Looking for an outsider at this week's World Golf Championship? Paul Krishnamurty recommends a staking plan that means you could bank a profit without any of your selections ever trading in single figures...
"A red-hot short game is essential to thrive at Doral and there are few better in that regard than Manassero. 23rd on last year's debut was a fair effort considering the massive disadvantage in terms of course experience."
So far as the prospects of this column are concerned, I'm split between optimism and pessimism about this week's annual WGC event. On the one hand, a field of this quality always means we've got a stack of top-class, proven winners at bigger odds than usual to choose from. On the other, since moving to Doral, the WGC-CA Championship is one of the events least likely to produce a shock winner. All previous champions were well short of our triple-figure price range and only three such outsiders registered top-five finishes in the last five renewals. Notably, all were European - Francesco Molinari, Anders Hansen and Oliver Wilson.
Of that trio, only Molinari is in this year's line-up and the Italian looks a solid trade once again at 150.0149/1 around a course that he clearly likes. I've argued before that Molinari has the game to pop up at huge odds in a major but his form on those tougher courses is nothing compared to WGC events. Winning the HSBC Champions Trophy remains the pinnacle of his career to date and he has never played badly at Doral. In four attempts, he's made the top-14 three times, including that third place in 2011. His worst result, a middling 28th last year, was no disgrace after a disastrous opening 78. There are numerous much bigger names, at a fraction of these odds, with much inferior Doral records.
Fellow Italian Matteo Manassero also appeals at 200.0199/1 following a couple of eye-catching performances. We know from his Race to Dubai form that Manny, still remarkably only 20, is capable of challenging at the very highest level when on song. He's drifted back into regular mid-division since winning last year's elite BMW PGA Championship but a fast finishing 12th at the Honda Classic was encouraging, as was his thrashing of Luke Donald at the World Match Play. A red-hot short game is essential to thrive at Doral and there are few better in that regard than Manassero. Finishing 23rd on last year's debut was a fair effort considering the massive disadvantage in terms of course experience.
The trading plan is to stake 3.5 units in total on the pair, then place lay orders at 12.011/1 and 3.02/1, with a view towards banking some profit. Should either man hit the first target, we'll be guaranteed at least 11.5 units profit.
Back Francesco Molinari 2u @ 150.0149/1
Back Matteo Manassero 1.5u @ 200.0199/1
Place order to lay both players 15u @ 12.011/1
Place order to lay both players 20u @ 3.02/1
Updated 2014 Stats: +17.5 units