Each-Way Betting

Volvo China Open Each-Way Tips: Manassero revival can continue at 66/1

Golfer Matteo Manassero
Matteo Manassero is already a winner this year

The DP World Tour's Asian Swing concludes with this week's Volvo China Open. Swede Sebastian Soderberg heads the betting but Matt Cooper looks elsewhere for his three selections with the Betfair Sportsbook paying seven places...

  • Italy's Matteo Manassero can land a second win in 2024

  • Gavin Green fits the profile of Hidden Grace winners

  • Nacho Elvira can win again in China


China was once a regular stop for the European Tour. In fact, the circuit played in the country 65 times before travel there came to an abrupt halt at the end of 2019.

Four and a half years later the now-DP World Tour is back for the China Open and while the host is not new, its name is because what was Genzon is now known as Hidden Grace Golf Club.

Alex Levy won the China Open at the course in 2014 and Mikko Korhonen triumphed in the same event five years later.

In between, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Soomin Lee and Bernd Wiesberger claimed the Shenzhen International trophy at the venue while Haotong Li, Tommy Fleetwood and Benjamin Hebert all missed out on victory in extra holes.

There's a sense that Hidden Grace addresses both the present and the past.

Consider the website copy. It hasn't just got a lake, it's got a 1,000 acre lake. It isn't any old lake, it's an ecological one. There isn't just forest, it's a dense forest. It hasn't just got a hotel, the hotel is Shenzhen Castle. It isn't just five star, it's premium five star.

All very typical of the modern lingo for golf courses and yet the two layouts are known only as Course A and Course B - at once completely at odds with the bluster elsewhere and also very typical of China's utilitarian recent past.

Course A hosts this week, a 7,147 yard par 72 with, a little unusually in these modern times, three par-4s below 400 yards.


Main Bet: Matteo Manassero 1pt each-way @ 66/1

This week's test was designed by Neil Haworth whose work has been often used by the European and Asian Tours, and form on his courses has been a good pointer in the past.

Take the Hidden Grace winners. Wiesberger had already twice been second at Haworth's Kuala Lumpur, Aphibarnrat had been a winner and twice third at KL, Levy was just very good at Hidden Grace with a win, a fourth and an eighth.

The play-off losers? Li has two seconds on the course and a fourth, Fleetwood's near miss was one of three top three finishes there.

Consider also two players who finished third at Hidden Grace: Ross Fisher had finished second and third at Haworth's Sheshan, and Gregory Bourdy had been second and fifth at KL.

If KL is to drop another hint this week it might be the revitalised Italian Matteo Manassero.

He won at KL back in 2011, during his "first career", and he was also seventh there on defence 12 months later.

His career famously dipped from mid-2014 to late 2019 but in that period he made three cuts in three starts at Hidden Grace.

He was T29th in 2015 when seventh through 18 and 36 holes, and it was his second best finish of that year.

A year later he was T24th, and it was a first finish of better than T46th in 23 starts.

In 2017 he was T39th which means that he was 3-for-3 at finishing top 40 at Hidden Grace during a long and bleak spell when he struggled just about everywhere.

A double winner on the Challenge Tour last year, he returned to the main tour winner's circle in March in South Africa, and was fifth just two starts ago at the Indian Open.

He missed the cut last week but wasn't disgraced in carding 71-69.

There's enough to like about his case, his form - and the price is good too.

Back Matteo Manassero each-way @ 66/167.00

Bet here

Next Best: Gavin Green 1pt each-way @ 50/1

GAVIN GREEN.jpg

There is something else winners here have in common: Dom Pedro in Portugal.

Wiesberger has been third and fourth there, Korhonen and Lee have been fourth, Aphibarnrat was once fourth after 54 holes and Levy was a winner there.

Jordan Smith was a fine winner at that layout the last time it hosted the tour in 2022 but at the prices I prefer the man who was second to him - Gavin Green.

The fact he was runner-up there would not be enough on its own but he was also second at KL back in 2017 (and sixth the year before).

Those results came in low grade events but he carded a 65 to sit second after 18 holes in his only starts at the HSBC Champions at Sheshan and he was T19th at Hidden Grace in 2019.

He's also in bubbling form: two top 12s in South Africa and Kenya, a first round lead in Singapore, then fifth when second after 54 holes in India.

Back Gavin Green each-way @ 50/151.00

Bet here

Final Bet: Nacho Elvira 1pt each-way @ 50/1

I was tempted by last week's pick Connor Syme. He missed the cut after a poor second round but his first round effort had been up to the standards of the three top 10 finishes that came before.

Instead, final selection is the Spaniard Nacho Elvira who was a four-time winner on the Challenge Tour but has landed just the one victory on the main tour, in the 2021 Cazoo Open at Celtic Manor.

He has, however, been second five times and his extended extra holes defeat in Denmark last summer ought to have a reverse asterisk because he was brilliant in it.

Not only did he refuse to wilt when up against the home favourite Rasmus Hojgaard, he also withstood at least two farcical delays on the very tough 18th tee (once by a dozy member of the gallery and then again when Ross Fisher faffed about with a drop).

He was third in Doha late last year and second in Kenya this year, those results all coming in a spell of 11 four round tournaments in 12 starts.

One of his wins on the second tier came in China at Foshan and he has also enjoyed Hidden Grace.

He was T15th in 2014, eighth in 2016, T25th in 2017 and T32nd (when sixth with 18 holes to play) in 2019.

Back Nacho Elvira each-way @ 50/151.00

Bet here

Now read Steve Rawlings on the Volvo China Open.


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