Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Trophee Hassan II - 2017

Royal Golf Dar Es Salam will host this year's Trophee Hassan tournament and Jeunghun Wang will defend for the first time in his career. The Korean beat Nacho Elvira last May to win his first title and having played at Augusta last week where a pair of 78s meant he missed the cut quite convincingly, he'll be glad to get back to the "bread and butter" stuff this week. The course will host for the third time having done so last year and also back in 2010 when Rhys Davies prevailed. Wang has made the trip from Atlanta along with Mike Weir, all others teeing it up here will be doing so having had quite a break since last competing.

Weather forecast is good for the week but we should expect the wind to play its part being a coastal course and at a lengthy 7600 yds,we should expect scoring to be high but possibly better than last years event when only 9 players bettered par. Perhaps the kikuyu grass type is a factor here too, as this is normally seen on South African and Australian courses, hence I suppose why Dean Burmester is market leader ?

Its not a great field this week but its a very competitive one. Victor Dubuisson reappears as he looks to get his career back on track and will have many supporters here where his scrambling skills will play a big part. Ryder Cup captain, Thomas Bjorn will tee it alongside Nicolas Colsaerts & Marcel Siem which is interesting considering that Nico's compatriot, Thomas Pieters will surely be on his team in Paris next year. The course with its length should suit the Belgian, although he finished quite lowly seven years ago here. There are a number of former winners of the tournament in the field, including Richie Ramsay, David Horsey, Alejandro Canizares, and Michael Hoey, who won on the Royal Palais course.

James Morrison @ 35/1 looks more than fair given his form of late. He finished 6th at the Tshwane Open and 4th at the Joburg Open in his last 2 starts, which came on the back of 12th in Malaysia and 23rd at the Dubai Desert Classic. Twice a winner on tour it's worth noting that these wins came at Madeira & The Open de Espana at the Real Club de Golf El Prat, two venues where wind is a strong factor. This part of the world could be to his liking! If the kikuyu grass is a factor, we should be encouraged by his South African results of late as well as his 13th place finish at The South African Open at Glendower GC.

Gregory Havret has shown in the past he can compete in tough conditions when finishing runner-up to GMac at the 2010 US Open at Pebble Beach. A former winner of the Scottish Open (Loch Lomond) the 40 year old has shown steady form of late and opened up at Pretoria GC 5 weeks ago to lead with a 65 before finishing T15th. He's simmering for a good week and will be comfortable in the French speaking Rabat for the week and the field strength will give him confidence. 80/1 appeals.

I put up David Drysdale in Malaysia recently where he duly missed the cut but I will have another interest here again. From his 8 starts this season he's had 1 TOP10 and another TOP20 in Pretoria and Leopard Creek. Has never won on tour but can put in a solid effort here again for a T20 @ 6.50.

Lastly, Johan Carlsson and Ben Evans, who both feature on my 10toFollowin2017 list can be backed at big prices this week. The Swede has gone off the boil of late, hence maybe the price increase, but I'm hoping the 5 weeks off will see him refreshed and ready to pick up from 2016 where he was 21/28 with 7 TOP20s. He's the missed the cut on his last 4 outings but should he get a decent start Thursday morning playing alongside Daniel Im and Nathan Holman, making the cut could be the catalyst for the first T20 of the season @ 15.00 ! Ben Evans should like it here- long track where accuracy may be key but hes returning from injury and has yet to find his form this season. Again the 5 week break could help and hopefully by the time his group tees off on Thursday (the last group off the 10th tee) he'll play in calmer conditions knowing what a "good score" to target. Currently available @ 800.00 on Betfair for the win and 10.00 for a TOP20.

Staking Plan

1.00 pts win J.Morrison @ 35.00
0.50 pts win G. Havret @ 81.00
0.10 pts win B.Evans @ 800.00

2.00 pts TOP10 J.Morrison @ 4.00
2.00 pts TOP20 G. Havret @ 5.00
1.90 pts TOP20 D. Drysdale @ 6.50
1.50 pts TOP20 J. Carlsson @ 15.00
1.00 pts TOP20 B.Evans @ 10.00