Thomas Pieters was one birdie away from another return for the Betting.Betfair golf team last time out but, undeterred, they've been scouring the betting for the value at the Hong Kong Open. Here are our five to follow at Fanling...
"Pan Cheng-tsung is an extremely exciting prospect and a nice each way price in a top heavy field."
Dan Geraghty: Back Pan Cheng-tsung @ 80/1
*Each-way terms: 1/4 odds, 5 places
Dan Geraghty: Back Pan Cheng-tsung @ 80/1
On paper, there's a huge gulf in class between those at the very head of the market and the rest of the field, in fact, on the exchange, only 25 runners are below triple figure prices. For me, one player that stands out among the bigger priced golfers is Pan Cheng-tsung. This young Taiwanese golfer won eight events while at the University of Washington, a record that helped him rise to the very top of the amateur golf rankings, a position he for eight weeks in 2013. Since turning professional in the summer, the 23-year-old has quickly made a name for himself on the Canadian Tour. Barely a month after his first pro start the Taiwanese golfer bested Robert Karlsson by two shots at the Players Cup to win his maiden pro title and has since picked up a second title at the Cape Breton Celtic Classic. Pan competed last week on the Asian Tour (on a sponsor's invite, at the Venetian Macao Open) and finished 11th. He's an extremely exciting prospect and a nice each way price in a top heavy field.
Paul Krishnamurty: Back Peter Hanson @ 33/1
From the long history of this event, we know that Fanling is a place where the cream almost always rises to the top, and that this short, tricky layout very much rewards long game accuracy. At his multiple tournament winning, Ryder Cup qualifying peak, Peter Hanson certainly ticked both boxes and finished top-five in both 2007 and 2011 renewals. Injuries and loss of form have sent him spiralling down the rankings but there are definitely signs of life. Top-20s in each of his last three events reads well, particularly given a superb 84% GiR percentage. From 98th place on the Race to Dubai standings, he's just the type to rise to the challenge over the next few weeks in order to make the Dubai finale.
Joe Dyer: Back Ben Evans @ 150/1
Englishman Evans comes into the Hong Kong Open perilously placed in the Race to Dubai rankings and is in need of a good week to reach the end of season mega-money tournaments. The pressure could result in a disastrous week but this ace driver - Evans is ultra-long and ultra-straight off the tee - has the game to contend at Fanling. Some of the 28-year-old's best results have come on short, tight tracks (T12 at the Hero Indian Open, T9 at the Trophee Hassan) so at a massive price he could just surprise the big boys and could easily place in what is a weak field. I'm just hoping the eight places Evans must make up in the Race to Dubai rankings don't intimidate my man too much.
Steve Rawlings: Back Miguel Angel Jimenez @ 28/1
My gut feeling is that Old Father Time may just be catching up with Miguel Angel Jimenez but if he is to have one last hoorah it's surely going to be at Fanling. Although he missed the cut here 12 months ago, the Spanish golfing legend has an incredible record at the short but tricky tree-lined venue and when he lines up on Thursday, he'll actually be attempting to win the Hong Kong Open for an incredible fifth time, having taken the title in 2004, 2007, 2012 and 2013. He was the 8/1 favourite 12 months ago when attempting to win three in-a-row and he didn't look a great price then with the pressure on but at an industry best 28/1 with much less stress to deal with, he looks worth chancing this time around.
Mike Norman: Back Rickard Karlberg @ 50/1
Few players have been in more consistent form on the European Tour than Rikard Karlberg in the last three months and the talented Swede looks worth an interest once more at the generous odds of 50/1 (he was only 40/1 when a winning selection for the column at the Italian Open last month). At first glance this looks a better quality event than in Italy, which slightly explains the bigger price, but on closer inspection there's only a handful of big names at the top of the market that we ought to fear. Karlberg's win followed a string of top 15 finishes and he went out the very next week and finished a highly creditable fifth at the European Open so his form remains solid. In addition, the 28-year-old has form at Fanling too, recording a top 20 finish here last year with his best round coming on the Sunday. He's in better nick this time around, and definitely carries more confidence. He's no 50/1 shot in my eyes.
2015 P/L (£5 e/w per selection)
Year to date P/L: +£974.20
- British Masters, Matthew Fitzpatrick @ 33/1 - WIN (Paul)
- Alfred Dunhill Links, Chris Wood @ 70/1 - PLACE (Joe)
- European Open, Lucas Bjerregaard @ 150/1 - PLACE (Mike)
- Open D'Italia, Rikard Karlberg @ 66/1 - WIN (Mike)
- KLM Open, Eddie Pepperell @ 33/1 - PLACE (Dan G)
- Czech Masters, Roope Kakko @ 66/1 - PLACE (Steve)
- Made In Denmark, Kristoffer Broberg @ 25/1 - PLACE (Dan T)
- USPGA Championship, Branden Grace @ 66/1 - PLACE (Steve)
- European Masters, Tyrrell Hatton @ 50/1 - PLACE (Mike)
- The Open, Justin Rose @ 23/1 - PLACE (Ralph)
- The Open, Louis Oosthuizen @ 20/1 - PLACE (Dan T)
- Scottish Open, Eddie Pepperell @ 125/1 - PLACE (Mike)
- Open de France, Bernd Wiesberger @ 33/1 - WIN (Mike)
- Lyoness Open, Robert Rock @ 66/1 - PLACE (Joe)
- BMW PGA Championship, Chris Wood @ 125/1 - PLACE (Steve)
- Mauritius Open, John Parry @ 150/1 - PLACE (Paul)
- US Masters, Paul Casey @ 66/1 - PLACE (Romilly)
- Thailand Classic, Andrew Dodt @ 100/1 - WIN (Paul)
- Malaysian Open, Anirban Lahiri @ 66/1 - WIN (Dan G)
- DD Classic, Stephen Gallacher @ 25/1 - PLACE (Steve)
*Total P/L for 2014: +£251.75