Shih Chang Chan won the 1st event back on the Asian Tour after a 19-month period of no golf on tour. Chan winning for the 1st time in over 1800 days claiming his 3rd tour victory. This week the Asian tour moves 30minutes down route 402 in Phuket from Blue Canyon to Laguna Golf Phuket. Golfers will be eager to climb up the order of merit with the tour ending in just 3 events time. The sprint to the finish concludes with 2 events in the new year which will be held in Singapore. Wade Ormsby will be keen to hold onto the current No 1 position in the rankings but just one victory can project anybody into the top 10 or into the lead.
Laguna Golf Club is situated on the west coast of Phuket, Thailand & was redesigned by Paul Jansen in 2014 with the intention to make the golfer think their way around the course rather than just bomb it round. Water is in play on 14 of the 18 holes whether it be down the sides of the fairways or meandering its way through the undulating fairways, there is plenty of opportunity for some lost balls. The course redesign removed half the bunkers & strategically placed the current & new ones to catch the errand shots. Most of the greens are multi-tier & have huge run off areas so accuracy in the approach play will be a must to putting in some low numbers. The course is used by its members as a par 71 but this week will play as a par 70 measuring 6770 which sounds short, but the tree lined fairways & water means you can’t overpower the course & will need to have a plan A & Plan B on each hole to get the best results. The scorecard is made up of 5 par 3s, 10 par 4s & 3 par 5s.
Previous Visits on other tours
The Laguna course is making its debut this week on the Asian Tour however since 2017 it has held the Singha Phuket Open on the All-Thailand Tour most recently just 8 weeks ago where Sadom Kaewkanjana claimed his 3rd career win & his 1st of 3 wins in a 4-week period. Also, worth a note finishing 2nd that week was Ratchanon Chantananuwat. For anyone not familiar with him you will be in the years to come, he’s only 14 years old & already mixing it with the stars in Thailand & last week making the cut on the Asian tour on debut.
Top 10 leader board for the last 5 years
Sadom Kaewkanjana 10-1 Paddy Power 6 Places
Sadom is the best golfer out of Thailand currently. His recent form on the Allthailand & Asian tour is staggering. In his last 5 starts he has finished 2-1-1-2-1. He has played against a total of 710 golfers in those 5 starts & only lost to 2 of them. Even at the short price he is I can’t bet against him this week especially after he won on this track just a few weeks ago. Sadom has the accuracy to get the ball in position his week hitting 74.1% of greens this season & to go with that hits 75.93% of greens in regulation. A must play this week.
Kosuke Hamamoto 30-1 Paddy Power 6 Places
Kosuke is another player in fine form recently. 5 top 20 finishes in a row has him 10th in the All Thailand Order of merit & with the 15th finish last week places him 11th on the Asian tour order of merit. Kosuke like Sadom is a very accurate player of the tee hitting 74.74% of fairways & 74.21% Greens in regulation. He is still yet to win in 51 starts but a win is incoming, he’s had 17 top 10s 4 of them being 2nd place finishes. His last 3 starts on this track he has finished 16th 5th & 19th so plenty of course knowledge there. His current from reads 15-5-9-7-9
Ian Snyman 50-1 Paddy Power 6 Places
Ian had a nice debut on tour last week with a T21 finish. He has dominated the development tour in South Africa this year winning 5 out of 16 events finishing in the top 10 on 6 other occasions. Ian hit 69.44% of green last week & hit 67% of fairways which accumulated in an excellent first round 66 followed by a 72 70 & 70. The 26 year will look to add to his impressive 2021 resume in one of the last events of the year. His current form reads 21-16-1-4-20
Taehoon Ok 150-1 Paddy Power 6 Places
Taehoon finally got to play on the Asian Tour after qualifying via Q school back in January 2019 & finished with a sold 10th place finish. The Asian Tour Rookie shot 3 rounds in the 60s on the way to final score of -13. He hit over 70% of greens & 75% of fairways last week so will look to bring that accuracy to Laguna golf club this week. He has come close to a breakthrough win on the Korean tour this year with a 2nd & a 3rd place finish so let’s hope he can go one better this week. His current form reads 10-33-16-MC-47
Wongsakorn Pikunsawat 500-1 Boyle Sports 6 Places
With so many unknown players to the majority of the betters & even the bookie this week there is plenty of value to be had on the bigger numbers again like last week. Pikunsawat at 500s I’m more than happy to have a dabble on. Since the Allthailand tour restarted he has made every cut & his best finish was on this course for the Singha Laguna Phuket Open where he finished 10th. His fairways & Greens in Regulation percentages are ranked outside the top 100 with 55% but he ranks as one of the better putters in Thailand ranking 30th or better in putts per round & putts per GIR.
Ratchanon Chantananuwat 55-1 Paddy Power 6 Place
The boy wonder of Thailand made an excellent start to his Asian Tour career last week with a T15 finish & the round of the day on Sunday with a 65. He finished 2nd at this course a few weeks ago & also as a 13-year-old he finished 17th. If Thailand ever needed someone to win a major this could be the man to do so.
Itthipat Buranatanyarat 500-1 Paddy Power 6 Places
Another big number for a guy with fantastic course form. A 9th in 2018, 6th in 2019 & a 17th in 2020 shows he’s knows how to get around this place. He didn’t play the event in 2021 & looks to of struggled this season missing 9/14 cuts but a familiar track this week might give him so optimism to find his game again. He is a 3-time winner before, so he has the game he just needs some confidence.
Good Luck with all Bets