of the bookies, who make him favourite. This is a big change from recent quotes in PGA Tour events, which seemed to assume his PGA win was a fluke. There’s no sense in getting on now at these odds though, especially as players that contend in the Masters tend to underperform in the following week.
Stenson owes his position as favourite purely to reputation, as there is absolutely nothing in his recent form locker. Last week’s effort at Augusta was another disaster, and he looks one to oppose on a course that will penalise any inaccuracy.
Jaidee is always worthy of strong consideration in Asia, and has even started to produce his best form further afield. However, it must be a concern that he withdrew from the Masters after one round with an elbow injury.
Still we await Wilson’s first professional title, despite a spate of near-misses. He’s finished runner-up three times in China previously, including twice in this event. Oliver’s US form reads very well in this company, and his links ability was proven with yet another second place at last year’s Dunhill Links.
Davies warrants the utmost respect after a quite outstanding performance to win the Hassan Trophy on his penultimate start. The missed cut that followed a few days later is easily forgiven. However, all of his best form to date has been in putting contests. When faced with bad weather last year in Korea, Davies shot some very big numbers.
With three top tens already this season, Danny goes from strength to strength and remains very much a winner waiting to happen. I suspect it will come on a more straightforward, low-scoring layout than this though.
After finishing runner-up twice in his last three events, the bookies have taken cover on Finch. A player who we’re used to seeing in triple figures is down to 33/1. That instantly rules him out as a betting option, but that’s not to say he hasn’t got a decent chance. He certainly has the game for a tough course, and plenty of experience of bad weather golf.
Dodt rates one of the form picks on the basis of four top-seven finishes in his last five events. Most were on lower tours, but he did win the co-sanctioned Avantha Masters.
I’m always wary of backing defending champions, especially when the venue is different. In any case, Strange’s 40/1 odds are much lower than last year.
As he’s twice won before in Asia, Edfors is worth a mention, but he’s another player who looks far better suited to less penal golf courses.
Even if nothing like the player of a couple of years ago, Fasth still has the odd competitive week. As a former Open runner-up, he’s one of the few with proven form on links.
Due to a lack of any good form in 2010, Noren is drifting out towards the price where I’d become interested again. He remains a good prospect, but hasn’t as yet shown any real aptitude for links.
This recent Malaysian Open winner is clearly another outstanding teenager. So far he’s struck me as rather wayward though, and he might lack the experience and patience for this layout.
Having endured so many near-misses on him over the past year, a win for Lawrie at a nice price would be extremely frustrating. With a strong emphasis on accuracy, one would expect the course to suit, but surprisingly for an Irishman, his links record to date is disappointing.
Again, it would be frustrating to miss Maybin’s first victory, when it inevitably arises. His accuracy off the tee should be an asset here, and at least another top 25 looks on the cards.
One of the more plausible outsiders, as most of his best form has come in bad weather. Gallacher is a former Dunhill Links champion, and should have high hopes after consecutive top 20s on less suitable courses.
2010 STATS: -31pts
LONG-TERM ALREADY ADVISED
20pts TIGER WOODS TO WIN EXACTLY TWO MAJORS @ 5/1
8pts TIGER WOODS TO WIN EXACTLY THREE MAJORS @ 14/1