Monday, 20 October 2014

Perth International

The Perth International will be held this week for the third time and on the beautiful Lake Karrinyup Country Club, just north of Perth in Western Australia. The course also hosted the Johnnie Walker Classic in 2002 and 2003 where former Major winners, Retief Goosen and Ernie Els emerged victorious. Many of the world’s top golfers have played here in Australian Opens over the years, including Gary Player who won his seventh Aussie Open at the course whilst Jack Nicklaus won his second of six here also. Goosen holds the course record having shot a 63 in his third round in 2002.It’s the last event before the Final Series begins in China the following week. The co-sanctioned Europeantour and Australasian PGA Tour event has attracted former PGA Champion Jason Dufner for his second visit (finished runner up to his compatriot Bo Van Pelt two years ago). Former Masters champion, Charl Schwartzel, and the enigmatic Frenchman, Victor Dubuisson, who will be keen to have his game in good shape ahead of the Final Series, will join him.

The course itself is a par-72, measuring just over 7100 yards in which the players will have to contend with the wind over a course offering up generous fairways and a mix of green sizes. It’s a hilly course with a lot of holes on the front nine on the ascent but the scores are there to be had.

Aussie hopes will lie with former US Open champion, Geoff Ogilvy who returned to the winner’s enclosure on the PGA Tour last year. Another Australian who won on the same tour last year was Steven Bowditch who took out the Texas Open. More significantly though is his runner up finish two weeks a go at the Fry’ Open. Having missed the cut in Vegas, he’ll come here looking to add to his three previous wins on the Australasian Tour. Both players are worth considering here this week pending price but Bowditch may prove to be better value @ 50/1

Of the Europeantour regulars Peter Uihlein and Oliver Fisher could be two who could play well and the latter finished TOP20 here twelve months ago so will have good course knowledge. Oli has been in the TOP15 in four of his ten previous events, whereas the American is coming into form as he seeks to make the TOP60 for Dubai. He could be a real threat here and @ 35/1 could be a play, with the Englishman offering somevalue @ 70/1

A player I was expecting to be further down in the market is Ryan Fox, son of All Black legend, Grant (80/1). Fox took out the Western Australia Open at the weekend and should be in a positive mood. I was looking for some value in the TOP10 market for the Aucklander(but I'm not interested in his price of 5/1), likewise for Englishman, Lee Slattery who is battling to save his card and who currently sits as the number 110 in the Order of Merit. He’ll travel to Perth for the first time but will do so on the back of his third Top15 in his last seven starts and will be worth a go for a Top10 finish here. Slattery can be streaky as he showed last season reeling off thirteen consecutive cuts being made and he’ll be motivated to keep that card for next season by keeping the momentum going. He has his buddy, Matthew Baldwin with him this week too as they both try to feed of fellow Southport player, Tommy Fleetwood’s good form, and he could also be inspired by the “Nappy Factor” having become a father earlier this year as he attempts to finish the season on a high. Slatts can be backed @ 120/1 for the win or TOP 10 @ 9/1. Adrian Otaegui missed the cut last week in Hong Kong and he'll need a good week very soon to retain his card for next season and this track could suit so with the same view as last week, he too is kept onside for a TOP10 finish this week @ 10/1. Dutchman, Daan Huizing offered to achieve a lot more than he did over the season but he can secure his card with a bold showing here on a course requiring accuracy from tee to green. Tied 15th last week, he can kick on and push for a similar result here so I'll take the 12/1 TOP10 price despite no TOP10s in his locker this season...yet! He's made 14/27 cuts with 4 TOP20s, so he's capable. He'll appreciate the wind here as well and like Justin Walters and Peter Lawrie twelve months ago, he can produce a onetime performance to secure that card for next season! If Ryan Fox is best price 80/1 then surely Aussie hope, Jake Higginbottom is cracking value @ 120/1? Playing more on the Asian Tour of late, the former NZ open winner (as an amateur) has been in fine form of late and could be up for it this week. He's a 10/1 shot for TOP10.

No joy last week in Hong Kong as David Lipsky really disappointed, but Kevin Streelman almost collected the WIN in Vegas @ 120/1, though his second place finish ensured my first PGA pick of the season for TOP10 @ 9/1 returned a nice profit. If no follow up post again this week for the McGladrey Classic, I'll tweet (@birdieclubtips) my selection on Wednesday.

Staking Plan (10 pts)

0.75 pts WIN S.Bowditch @ 50/1
1.25 pts WIN P.Uihlein @ 35/1
0.75 pts E/W O.Fisher @ 70/1
0.50 pts WIN L.Slattery @ 120/1


2 pts TOP10 S.Bowditch @ 4/1
2 pts TOP10 L.Slattery @ 9/1
1 pt TOP10 A.Otaegui @ 10/1
1 pt TOP10 D.Huizing @ 12/1

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