Monday, 11 March 2013

Avantha Masters 2013

We head off to India this week for the Avantha Masters to be played at the Jaypee Greens Golf Resort in Noida, just 40km away from New Delhi. This year, we have a new course to consider following the first three events having been hosted at the DLF G &CC in Delhi. The Greg Norman designed course is regarded as India's longest at just over 7,300 yards and is said to be designed similar to those sand belt courses in Melbourne. There are also quite a number of lakes on this course which did host an Asian Tour event (SAIL Open) in 2008 which was won by New Zealander, Mark Brown. So with very little course form to go on and a field not overly jumping out at me, I am putting up players that have been showing some form of late in the hope they continue that here this week. Two players are aiming for a piece of history this week. Defending Champion Jbe Kruger is bidding to win his second European Tour Title and defend also, not many can say they have defended their first title with their second win. SSP Chowrasia is gunning for his 3rd Avantha Masters Title.

Jbe had a good weekend at the inaugural Tshwane Open 2 weeks ago but I am not considering him this week purely because I never do tend to fancy players who are trying to defend.His fellow countryman though, Thomas Aiken, should really be on my staking plan this week.The Joburger, always has blown hot & cold and really hasn't delivered on his potential the past couple of seasons following injury, but recent efforts in his homeland don't inspire me despite this being the type of tournament and field where he should compete. The 50/1 on offer from Boylesports was tempting but I have selected players that I think at good value could just very well win here.

My first pick this week is Italian Lorenzo Gagli. In his 5 starts in 2013 his worse finish was a tie 32nd at Abu Dhabi.His other results read 22-15-7-17. Showing great form already this season he might just look forward to a good showing here this week. He finished in the top 50  last year despite a horror final round and the new course might just suit him. The 55/1 with Betpack / StanJames is too big and I can't leave him out.

My second pick is Englishman, Tommy Fleetwood. This is the first time I'm backing him. The 22 yr old is showing great form also the past couple of months including a top 10 in Dubai and a top 15 at the Joburg. But for a poor final rd at the Africa Open he would have recorded another top 20. That consistency will inevitably pay off and is one I have been watching for awhile now. He's 66/1 with Bet Victor.

My final pick for this one is Gangajeet Bhullar. I contemplated long and hard over my selections this week. This truly is an open field. I wanted to back Chapchai Nirat  but recent form suggests he is not at his best despite a top 10 last week on the Asian Tour. Its been a few years since he last won. Simon Khan came oh so close for the pick. 150/1 with Boylesports is very tempting but this is a player who doesn't win. So what about place money? I think top 10 @ 12/1 with StanJames is a better bet. Others that were on my shortlist that missed out and perhaps you the reader may want to consider instead were Joost Luiten (40s),Pablo Larrazabal (66s), Robert Jan Derksen (100s), Alejandro Canizares (110s), and Martin Lafebar (250s). Bhullar gets the nod at 35/1. He is the touring pro representing Jaypee Gardens and won on the course as an amateur. With little course knowledge amongst the field, its this local angle that attracts me to him couple with the fact he plays well in this neck of the woods as his two victories before the end of 2012 on the Asian Tour suggest.

TIP 1: 1 pt e/w Lorenzo Gagli @ 55/1 Betpack / StanJames

TIP 2: 1 pt e/w Tommy Fleetwood @ 66/1 Bet Victor

TIP 3: 1 pt e/w Gnagajeet Bhullar @ 35/1 Paddypower