In China, a bombers' paradise will suit Shinkwin
Back Callum Shinkwin 1u @ 300.0299/1
Place order to lay 6u @ 25.024/1
Place order to lay 10u @ 8.07/1
Considering that two of the three course winners in this week's Shenzhen International started the week at huge odds, there is obviously plenty of potential for finding another. The problem, to be honest, is that nobody really makes that much appeal. Frustratingly, my each-way pick Lucas Bjerregaard is just below our range at 80.079/1.
Especially with rain forecast throughout the week, this Genzon layout looks like a bombers' paradise. Relatively generous fairways, non-penal rough, four par-fives and soft greens mean it will be hard for shorter hitters to keep up with the scoring. These are also the sort of conditions where world-class players make hay and I suspect one or two will do so and pull away.
One outsider who that should help is Callum Shinkwin, whose 300.0299/1 odds are rarely seen and may soon be unimaginable. Last summer he went off at less than half that for the Open Championship! He's yet to win and reward his numerous followers but this long-hitting, high-class ball-striker remains a top prospect. Perseverance is required!
There's a big worry that he only returned from an injury last week and missed the cut but, if all is now well, Shinkwin has proper claims at this course. He hit 62 here last year to sit second going into Sunday, before collapsing under the pressure. Since then he's made six top-25s, including at the high-class Scottish, Irish and French Opens, plus the Abu Dhabi Championship.
Given the doubts, I'm keeping stakes very small here with a back to lay. If he shortens to the lay target at 25.024/1, we'll make five times our initial layout.
Scrambling is the key skill to follow at San Antonio
Back Cameron Smith 1 unit each-way @ 110/1
Designed by Greg Norman and inspired by the Melbourne sand-belt layout, the Australian connection with San Antonio GC is well known. It is always worth checking out their players in this event, as former champions Steven Bowditch and Adam Scott demonstrate.
This looks a good opportunity to back one of their number who is widely tipped for stardom, yet still looking for his first win. Cameron Smith has consistently challenged and been runner-up in Aussie triple-crown events and placed in a US Open, but his PGA Tour figures are consistently mid-division. It is only a matter of time before he puts four good rounds together and contends.
Another positive is Smith's short game, ranking fifth among this field for strokes gained around the green. Look through past San Antonio leaderboards and you will find a series of journeymen outsiders whose common forte is scrambling. For example Chad Collins, Cameron Tringale or even course specialist Daniel Summerhays. This could be the best angle in.
Back Brian Gay 2u @ 250.0249/1
Place order to lay 10u @ 30.029/1
Place order to lay 10u @ 10.09/1
Back Brian Gay for a Top 20 Finish 1u @ 8.07/1
With the same logic in mind, here's another player best-known for his short game prowess. Brian Gay is Texan and was fourth here in 2012. The four-time PGA Tour winner disappeared from the scene after needing back surgery a couple of years ago, but is still an occasional contender - at least when conditions suit. He was sixth last week at The Heritage (where he is a former champion) and also 13th at the Sony Open, which Steve Rawlings identifies a useful correlation with this event.
In this case, the plan is a back to lay, setting two lay targets at 30.029/1 and 10.09/1 to secure a profit. Also, Gay is worth an interest at 7-1 for a Top 20 Finish.
Finally as always, a mention for those outsiders that failed to make our cut. Tim Wilkinson tops those strokes gained stats and is in much better form than ahead of previous visits. There are worse 500.0499/1 bets. Tringale's course form is worth a second look. And Dave Tindall's 200/1 each-way pick John Peterson also appeared on my radar. After landing another big-price touch with 66/1 Wes Bryan, Dave is on fire!
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