The European Tour stays in Asia this week for the lucrative Barclays Singapore Open as the Race to Dubai approaches its climax.
Rory McIlroy heads a strong field – including Adam Scott, Phil Mickelson and Louis Oosthuizen – and comes into the tournament knowing a top-ten finish will give him an unassailable lead atop the Race to Dubai standings.
Both Peter Hanson and Justin Rose, who sit second and third respectively, have elected to miss this week, as has Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, who beat Thailand’s Juvic Pagunsan in a play-off last year.
The tournament will be contested over the Sentosa Golf Club, which stands at 7,372 yards from the back tees.
Despite its relative length, the weather in the lead up to the event has been extremely hot, and the ball should fly a good distance through the air.
McIlroy is the 4/1 favourite, and Adam Scott, a three-time winer of the event, is much fancied, but there simply isn’t any value in their respective prices.
Padraig Harrington, at 25/1 with Ladbrokes, will take a fair share of the betting market this week. After a last-minute call up, he triumphed in the PGA Grand Slam of Golf, and said after the tournament’s conclusion ‘I believe that I’m turning the corner into a peak.’ The three-time major champion has a good record in Asia and is hitting the ball a long way off the tee. If he can find some putting form, he should contend this week.
It is hard to look past Anders Hansen this week at 33/1 with Ladbrokes. His recent form hasn’t been spectacular, but the Dane boasts three top-ten finishes in his last six starts. The main reason for selection this week, though, is his exemplary tournament record. He finished in 11th place last year, second in 2010 and fifth in 2009, demonstrating an unrivalled proficiency for golf in Singapore.
George Coetzee, at 40/1 with Ladbrokes, is another worth considering this week. After a quiet year, the big-hitting South African has started to turn things around. Indeed, he has finished inside the top six in three of his last four tournaments, including the BMW Masters in China. He currently ranks 13th on the European Tour in Putts Per Round, and it won’t be long before he wins his maiden European Tour title.
Rikard Karlberg, at 80/1 with Ladbrokes, is another player who feels completely at home in Singapore’s humid conditions. The young Swede finished 13th at Sentosa last year and outright third the year before – his best finish on the European Tour. He is coming into the tournament in 146th place in the Race to Dubai standings, and needs to make at least €75,000 to breach the top 115 and give himself a good chance of saving his card.
Tom Lewis, at 150/1 with Ladbrokes, is worth an each way bet this week. He has endured a torrid second season on the European Tour, but has shown glimpses in his last two tournaments that he may be poised to return to form. He was also hitting the ball superbly at a golf clinic in his native Hertfordshire last week.
Barclays Singapore Open advised bets:
3pts each way on Padraig Harrington at 25/1 with Ladbrokes
2pts Anders Hansen each way at 33/1 with Ladbrokes
2pts each way on George Coetzee at 40/1 with Ladbrokes
2pts each way on Rikard Karlberg at 80/1 with Ladbrokes
1pt each way on Tom Lewis at 150/1 with Ladbrokes