In stark contrast to last week, when yet again the annual Summerlin birdie-fest secured a profit for the column, neither of this week's tournaments look very promising for backing outsiders.
As Steve Rawlings explains in his detailed tournament preview, the CIMB Classic and the Kuala Lumpur course in question repeatedly produce predictable champions. With that off my radar, the column must focus on the Turkish Airlines Open. An event which, in truth, I fancy short odds favourite Rory McIlroy to run away with.
Nevertheless Rory is not invincible and an outsider did win the inaugural renewal in 2013. Victor Dubuisson was an obviously top-class prospect who, despite numerous chances, had yet to win an event. Within months of that first win, he was contending at the highest level in the USA. Without predicting quite such imminent success, my sole pick's early European career has plenty of similarities.
Also Mike Norman's each-way pick, Max Kieffer is a top prospect. Throughout 2014 I kept throwing a few pennies away in search of that first win, but generally the huge odds aren't available anymore. Right up until the late summer, the 25-year-old German was a model of consistency, making every single cut and challenging several times without getting his head over the line. Rather like Dubuisson and also last year's winner Brooks Koepka.
Kieffer has gone off the boil in his last four starts, but that may just be an effect of a busy schedule. This will be his 27th start of the year, which amounts to a lot of rounds considering he made the first 22 cuts. After a fortnight off, hopefully he'll be refreshed for this pivotal closing series to the Race to Dubai.
Stats-wise, Kieffer looks very well suited to this test. He finished 18th against a much stronger field in 2013, hitting three rounds of 68 or better, and has improved markedly since. Amongst these, he ranks 12th for birdie average throughout 2014 and second for par-five performance.
The trading plan is to stake 2.5 units on Kieffer, then place lay orders at 25.024/1 and 3.02/1 with a view towards banking a profit if he shortens up to that relatively unambitious first target. If he achieves just that, we'll be guaranteed to quadruple our money whilst retaining substantial extra positions.
Back Max Kieffer 2.5u @ 160.0159/1
Place order to lay 10u @ 25.024/1
Place order to lay 20u @ 3.02/1
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