The Asian Tour takes centre stage this week where a field of 126 has been assembled for the Thailand Golf Championship. Henrik Stenson, Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia are among the star names playing, but who will the betting.betfair golf team back for a win and place?
"Charl Schwartzel has finished inside the top-seven in five of his last six outings and he’s highly likely to finish placed again here."
Mike Norman: Back Daniel Chopra @ 81.080/1
Charl Schwartzel ran away with this event last year and there's every chance of a repeat victory at Amata Spring Country Club given his current form and the lack of strength in depth in this week's field. Being realistic, there are probably only about 10-15 players here who you can give a serious chance of winning, and right at the bottom of that list would be Daniel Chopra. The Swede is no stranger to winning in Asia (two wins in Malaysia, two in India, two in Taiwan) and should be one of the first names to look out for in these lower-key tournaments in this part of the world. He finished sixth here last year when a three over par final round knocked him out of a place. I believe he's a decent price to go well again.
Joe Dyer: Back Kiradech Aphibarnrat @ 26.025/1
The secret is well and truly out on Kiradech Aphibarnrat following a string of eye-catching late season performances but I'm happy to take a chance on the up-and-coming youngster in what is a very top heavy field this week. Though he is just 26.025/1 I'd rather back this young Thai golfer in his home country against a select few big names who may not be fully tuned up or motivated to go well. Length is definitely an advantage this week and Aphibarnrat is a big boy who can hit the ball miles. Happily, he is relatively accurate to boot and the other facets of his game match up, too. My man certainly liked the track last year when finishing tied sixth. At just 24, it's impressive enough that Aphibarnrat has won a tournament (2013's Maybank Malaysian Open) and in a field lacking depth I think he offers a decent chance of landing the place money.
Steve Rawlings: Back Charl Schwartzel @ 6.05/1
Lee Westwood opened up with 60 and led all the way in the inaugural staging of this event two years ago and the only man to get close to him was runner-up, Charl Schwartzel. He returned last year to win in a hack canter by 11 strokes and he returns this time around in fine form following a decent enough sixth at Sun City last week - a venue where he doesn't always perform to his best. That result means he's now finished inside the top-seven in five of his last six outings and he's highly likely to finish placed again here.
Paul Krishnamurty: Back Prayad Marksaeng @ 81.080/1
Given the gulf in class between the leading handful and the rest, the chances are that an international star will win this tournament but we can equally expect some local favourites to contend and bag a place or two. One obvious name is Prayad Marksaeng, the second best player ever to come out of Thailand (behind Thongchai Jaidee). You can pretty much always rely on Marksaeng delivering at home. In three Thai appearances this year, he's won twice and finished third. There's a fear that, at 48, he's in decline but recent numbers are solid enough and after the heroics of Jimenez and Bjorn over the weekend, we should know that in this sport, age is just a number.
Dan Geraghty: Back Bubba Watson @ 13.012/1
For a man who needs a rest, this week's favourite Henrik Stenson is certainly putting in the air miles and I'm happy to take the Swede on with a (hopefully) fresh Bubba Watson. The colourful American hasn't travelled particularly well in the past but I'm willing to give him a chance on a course that should suit. Local favourite Aphibarnrat has played there a number of times and says "the course suits the long hitters". Indeed Watson was tied second here last year and looked to be in great form when finishing third behind Zach Johnson and Tiger Woods last week at the World Challenge - his best result in the tournament to date.