Singapore Classic Each-Way Tips: 14/1 Casey can crack the Classic

Golfer Paul Casey
Paul Casey returns to DP World Tour action.

The DP World Tour is back in Asia for the Singapore Classic at Laguna National Golf Resort. Shane Lowry heads the betting but Matt Cooper looks elsewhere for his three selections with the Betfair Sportsbook paying seven places...

  • Matt Cooper picks out three in the Singapore Classic

  • Englishman Paul Casey is a threat at the top

  • Keita's Nakajima's price has drifted temptingly

  • Kiwi Daniel Hillier can go well

  • The DP World Tour's five-stop Asian Swing begins with a return to Laguna National Golf Resort for a second edition of the Singapore Classic.

    Twelve months ago the South African Ockie Strydom thrashed a final round 63 to win and admitted: "I was thinking about not being here this week because I was hitting it so badly."

    After lifting the trophy he would fail to crack the top 60 in 22 of his next 25 starts so he probably wasn't too wide of the mark in his initial analysis but he did what professional golfers always want to do, which is to win when the chance offered itself.

    The circuit was familiar with Laguna's Masters Course (known as 'The Grand Old Lady') ahead of last year's event but it was a first introduction to the Classic Course (nicknamed 'The Beast').

    In the column's 2023 preview we noted how photographs suggested that the greens featured severe slopes and quoted the Top 100 Golf Courses website which said one green "is said to be the smallest in Asia", another "is reputed to be the largest on the continent" and that "many have three or more tiers".

    The suspicion was that hitting them might be the task rather than putting on them and so it transpired with a solid all-round tee-to-green game to the fore, with decent drivers setting up the best approaches.

    In essence, the test is pretty much a modern one in terms of size and shaping with the location adding a further factor: Singapore is hot, humid and the greens are Paspalum.

    Main Bet: Paul Casey 1pt each-way @ 14/1

    When last seen a couple of weeks ago the Englishman Paul Casey was only missing out on triumph at LIV Golf Hong Kong in extra holes and success in that part of the world is something he has known in the past.

    He's been a winner at both Yalong Bay and Shenzhen, and has recored top 10s at Sheshan International, Honghua International, Tomson, Lake Malaren and Binhai Lake - all of those named being modern layouts like this week's test.

    He's also finished first and third at Jack Nicklaus Korea which is more of the same.

    Closer to Laguna National, with the air closer and stickier, he's finished third at Stonehill in Thailand, seventh at Kuala Lumpur GC, thrashed a 64 at KN Golf Links in Vietnam and finished second and 10th at Sentosa in Singapore (and when he was there a little under a year ago he closed with a 63).

    He also has connections with the tournament sponsor and won the European Open which it also backs. That came at Green Eagle which lacks the climate he'll encounter this week but is another modern layout (as is Gleneagles which he also won on).

    In addition to that near-miss in Hong Kong, he has also been T11th at El Camaleon and fifth at Las Vegas CC this year. All good form and this week might be the test most suited to him.

    laguna nationa the beast.jpg

    It's also just possible that he'll note that the PGA Tour is at Innisbrook this week for the Valspar Championship which he won back-to-back in 2018 and 2019. It might have zero impact on him, but it might also motivate him.

    The final tick is that he also won at The Royal Club in Bahrain on Paspalum.

    He's shorter than the column usually selects but every so often it's worth it.

    Back Paul Casey each-way @ 14/115.00

    Bet here

    Next Best: Keita Nakajima 1pt each-way @ 33/1

    A few weeks ago, when I first saw Japan's Keita Nakajima in person, I was struck by his confident stride and general demeanour.

    A favourite phrase came to mind: I liked the cut of his jib.

    Alas, after finishing fourth at Al Hamra in the Ras al Khaimah Championship (on Paspalum) and making a bright start at The Royal, he's gone MC-33-MC.

    That first result came when he was blown away by strong breezes and the latter came at St Francis Links which didn't look a great fit (he's yet to look comfortable on the British links either).

    It all means that he's drifted to a price that feels very tempting.

    This is a man, after all, who finished top five in 13 of his final 21 events of 2023 with three wins and another seven top three finishes.

    All of that good form came at home in Japan or in Korea but that fourth place in the UAE was a hint of what he is capable of and this test should suit his excellent tee-to-green game.

    Back Keita Nakajima each-way @ 33/134.00

    Bet here

    Final Bet: Daniel Hillier 1pt each-way @ 66/1

    I'm with Steve Rawlings in believing that Doha GC might be a decent guide for this week.

    Last year's runner-up Sami Valimaki won October's Qatar Masters. Jeunghun Wang, who was also a winner in the Middle East, finished third (he was the 54-hole leader and the column pick) having also been third when the Classic Course hosted the Asian Tour in 2015.

    At first glance, the Kiwi Daniel Hillier looks to have nothing better than an okay record at Doha with finishes of T16th and T42nd.

    But he was the two-shot halfway leader in the first of those last October and spent the first three rounds in the top 12 last month.

    His last outing was along similar lines: he finished T54th in the New Zealand Open two weeks ago but he opened 67-65 to sit second ahead of the weekend.

    That sense of him bubbling reminds me of his form book in June, when he played well in the KLM Open and BMW International Open ahead of winning the British Masters.

    His finishes were better then than now but there was a lot to like about that run of form and he's a fine performer from tee to green.

    Back Daniel Hillier each-way @ 66/167.00

    Bet here

    Now Read: Steve Rawlings on the Singapore Classic.

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