DP World Tour Singapore Classic: Bernd backed at 74/1

Golfer Bernd Wiesberger
Bernd Wiesberger - fancied ny The Punter in Singapore

The DP World Tour resumes after a week off with the second edition of the Singapore Classic and our man's here with the lowdown ahead of Thursday's start here.

  • Look to Qatar for clues

  • Will Scrambling be the key stat again?

  • Read my Valspar Championship preview here!


  • Tournament History

    After a week off following the conclusion of the International Swing at the Jonsson Workwear Open in South Africa, the DP World Tour returns on Thursday with the first event on the Asian Swing - the Porsche Singapore Classic.

    This is only the second of edition of the event, but we return to last year's venue, the Classic Course at Laguna, where outsider, Ockie Strydom, came from off the pace to win the inaugural edition in February last year.

    Venue

    Classic Course, Laguna National Golf and Country Club, Tampines, Singapore

    Course Details

    Par 72, 7,420 yards

    Stroke Average in 2023 - 70.71

    Laguna National hosted the now defunct Singapore Masters on the DP World Tour between 2002 and 2007 (the inaugural edition in 2021 was staged at Singapore Island Golf course) and it was also used for the final edition of the Ballantine's Championship in 2014. Chile's Felipe Agular shot 28 on the back nine to win by a stroke that year, having trailed by four with a round to go, but both events were staged on the Masters Course.

    This week's tournament is being staged at the Classic Course - known locally as 'The Beast' - so it's debatable whether any of that old form is worth consideration.

    laguna national the beast.jpg

    Described on Laguna's website as visually stimulating and refreshingly bold in its presentation, the Classic has a reputation as one of the most difficult and dramatic tests of golf in Asia, but Strydom didn't find it too taxing given he amassed a winning score of 19-under-par.

    The Classic Course features 146 bunkers, undulating platinum paspalum putting surfaces and five water features.

    This article posted on the DP World Tour website before last year's edition, describing all 18 holes, is well worth a read.


    Weather Forecast


    TV Coverage

    Live on Sky Sports all four days, starting at 5:00 (UK Time) on Thursday

    Inaugural Winner with Pre-event Price

    • 2023 - Ockie Strydom -19 120.0119/1

    What Will it Take to Win the Singapore Classic?

    With only one edition to evaluate, we're operating in the dark to a certain extent but for what's worth, here's the top-five with all the traditional stats for last year's inaugural staging.

    • Ockie Strydom -19 DD 32 DA 22 GIR 10 SC 9 PA 22
    • Sami Valimaki - 18 DD 10 DA 31 GIR 4 SC 36 PA 16
    • Alejandro Del Rey -15 DD 1 DA 59 GIR 55 SC 22 PA 17
    • Marcel Schneider -15 DD 37 DA 11 GIR 20 SC 4 PA 29
    • Jeunghun Wang -15 DD 47 DA 7 GIR 40 SC 7 PA 37

    • DD - Driving Distance
    • DA - Driving Accuracy
    • GIR - Greens In Regulation
    • SC - Scrambling
    • PA - Putting Average

    And here they are again with the Strokes Gained stats

    • Ockie Strydom -19 SG: T 39 SG: APP 2 SG: ATG 5 SG: T2G 2 SG: P 58
    • Sami Valimaki - 18 SG: T 12 SG: APP 13 SG: ATG 53 SG: T2G 11 SG: P 9
    • Alejandro Del Rey -15 SG: T 13 SG: APP 25 SG: ATG 33 SG: T2G 14 SG: P 20
    • Marcel Schneider -15 SG: T 24 SG: APP 33 SG: ATG 4 SG: T2G 7 SG: P 28
    • Jeunghun Wang -15 SG: T 16 SG: APP 28 SG: ATG 1 SG: T2G 3 SG: P 57

    • SG: T - SG: Tee
    • SG: APP - SG: Approach
    • SG: ATG - SG: Around the Green
    • SG: T2G - SG: Tee to Green
    • SG: P - SG: Putting

    And here's the incoming form for the top five.

    • Ockie Strydom 1-W-63-MC-MC
    • Sami Valimaki 58-11-10-MC-MC
    • Alejandro Del Rey 30-23-MC-MC-28
    • Marcel Schneider 23-34-MC-75-19
    • Jeunghun Wang 48-MC-MC-28-MC

    Strong current form proved an irrelevance last year, with the first and second both missing their two previous cuts, although the winner, Strydom, had won the Alfred Dunhill at Leopard Creek two months earlier and the runner-up, Sami Valimaki, had finished second in the Joburg Open just over two months previous.

    OCKIE STRYDOM Singapore.jpg

    Scrambling and SG: Around the Green were the most important stats and strong putting wasn't essential but with only one renewal to go on, how much credence we can give any of the stats is debatable.

    Is There an Angle In?

    The top-five last year contained two players that have won the Qatar Masters at Doha - Sami Valimaki and Jeunghun Wang - and that's probably not coincidental.

    Although the greens at Doha were still Bermuda when Wang won there, they were still grainy and tricky to read, much like the paspalum greens are here.

    Valimaki won at Doha last year, after the greens were changed from Bermuda to paspalum, and you may recall him finishing second at the end of last month at the Mexico Open on the PGA Tour, around another course with paspalum greens.

    He also won the Oman Open back in 2010, around yet another layout with paspalum dancefloors, so that's probably our best angle in.

    Sami valimaki at the Czech masters.jpg

    The Ras Al Khaimah Championship and the Mauritius Open, staged at the end of last year, and February's inaugural Bahrain Championship, are three events staged on courses with paspalum greens.

    Having played the vast majority of his golf on grainy putting surfaces in his homeland, the winner, Strydom, was clearly at home on the greens and it wouldn't be a huge surprise to see another South African win this time around.

    Knowing we're likely to experience hot, humid, and sticky conditions with bumpy unpredictable greens, it may pay to concentrate on the more experienced players as well as the South African contingent. Those with experience of playing under such circumstances on the Asian Tour should be advantaged.

    In-Play Tactics

    There was all sorts of drama at last year's event - although a dramatic finale was always possible with 15 players within four of the lead with a round to go.

    The winner had trailed by seven after rounds one and two and he was still four adrift after 54 holes and outside the top-ten but he won cosily in the end, having been matched at 1000.0999/1 during his opening round.

    Spain's Alejandro Del Rey was matched at 2.01/1 when he had led by three strokes after a fast start to round four and Valimaki hit a low of just 1.21/5 when he subsequently led by three, but it was Strydom that finished the event the strongest, birdying four of the last six holes.

    If you plan to trade any of your positions, it may make sense to do so in-between rounds given the event will played out throughout the early hours in the UK and liquidity won't be great in-play.

    Market Leaders

    After three strong performances in Florida, Shane Lowry heads the market but I'm more than happy to swerve him.

    Having contended strongly at both the Cognizant Classic and the Arnold Palmer Invitational, where he finished fourth and third, the Irishman tidied things up nicely at Sawgrass with a 66 on Sunday. He finished inside the top-20 after a slow start.

    He's clearly playing well but he's been on the go for three weeks in-a-row and it wouldn't be a huge surprise to see him turn up in Singapore feeling a bit jaded.

    Matt Cooper is keen on the chances of the second favourite, Paul Casey, and I'm in complete agreement.

    He's been in fair form on the Liv Golf circuit of late, he won the Volvo Golf Champions event in Bahrain on paspalum greens way back in 2011 and on the last 11 occasions he's played on a course with those greens, he's finished inside the top-12 seven times.

    He should arrive a bit fresher than Lowry, having lost a playoff at the Liv Golf Hong Kong event two weeks ago, and he's fairly priced at 16.015/1.

    It's a bit strange to see Matthieu Pavon trading at less than 20/121.00 after years of struggle on the DP World Tour but he's a winner on the PGA Tour now. He won the Farmers Insurance Open in January and he was sixth here last year.

    He's lost his way a bit of late, though, producing form figures of 28-52-MC on the Florida Swing and he's very easy to swerve.

    Selections

    I couldn't leave Paul Casey out at 16.015/1 and I thought there was a bit of value on another player to have dipped his toe in the murky Liv Golf pool - Bernd Wiesberger.

    Back Paul Casey @ 16.015/1

    Bet here

    The 38-year-old Austrian is an eight-time winner on the DP World Tour and he has a great record on paspalum greens - winning twice, finishing runner-up three times and third once, at the Qatar Masters.

    Since returning to the DP World Tour, he's finished 21st in the Dubai Desert Classic, 37th at the Ras Al Khaimah Championship and 16th last time out in Bahrain, where he ranked number one for Strokes Gained: Around the Green.

    He's ranked inside the top-11 for Greens In Regulation in four of his last five starts and and has drifted to a very backable price at 75.074/1.

    Back Bernd Wiesberger @ 75.074/1

    Bet here

    His first DP World Tour victory was in Korea and he's also tasted victory in Indonesia and China so he has a decent record when he heads out East.


    Read my Valspar Championship preview here


    *You can follow me on Twitter @SteveThePunter


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