Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Volvo China Open - 2013

The European Tour stays east for this weeks event and sees the first visit to China of the season. The Binhai GC will host for the second time where Brandon Grace defends having won here last year. This is a long 7,600 yd par 72 track designed by Pete Dye and the North course will have a very links feel/look to it. The course should suit those big hitters and those that make good approach play. It should not suit a 12 yr old boy who tees it up this week. Local boy, Ye Wo-Cheng has qualified for the event but surely now comes the time to question the eligibility for entering. With both he and Masters sensation Guan Tianliang appearing recently the notion that golf is for the old retiring man has once and for all been admonished.

Anyway, onto the selections for who I think has the game to succeed here. Due to a family funeral last weekend, I was unable to see any of the action from Korea but was disappointed and somewhat surprised that Alex Noren didn't take out The Ballantines Championship having led going into the final round. I heard he was penalized a stroke for a ball moving on the 2nd green at address and these "silly" golf rules can have an effect on a player.I'm only guessing that this was the case with Alex but his scorecard was uneventful on Sunday. This track though should suit him right down to the ground. In fact he holds the course record here having shot a 63 in the 3rd round last year and eventually finished 6th. He is much improved player since and looks to be the one to beat this week and he should be in the mood to put last week's disappointment aside. 14/1 is OK and if he does start well the memories of that 63 should come flooding back and there may be no stopping him!

My second selection is Pablo Larrazabal @ 28/1. The Spaniard is in fine form with 3 TOP 10s in his last 4 starts. Surprisingly he missed the cut in his homeland before the T6 at Ballantines last week. That can be ignored and with solid form in China too behind him he will be quietly confident of doing well again this week. Im surprised he's not shorter in the betting this week on the back of his form stats so I'm not refusing the 28s with Betpack

My third pick is Julien Quesne @ 80/1 , also with Betpack. The Frenchman is improving all the time and has 3 TOP10s from 10 starts on the tour this year already. But for his putting we would be seeing a lot more of him on leaderboards but he is not without a chance this week. He finished T11th here last year and seems to play well in Asia despite having the weekend off last week. he has the length to do well at Binhai and he is preferred over Paul Casey (66/1)- just! Casey tends to play well in Volvo sponsored events so it will be interesting to see how the comeback is progressing this week.

TIP 1: 2 pts WIN Alex Noren @ 14/1 Paddypower

TIP 2: 1 pt e/w P.Larrazabal @ 28/1 Betpack

TIP 3: 1 pt e/w J.Quesne @ 80/1 Betpack

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