It was well documented during last week’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship that Westwood was suffering from discomfort in his neck that hampered his performance.
I’d be surprised if that hasn’t had some baring on his preparation for this week’s tournament and with another strong field, I’m going to give Westwood a swerve in Doha.
Instead I’m inclined to go for Sergio Garcia at 14/1. The Spaniard has a solid track record here, with three top tens in his last four appearances at Doha GC. Garcia also looked to be on good form last week as he finished 12th, blowing out a few cobwebs on the way, in his first appearance since winning back-to-back in October.
Defending champion Thomas Bjorn looks like an obvious pick this week at 20/1. Having shot rounds of 65 and 68 over the weekend in Abu Dhabi, to finish third, he comes to a course that he loves in cracking form. If he can continue that momentum it will take four very good rounds to beat the Dane.
Another man with a great record at Doha GC is Alvaro Quiros, last week I avoided him after some comments he made about feeling rusty in the media before he proceeded to miss the cut. This week I’m still not sure. He was 40/1 when I tipped him for the Dubai World Championships, Ladbrokes have him at 16/1 this week and at that price I’m going to steer clear again.
Also at 16/1 are Retief Goosen, Graeme McDowell and Robert Karlsson. All are more than capable of winning this event but I’m looking further down the card to see if there are any potential each way bets at higher prices.
To that end, the last player I am going for this week is Jason Day at 33/1. I think that is a huge price for a player who is in the top ten of the world rankings. Especially in a field that isn’t as strong as last week’s.
Day is an incredible talent and a fierce competitor. After such an impressive season in 2011, he will not be happy with his performance last week and will be motivated to correct that. At such a big price this might be one of those rare occasions where we can get one over on the bookies.
Elsewhere in the field you can get 12/1 on Martin Kaymer to right the wrongs of Abu Dhabi and if you think Paul Lawrie can keep up his form in the Middle East he is at 50/1 with Matteo Manassero, who is also fresh off a top ten finish.
Commercialbank Qatar Master betting guide: