It’s finally here, after the 1st event of the season that started on January 8th 2020 we are finally at the last event of the season. After just 8 events the order of merit winner will be crowned after this event. Joohyung Kim’s now has a commanding lead after his playoff victory last week so he will be the heavy favourite to pick up the Order or Merit. Only three others have a chance of winning but they need Joohyung to miss the cut & they need to win, those three players are Wade Ormsby, Phachara Khongwatmai & Chan Shih-Chang. Wade Ormsby has opted for the DP World Tour so its only Phachara & Chan who have a chance to win.
The Singapore Open normally has a Stella field with numerous invites from the PGA & DP World tours coming over to play. However, with covid still in the back of a lot of peoples minds only Paul Casey has taken up an Invite here from the main tours. 130 players are set to take centre stage on Thursday as they all go in search of the extra purse on offer this week. Not only is the purse 250,000 USD bigger this week there are also four Open Spots up for grabs for any of top 12 not already qualified so even more incentive to play well this week.
Sentosa Golf Club hosts the Singapore Open for the 14th time having 1st hosted in 2005. The course is just a 20minute journey from last weeks course so all the players who played this week will have the luxury of not having to fly to a new destination for the upcoming week which means added practice time or recovery time which they wouldn’t normally get. The course this week is set up as a par 71 measuring a staggering 7403 so for the 2nd week running the Singapore courses will be set up to be monsters in length. When you factor in the wind that Singapore gets around this time of year the course could play even longer. You just have to look at last weeks scores & how high they were from the wind causing havoc. The 71 is made up for four par 3s, eleven par 4s & three par 5s. Ronald Fream designed the course in 1982 but it was redesigned in 2006 to add the sub air & a new enhanced irrigation system. Larger greens were created & more strategic bunkers put in to make the golfers plot their way around rather than bomb a drive & flick a wedge. As I said last week accuracy will be needed on the Scraping Course with its tree lined fairways & water in play on 10 holes. It’s a trend on all the Asian courses that the Asian tours keep playing that they are tree lined & have plenty of hazards in play on nearly every hole which is why they are so accurate when they move onto the PGA & DP World Tour.
2020 – Matt Kuchar -18 10-1
2019 – Jazz Janewattananond -18 25-1
2018 – Sergio Garcia -14 8-1
2017 – Prayed Marksaeng -9 250-1
2016 – Young Han Song -12 80-1
Phachara Khongwatmai 16-1 PaddyPower 6 Places
Phachara finished T16 last week at the Singapore International which was a great result considering the conditions they were playing in. A final round 2 under par 70 was one of the best rounds recorded on Sunday. That finish gave him a slight chance of winning to Order of merit & he comes to a course where he has had some great finishes in the past. A 2nd place in 2017 & 18th in 2019 show he is more than capable to scoring well around here. His form over the past few months has been nothing short of sublime, bar his withdrawal at the Singha Classic he hasn’t finished worse than T16 with three wins, one 2nd & one 3rd place finish.
Ratchanon Chantananuwat 28-1 Bet365 5 Places
The 14 year old Sensation is slowly taking the Asia tour by storm, on his 1st event outside of his home country of Thailand he finished a remarkable 3rd place. He shot 75 in the 1st round & in an interview on Friday he said he had heatstroke & wasn’t anywhere near 100% Health. For a 14 year old to play so well on a course that made some players look very foolish is incredible, the sky really is the limit for the kid. He has also said that he’s is hoping for another good week this week as he aims to qualify for the Open by finishing as one of the top 4 not already exempt.
Travis Smyth 55-1 PaddyPower 6 Places
Travis has had a solid last 3 events on the Asia tour, he has finished 48-24-10. He has appeared in this event before & has finished 11 & 24. In those eight rounds he has only shot over par once with a 72 +1 the remaining seven rounds he has shot 2 rounds of par & 5 in the 60s so he is more than capable of putting in some good numbers this week. Last weeks Tournament will of helped his get used to the conditions especially the wind & any weaknesses or improvements he found he can work on earlier than usual with him staying within touching distance of last weeks course this week.
Chen Guxin 150-1 Skybet 5 Places
I’m giving Chen another go this week, last weeks playing conditions were brutal but he will of learned plenty from it & have some ideas on what to work on pre event. The 18 year old will want to replicate the form of Joohyung & Ratchanon & put his name on the list of teens to keep an eye on in the coming years. He only missed the cut by one shot last week after shooting 74 & 78. I think there will still be plenty of positives for him to take forward this season from last weeks Missed cut..
All odds correct as of 18:00 Tuesday 18th Jan
Good luck with all bets
Ryan Hamilton @Golftipster5