Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Maybank Malaysian Open - 2013

Gangajeet Bhullar made a good run at it last Sunday at the Avantha Masters to finish 2nd and enable us to get some return for the blog. He was never going to win it after Thomas Aiken had made a huge move on the Saturday but it was a bit frustrating to see the South African win it after I mentioned in the pre-tournament write up that he should win it and at 50/1 was very tempted to back him. We should have! Tommy Fleetwood almost made the places as well but I believe his pitching on Saturday and Sunday let him down and the nerves may have played their part. He will be one to watch out for again though.
The European remains down in Asia this week for the Malaysian Open to be played for the 4th year at the Kuala Lumpur G& CC. Luke Donald & Charl Schwartzel headline the line-up and hopefully the event will attract more spectators than last week in Noida. Padraig Harrington also plays this week following a run out in Thailand last week as he prepares for the Masters in three weeks time. Donald & Schwartzel head the betting at 11/2 & 6/1 or thereabouts and perhaps the smart play would be to decide between the two who will prevail and back them outright with 2 or 3 pts. But there is no fun in that, although, I do feel Donald is the man to beat this week. With that in mind I have made 3 selections from my shortlist of 11 should he and Charl slip up in the heat and rain. I mention the rain as these events over the years in this part of the world have often been affected by thunderstorms and therefore ruin the event but the forecast this week is not too bad although the familiar thunderstorms are forecasted for days 1 & 2. Sunny spells for the remainder of the event should ensure no major disruption.

My first selection this week was a toss up between Chris Wood  and Alex Noren and I have gone for 28/1(Betpack) shot Noren. The Swede is a quality player on his day and the shortish course and fairly sparse trees should encourage his driving potential here and if he gets the flatstick working he can trump the favourites. Recent results indicate that his game is in good nick and is taken as a good bet to succeed here.

My second pick is Ricardo Santos at 55/1 with Boylesports. Great value for a player who has 4 top 10s in his last 6 starts before missing cut last week.That can easily be ignored for the Portuguese player and I like his chances here this week on the back of good results lately.

My third and fourth picks are decided on good value prices that have the potential to go well if they get good enough starts. Pablo Larrazabal has been struggling with the putter this year but has been working hard on it. He has an afternoon tee time Thursday and by the look of the forecast may have the better conditions to post a decent score to build on early Friday morning. That's my plan anyway! 80/1 (Bet365) is decent value for a player that always gives his best, and hopefully he can build on his top 20 last week  He was T24th here last year so has course form.

My final pick this week is 150/1 fellow Spaniard, Alejandro Canizares. Again another player that has struggled of late but he has decent form on this course having finished 9th in 2011 and T14th the year before that.(he missed cut last year). He comes here having missed the cut 4 times in his last 6 starts but is not that far away from hitting a good run. He finished 3rd in Perth back in October and had a decent top 25s in Hong Kong. I'm hoping the course familiarity and good memories will kickstart this season for him. He is a better player than the last 3 weeks have indicated and is 150/1 with Paddypower

TIP 1: 1 pt e/w Alex Noren @ 28/1 Betpack

TIP 2: 1 pt e/w Ricardo Santos @ 55/1 Boylesports

TIP 3: 0.5 pts e/w Pablo Larrazabal @ 80/1 Bet365

TIP 4: 0.5 pts e/w Alejandro Canizares @ 150/1 Paddypower

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