Monday, 21 October 2013

BMW Masters 2013 - Lake Malaren GC, Shanghai, China

So, the TOP 110 on the European Tour have secured their cards for next season and whilst many of those will have met their goals for 2013, others will now be getting down to the business end of things as the European Tour embarks on its inaugural "Final Series" cuulminating in the TOP 60 competing at Dubai World Tour Championship on 14 November. Unfortunately, due to the ecomomic state of most European Nations, the "Final Series" will be held in China for the first 2 events, Turkey and then of course, Dubai. I say "unfortunately" as although its great to see the game of golf grow in other parts of the world, its a shame that Europe mainland and indeed UK&Ireland, don't get the opportunity to stage one of these "series". Mind you, the weather may not be ideal for the time of the year, so lets hope the spectators come out to support over the next 4 weeks otherwise sponsors may need to revise going forward. The use of inviting 14 Chinese players should help grow the popularity in China. For the second year running this event will be staged at Lake Malaren outside Shanghai. Its a par-72, 7600 yards where the big hitters will feel at ease. A Jack Nicklaus design, the course will reward those who are on form and find fairways and greens. The in-form player this week is no doubt Henrik Stenson, recent winner of the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup and he will be motivated to win the Race to Dubai as well.  Only 78 players tee it up here and the next 2 weeks and that means we have no cut.

It could be a good tournamnt for those that prefer to trade on Betfair as opposed to those who prefer the win or each way approach. I have selected three who I like at odds bigger than I was expecting.

First up is Swede, Alex Noren who recently returned to action following a minor wrist injury. He's had two events under his belt and will be keen tomput in a good showing over the next 4 weeks. I like the fact he has played particularly well in this part of the world with 4 TOP 10s from his last 6 starts in Asia. He was T6th here last year, shooting a 64 so he should be at ease on this course. Alex has yet to compete on the big stage and take a coveted title but he's good enough and was showing signs earlier this year that he had worked a lot on his game. The course will suit his game off the tee, and if he can get into the mix early enough he can make the 60/1 on offer look silly. Its too big in this reduced field.

My second selection is Tommy Fleetwood who,again like Noren,
has not experienced the heights competing against such a stellar field in a such a high-profile event. He has played very well this season having won at Gleneagles and he can make a lot of birdies out there. If he can turn in a decent card on Thursday he wont go away easily and he too is an "over" @ 66/1 for me.

I'm taking a third selection in the shape of Richard Sterne @ 50/1. Again the price is big for me and the steady South African has been very consistent and will be looking forward to the series. He played well at the recent Presidents Cup and can score here although he did not play 12 months ago. He was T21st at Muirfield this year, was TOP 10 at the PGA Championship and was 2nd at French Open so he has shown he can compete at tough tracks against a tough  field and I'll have a bit of the 50s this week.

TIP 1: 1 pt e/w A.Noren @ 60/1 Paddypower

TIP 2: 1 pt e/w T.Fleetwood @ 66/1 SkyBet

TIP 3: 1 pt e/w R.Sterne @ 50/1

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