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Hong Kong Open 2017: Four outsiders to challenge on day one at Fanling

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The European Tour is back in double quick time, Dan Geraghty picks out four to follow on day one of the first event of the season, the Honk Kong Open...

"Varner finished the PGA Tour playoffs particularly strongly and is firmly on the radar in a European Tour event."

There doesn't appear any discernible advantage this week. The wind is up around 17 km/h all day and the morning starters' fresh greens advantage could be offset by the colder weather.

After a slow start to his career in Europe, Chase Koepka seems to be finding his feet. Koepka didn't join the winner's circle but hit the top 10 five times on the Challenge Tour and that was enough to claim his European Tour card for the forthcoming season. The American should draw some inspiration from his brother's dominating win in nearby Japan last week and he can make a fast start to his new job in Hong Kong.

Micah Lauren Shin won the biggest title of his young career last time out at the Manilla Masters, despite calling a two shot penalty on himself on the first hole of the final day for having 15 clubs in the bag! The 20-year-old American hasn't missed a cut in his 10 Asian Tour appearances this year, it'll be interesting to see how he goes this week.

It's nice to see one of the American's from the PGA Tour doing a bit of globetrotting. Harold Varner III was in Japan last week where he registered a top 20 finish and is taking in Hong Kong before playing in Australia. Varner finished the PGA Tour playoffs particularly strongly and is firmly on the radar in a European Tour event.

Finally, I'll include my each way selection Aaron Rai, who was in good form last time we saw him and should love the course.

Recommended Bets:

Back Chase Koepka @ 80/1
Back Micah Lauren Shin @ 110/1
Back Harold Varner III @ 66/1
Back Aaron Rai @ 55/1

Follow me on Twitter: @dangeraghty10


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