Volvo Golf Champions Tips: Five each-way bets for the Durban delight

Matteo Manaserro is super accurate - a commodity that will be ultra valuable this week

The European Tour resumes this week with the first tournament of 2014, an invitation event consisting of 36 previous winners. The betting.betfair golf team have been studying hard to get their own year off to a flying start...

"An emerging star on the European Tour, Madsen impressed with his nerve when winning his maiden title at the South African Open and played three good rounds out of four the following week at Leopard Creek."

Paul Krishnamurty: Back Moren Orum Madsen @ 67.066/1

Mike Norman: Back Matteo Manassero @ 34.033/1

Whenever a relatively short course that demands accuracy is the venue then Matteo Manassero is always a name to be considered. Tim Clark, a two-time winner around Duban Country Club, isn't a huge hitter by any means, but he's deadly accurate with his irons as he proved by ranking amongst the best for Greens in Regulation during his victories. Manassero is in a similar mould. True, he's becoming longer off the tee as he matures and strengthens, but he still puts a premium on accuracy and there won't be many in the field this week more adept at finding greens in the correct number. The likeable Italian finished top-10 here last year when ranking top-seven for both Driving Accuracy and GIR but amongst the worst in the field for putting stats. A better week with the putter will surely see him go close.

Joe Dyer: Back Paul Casey @ 29.028/1

Paul Casey is a class act and I was surprised to see him as long as 29.028/1 in this week's small field. An obvious downside is Casey's lack of recent golf - he ignored the end-of-season events in South Africa and hasn't been seen on the European Tour since mid-November, but there are plenty of positives. The Englishman has just got engaged and is talking a very positive game at the moment. His stats suggest he stands a very good chance at the Durban Country Club where accuracy with irons should be paramount. Last year's 18th was nothing to write home about but it was the precursor to a good comeback season for Casey and he seemed to warm to the course after a poor start. Hopefully, Positive Paul can attack it from the outset this time round and land me an each-way winner... 

Paul Krishnamurty: Back Moren Orum Madsen @ 67.066/1

Betting in the first event of the season always involves a bit of guesswork, but one clue to be taken from last year's renewal is that it was dominated by players with pre-Christmas form in South Africa. Apart from the market leaders, that can't be said of too many but one that does fit the bill at a tasty price is Morten Orum Madsen. An emerging star on the European Tour, Madsen impressed with his nerve when winning his maiden title at the South African Open and played three good rounds out of four the following week at Leopard Creek. He may be well behind the likes of Charl Schwartzel on the world stage but this shortened line-up is less impressive than one might expect for a 'champions' event, and it may not take anything extraordinary to earn a place.

Steve Rawlings: Back Darren Clarke @ 151.0150/1

With short-priced favourite, Charl Schwartzel, trading at 3.7511/4 taking up a decent chunk of the market and with only 36 players in the field, this looks a great week to play any selection each-way and especially those priced-up at a triple-figure price. Darren Clarke has pledged his future to the PGA Tour and he's been working on getting himself a bit fitter to do his new challenge justice. Quite what state his game and condition will be in this week is anyone's guess but given he's a superb links exponent with course form already in the book (he was 22nd last year after an awful start and fourth at the 2005 South African Open), at 151.0150/1 he looks worth a small speculative play.

Dan Geraghty: Back Tommy Fleetwood @ 51.050/1

It was in South Africa in 2012 that Tommy Fleetwood saved his European Tour card with a sixth place finish at the SA Open Championship, in what was his final event of the year. Before that Fleetwood had struggled to adapt to his new career in the big leagues. However, the English youngster kicked on from that performance with an excellent 2013 campaign that saw him register his debut victory (Johnnie Walker Championship) and miss only five cuts. Fleetwood has both excellent links pedigree and form in South Africa, Durban CC's parkland links looks just the place for him to start 2014.

*A £5 E/W bet is placed on each selection on Betfair's Sportsbook where any profits are exempt from commission

2014 Proft/Loss

1. Mike Norman: -£10.00
1. Joe Dyer: -£10.00
1. Steve Rawlings: -£10.00
1. Paul Krishnamurty: -£10.00
1. Dan Geraghty: -£10.00

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