The conditions this week might well suit Antoine Rozner
Rafa Cabrera Bello can build on recent results
Asian specialist John Catlin can pounce
The DP World Tour is back at Laguna National Golf Resort Club in Singapore but, as Steve Rawlings warns in his preview, this week's course is not the one used when Felipe Aguilar won The Championship in 2014 or when Nick Dougherty and Colin Montgomerie were among the winners of the Caltex Masters.
That layout (The Masters) was dubbed 'The Grand Old Lady' by the club's website, while it refers to this week's test (The Classic) as 'The Beast'.
What seems apparent from photos - and bear in mind these can be deceptive - is that the greens on the two tracks appear somewhat different. The Masters was narrower from the tee with flatter greens. In contrast, there seems space from the tee on The Classic but the greens seem to have significant sloping.
Further investigation reveals that the nicknames on this course proliferate. Some have dubbed it 'Asia's Toughest Test', others 'The Remarkable One'.
According to the Top 100 Golf Courses website it has one green "said to be the smallest in Asian golf" and another "reputed to be the largest on the continent". It also notes that many of the putting surfaces have "three or more tiers".
Rolling terrain typifies the entire plot, but it is that produced by diggers rather than nature - the visuals are very modern.
We should also factor in conditions: Singapore is hot, humid, sticky and has grainy greens.
The column had a good Desert Swing, let's hope for more of the same over the next three weeks of action in Asia.
Even back when playing at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Frenchman Antoine Rozner was dropping hints that he liked playing resort-style courses.
Principally that came when he won back-to-back Desert Shootouts in Arizona and the theme has been maintained into his professional career.
The first time he contended on the second tier? It was when second at Morgado Resort in the 2018 Open de Portugal.
The first time he contended on the DP World Tour? When seventh at Four Seasons in the same year's Mauritius Open.
The first time he made a play-off on the main tour? When second in the 2019 Mauritius Open at Heritage.
His first win at the top level was at Jumeirah's Fire Course in the 2020 Golf in Dubai Championship and within weeks he'd added the Qatar Masters at Education City.
He's been fourth again at Fire, eighth at Dom Pedro in the Portugal Masters and then finally won the Mauritius Open last December at Mont Choisy.
Those are really solid returns on modern courses that look like this week's challenge and in performing so well in Mauritius (on three different courses) he has proved he can cope with heat, sticky conditions and grainy greens.
An added bonus? He turns 30 on Sunday. He might well land himself the perfect present.
At his best Rafa Cabrera Bello would still be on the PGA Tour but, aside from that detail, he would also be a shorter price this week.
He gets on the team because in two of the last three weeks he's played very nicely and now heads to a part of the world which he has enjoyed in the past.
That form takes in 10th at Yas Links in the year-opening Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship and, after a missed cut at the Dubai Desert Classic, he added 13th at the Ras al Khaimah Championship.
In this part of the world he has top five finishes at New Kuta in Indonesia, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia (where he has multiple good finishes), Pinx in South Korea, DLF (Player) in India and two in Hong Kong.
He also has top 20s at Sentosa in Singapore and DLF (Palmer) in India.
He showed when winning the Open de Espana in late 2021 that when he finds his A game he can win and this week offers that chance.
It's also worth noting that in his two top 15s this last few weeks his Strokes Gained Tee to Green numbers have been the best he has produced, bar one week at Wentworth last year, since that win - and his SG Putting figures were his best in a year.
For the final pick, I'm in agreement with Steve who highlighted the chances of the American John Catlin who is a very experienced performer in Asia.
He was a two-time winner on the Asian Tour's second tier (in Malaysia and Indonesia) and added four more titles on the main tour in China, Malaysia, Taiwan and Thailand.
Since then he's added three wins on the DP World Tour (one of them backed by this column) and I like that his short game is excellent - it might well prove vital around these interesting greens.
There might be concerns that his Desert Swing returns were average (60-59-MC) but take heart that back in 2019 he was struggling on the DP World Tour but ventured back east and recorded a third and first in Thailand.
Give him the right conditions and the Cat can pounce.
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