The European Tour enjoys its second successive tournament in Asia as the Volvo China Open takes centre stage this week, and the betting.betfair golf team have come up with their usual quintet of each-way selections for you to consider...
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*Each-way terms: ¼ odds, 5 places
Dan Geraghty: Back Rhein Gibson @ 101.0100/1
Not all of tomorrow's stars will have as blessed a route to golf's top table as recent Masters victor Jordan Spieth, who managed to wrap up his PGA tour card on the back of sponsor exemptions in 2013. Brooks Koepka's worldwide route to the top 50 is well documented and like Koepka, Rhein Gibson has led a nomadic lifestyle in his quest to reach the top; playing numerous events in Australia, Asia and Europe before securing his Web.com card for this year, a year that should be his route to a 2015/16 PGA tour card (he currently sits 18th in the standings, 25 qualify). The similarites with Koepka don't end there; Gibson also combines huge hitting with relentless putting and his scoring power is frankly, phenomenal, as evidenced by the world record 55 he shot in 2012. However, Gibson is no gimmick golfer, he has numerous fine results to his name, including a fourth place finish in China (2013 China Masters). I'm happy to chance the power hitter at triple figure odds on a rain softened course.
Paul Krishnamurty: Back Romain Wattel @ 28.027/1
Followers of Romain Wattel have endured an extremely frustrating wait for this much-touted prospect's first win, but the young Frenchman has the perfect credentials for this test. Long and fairly straight off the tee, often prolific on the greens, Wattel should love these conditions, especially if the greens prove to be receptive following wet weather. Not so long ago, Wattel was regarded as the best up and coming Frenchman, so it must be galling for him to see Victor Dubuisson, Julien Quesne and Gary Stal all beat him to the breakthrough win. It must come soon, and having finished runner-up on his penultimate start, it could be imminent.
Joe Dyer: Back Chris Wood @ 51.050/1
Chris Wood has suffered with injuries more than most but this high-class player looks to be pain-free according to recent results and is of interest at a decent price this week. A deft putter, Wood was ranked first for putts per round at last week's Shenzhen International where he finished 29th after closing with a pair of 69s over the weekend. His last outing prior to that was a tied third at the Trophee Hassan and I am hopeful the 27-year-old is coming into form off the back of 2015's light schedule. Woods' 2015 stats suggest he is lacking a bit of length off the tee, but with increased accuracy. That sort of game should carve out opportunities to do plenty of damage with his putter and in a likely birdie-fest his skill on the greens could make all the difference.
Steven Rawlings: Back Scott Hend @ 41.040/1
As detailed in my preview, I'm not so sure accuracy is going to be as vital as others believe it will be. After a period of wet weather, the big-hitters may fare better than the short accurate types on what should be a damp course, especially given the European Tour website describes the fairways as being of generous width. With all that in mind, I'm going to give Scott Hend another try. He's not the most reliable in-contention but in two visits to the course (in the BMW Asian Open) he's finished third and ninth here and after a competitive performance in China last week, he could very easily figure again here.
Mike Norman: Back Richard Green @ 51.050/1
Like Steve, I'm going for an Aussie. But that's just about where the similarities end. Richard Green isn't especially long off the tee but I'm not convinced that's going to make a huge difference this week. There won't be many players in the field who will be able to reach all the par 5s in two on this damp course, and with six of the 10 par 4s measuring no longer than 414 yards I'm happy to have a shorter, more accurate type on side. And in Green we have a very reliable flat stick player who ranks extremely high on the European Tour's three key Putting stats. He's also in decent form too, making the cut in all five events in 2015 and finishing inside the top 30 on four occasions (his other finish being 38th).
2015 P/L (£5 e/w per selection)
Year to date P/L: +£495.41
- US Masters, Paul Casey @ 66/1 - PLACE (Romilly)
- Thailand Classic, Andrew Dodt @ 100/1 - WON (Paul)
- Malaysian Open, Anirban Lahiri @ 66/1 - WON (Dan)
- DD Classic, Stephen Gallacher @ 25/1 - PLACE (Steve)
*Total P/L for 2014: +£251.75