Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Ballantine's Championship - 2013

After just one week on European soil, the tour heads East and to South Korea for this week's Ballantines Championship, hosted at Blackstone GC for the third year. The tournament has already lost some notable participants from the USA following recent political tension in the region, so hopefully the week passes with good weather and some good scoring. Head of the market this week is Louis Oosthuizen but he is easy to oppose this week as recent form is questionable. I had tweeted my shortlist yesterday (Monday 22nd) but 2 of those players are also missing this week which has led me to rethink my staking plan. I was hoping for 18/1 about Alex Noren and have thought about the 16s on offer for quite a bit last night. Alex has some good results under his belt from his 6 starts this year, including 2 top 10s. He has finished no worse than 32nd,that being his first outing of the season. I backed him in Malaysia but he fell prey to the weather and therefore the wrong side of the draw where he eventually finished 6th. I can't get away from him this week. This is a long 7200 yd course, tree lined and the greens are undulating. His game should suit this week and indeed on his two visits here the past 2 years he finished 7th & 5th. As always though, he needs to get a decent start and I like his midday start on Thursday playing alongside the favourite, Louis Oosthuizen and local boy, K.T. Kim. They will then have a 7:20 tee time Friday which hopefully will see the Swede build on a solid opening round. Thats the plan anyway ! I'll have a nibble @ 16s with Paddypower

Victor Dubuisson is a big hitter off the tee and that will stand him in good steed on this course. Averaging 300yds with this driving should see him make more pars and birdies than bogeys as this will not be an easy course where -10 looks like the winning score. He played very well here last year finishing 3rd and this Frenchman who turned just 23 this week has a bright future ahead of him.He should be looking forward to this event for 3 good reasons. 1. He liked the course last year finishing 3rd. 2. He saw his fellow countryman, Raphael Jacquelin win in Spain last Sunday (well maybe he didn't actually see him, he was probably on a flight out of there by the time that infamous play-off concluded) and 3. Its his birthday this week and then puts him in good spirits. I also like his playing partners, Simon Dyson and Kyung Kang for the first 2 days and the same tee time frames as Alex Noren. 30/1 with Paddypower

Looking at the field this week there does seem to be some value further down the betting. By value, I mean players that could grab a top 5 without winning but at bigger odds than expected to do so.Brett Rumford is one of those and made my initial shortlist. The former Irish Open champion doesn't win these days but at 80/1 has to be considered for a top 5 finish on a course that he has finished in the top 20 and a tournament that he generally does well in. I had him marked up just slightly at longer odds than Richie Ramsay! The Scotsman is best 25/1 !! 2nd last year and 13th the year before does in fairness highlight his liking for Blackstone but 25/1? Kiradech Aphibarnrat at 28/1 suddenly is the bargain of the week if Ramsay is 25s. 2 players that could go well here are Kristoffer Broberg and James Morrison (who still owes me for that play-off defeat ). They are available at 150/1. Place odds therefore 37.5/1.
My 3rd selection this week is a player that has already won this year and seems a bit overpriced this week and that's Scott Jamieson @ 70/1 with Betpack. He missed the cut in Morocco but that can easily be ignored. A win and 2 TOP 3 places in South Africa have since been backed up with a strong showing at the WGC Cadillac Championship (T23rd) and a top 20 in Malaysia. He is playing with fellow Scot, Paul Lawrie and former tournament winner Tongchai Jaidee. I like this grouping too.


Staking Plan: (Total 6pts)

2 pts WIN Alex Noren @ 16/1 Paddypower

1 pt e/w V.Dubuisson @ 30/1 Paddypower

0.5 pts e/w S.Jamieson @ 70/1 Betpack

0.25 pts e/w K.Broberg @ 150/1 Bet Victor

0.25 pts e/w J.Morrison @ 150/1 Betpack