It was a frustrating week as both Horsey and Levy sat in the top 10 after the first round but both went backwards over the weekend and there were no returns as the much fancied Sharma flew through the field on Sunday with a brilliant 62 to take the title. Normally I’d be looking to dust myself down and get straight back into it but this week’s Tournament is hardly one to get too excited about.
While I enjoyed watching the quirky format last year, it’s not really much of a betting heat and therefore I wouldn’t advise getting too involved in the outright market stake-wise but it is a fun tournament to have an interest in. They play 36 holes as normal before the regular weekend cut but following that only one more round is played by everyone prior to the top 24 stroke-play scores coming back on Sunday for knock-out match play over 6 hole contests. I think the biggest drawback about this event is its location, flying to Australia for a somewhat novelty tournament is quite an effort and had they tried this first somewhere in Europe then the Tour may have managed to attract a better field.
As it is we have another fairly mediocre field gathered in Perth and there isn’t a lot for the casual fan to get excited about with Lee Westwood and Thorbjorn Olesen among the seven or eight favourites as the bookies struggle to separate them.
The course is Lake Karrinyup in Perth which was also used for the 4 stroke-play events prior to last year’s inaugural Super Sixes. Given how much luck was involved in the short format match play last year, I think all we can do is focus on players that will be suited to the course or have gone well on it before. They will have the best chance of making the top 24 and that is really all we can do.
It’s a tree-lined, undulating links type course that plays hard and fast but the trees are laid back plenty and the driving lines aren’t overly tight but the approaches can be blocked out. It’s a 2nd shot course without doubt but the greens got baked out last year as the weekend wore on and perhaps it was no coincidence that short game wizard Brett Rumford came out on top.
Course suitability/form, good current form with the irons and a sharp short game looks the way to approach this.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat is by rights the 2nd best player in this field (World Ranking 55th) so I see no reason for him not to be stand out favourite. Indeed the only player above him is Kodaira who is there due to his unrelenting consistency in Asia rather than prolific form in the top grade. Therefore he looks a must bet, it’s that simple with the powerful Thai this week for me. His recent form is pretty solid and despite playing in his favoured Asia conditions last week, he couldn’t get to grips with the terrible greens. He did rank 1st in GIR though which is crucial at Lake Karrinyup. While match play pedigree only comes into play on the Sunday, Kiradech has that too, particularly in this sort of field. He won the first running of the Paul Lawrie Match Play at Murcar Links in Aberdeen and with the links style set-up at Lake Karrinyup he should take to it well. While there wouldn’t be any value in taking a single figure price about anyone in an event such as this, Aphibarnrat’s class should show over the first three days and the main goal here is to back a player that will make it to Sunday.
I’ve successfully backed Perth native Jason Scrivener in this the last two years (3rd and 3rd) and he absolutely loves the course, unfortunately the bookies are all onto him this time and he joins the head of the market at 25/1. Had he not disappointed me last week I would probably have made him a very confident pick but as it is I will just have a more cautious bet on him. Scrivener loves the hard and fast nature of the course and that’s when we see both his approaches and short game at their best. Two weeks ago he finished 6th in Dubai and that course is similar. I can’t leave him out.
Connor Syme missed the cut by one shot last time out for the blog but he played his last 10 holes in -5 and returning to Australia I like his chances in this low grade on a links type course. He won the Australian Amateur over in Melbourne where the conditions are similar and having had a decent Amateur career he is used to the match play format. If he can make it to Sunday he might provide us with a big price interest. I did want to split stakes between the each way market and the top 24 stroke-play market but I’m struggling to find the latter market anywhere for a price so it will just have to be the more speculative each way punt.
I was planning on having just the three bets but then I noticed Alejandro Canizares was playing and I don’t think he should really be double the price of some of these favourites. Canizares was 3rd at the course back in 2012 and his excellent scrambling skills will serve him well. As will his decent match play form in recent years at this level, he has finished 4th and 5th at the Paul Lawrie Match Play event. The Spaniard hasn’t done too much lately but at is best he would be towards the head of the market and with the course suiting I think he looks worth chancing here.
So despite the event looking like absolute pot-luck I’ve still managed to find 4 players to back! Not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing……
Kiradech Aphibarnrat – 0.75pt ew @ 25/1 (1/4 odds 4 places)
Jason Scrivener – 0.75pt ew @ 25/1 (1/4 odds 4 places)
Connor Syme – 0.5pt ew @ 150/1 (1/4 odds 4 places)
Alejandro Canizares – 0.5pt ew (1/4 odds 4 places) @ 50/1
Weekly pts advised = 5pts
Total 2018 pts advised = 35pts
Total returns = 9pts