Tuesday, 25 February 2014

8000 yards - who would? Fleetwood and Wood would !

We’re back in South Africa this week for The Tshwane Open to be played on the Ernie Els designed course at Copperleaf GC,Centurion, a monster at just under 8,000 yards. Being at some altitude though will help the players, and as was seen last week in Arizona, players will need to account for that extra bit of distance being carried into these sloping greens.  That said, big hitters will definitely have an advantage here.  I tweeted my shortlist on Tuesday morning containing 10 players that when filtered on my spreadsheet represented the best value in the betting for me and we all know that events staged in SA are usually won by one of the home players as was the case last year here when Dawie Van der Walt prevailed so the two obligatory home players to be included(on the shortlist)to carry the flag this week actually provide great value in the shape of James Kingston & Charl Coetzee. For this blog, it turned into joy for a couple of readers last year, as they accidently backed Dawie instead of my tip Tjaart, but perhaps I’m tempting fate again by putting Ross Fisher on the shortlist with a number of other Fishers in the field as well as Charl Coetzee as opposed to recent winner, George !!Having debated hard whether to actually go with the latter, Iv'e opted to leave him be this week despite decent form lately. 

I had priced Ross up as a 20/1 shot this week so was a bit surprised to see him open at 28s. Ross is long and accurate off the tee and although he comes in for some criticism for his putting stats, I don’t believe he’s that bad and as shown at The Africa Open recently he can get himself amongst the leaders in this quality of field.
But the one player that I’m thrilled to see available @ 50/1 is another Englishman, Tommy Fleetwood who has enjoyed some success in this part of the world before and a player that seems to be excelling on par-5s. Should he continue to score well on par-5s this week he’ll go some way to getting close to the required -20 to win and he’s a definite WIN bet for me here. If the wind gets up, he'll definitely be a factor. I'm amazed the 50/1 is holding up still.
I put up Gangajeet Bhullar for the Joburg Open last month and despite a solid start he fell right back into the pack in the 3rd rd before finishing with a decent round on the Sunday. He’s well overpriced here this week @ 125/1,(opened at 150s which I've missed) almost double what I had anticipated. Bhullar has been in the winners enclosure back in Asia but he’s up for the challenge on the European Tour and having settled in somewhat now I expect him to produce the goods soon and I’d much rather follow him at the moment whilst he is available at such good odds.

As the blog heading suggested (for those that could decipher it), Chris Wood is also on my radar this week @ 50/1. He may not be as long off the tee as others (averaging 276yds) but he is one of those players that has shown great consistency the past 12 months and now that he has completed the Desert Swing where he defended the Qatar Masters, the Bristol native can concentrate on putting in some good tournaments and has a good opportunity here in this field.

James Kingston was backed for the Joburg Open and is being backed again this week. He missed the cut in Joburg when after the opening round looked as if he was going to be in for a good week. He went well last week at the Data Dimension before running up a score to drop back and finish well down the field so it’s a case of keeping it together this week and he’ll give us a run for our money. He represents a good Top20 bet here.

Staking Plan (8 pts/units)

1 pt WIN Ross Fisher @ 28/1
1 pt WIN T.Fleetwood @ 50/1
1 pt WIN C.Wood @ 50/1
1 pt WIN G.Bhullar @ 125/1

TOP10
1 pt G.Bhullar @ 10/1
1 pt T.Fleetwood @9/2
1 pt C.Wood @5/1

TOP 20
1 pt J.Kingston @15/2