With bigger events in the States every week, February is never a vintage month on the Race to Dubai and the Thailand Classic is a typical case in point. There are plenty of decent types from both the European and Asian Tours but, with the greatest of respect to capable market leader Alex Noren, nobody one could truly describe as world-class.
It shouldn't take that much winning and, with quite distinct conditions, not many players stand out as meeting all the right criteria. It's rather surprising, therefore, to find two fairly confident picks within our triple figure price range.
Past results at Black Mountain suggest four things. Asian Tour players are at an advantage. Driving distance is important, good putting essential. Finally, as this course is very exposed, good ball-striking in windy conditions is likely to be important. Both picks tick all of these boxes. Both are also Aussies.
First a little-known prospect, Nathan Holman, at odds of 120.0119/1. I was alerted to Holman's potential by an Australian friend, who spotted him playing really well in tough, windy conditions during their Open, where he made the top-ten. Since then he's finished third in the Indonesian Open and a fast-finishing 11th at last week's, higher-class, Malaysian Open. The 23-year-old enjoyed a successful amateur career, hits it very long and is clearly one to watch.
Secondly, a man who has already won a co-sanctioned event at the 2010 Avantha Masters. Andrew Dodt is a proficient performer on this tour, finishing runner-up in the recent Kings Cup and top-15 on both previous visits to Black Mountain. Dodt is also my selection for our each-way column.
The trading advice is to stake four units in total on the pair, then place lay orders on both at 10.09/1 and 3.02/1, with a view towards banking a profit in-running. Should either hit the first target, we'll be guaranteed to at least quadruple our money.
Back Nathan Holman 2u @ 120.0119/1
Back Andrew Dodt 2u @ 130.0129/1
Place order to lay both players 16u @ 10.09/1
Place order to lay both players 20u @ 3.02/1