It doesn’t seem that long ago when Anna Nordqvist was winning the last major of 2021 with the Open Championship. Just 13 events have passed since the last major was held & they have all been dominated by Jin Young Ko who has won 5 of those events so rightly comes into the event world no1. This event is known to most as the ANA but was renamed under the new sponsorship this year & is now known as The Chevron championship. Mission Hills in California is hosting at its Dinah Shore Tournament course for the 40th time as a major championship. Who will be taking the leap into Poppies Pong on Sunday afternoon to Join the illustrious names that have won here before?
Mission Hills in California is the destination this week with the Dinah Shore Tournament Course the venue. The Desmond Muirhead designed course is a par 72 measuring 6865 yards made up of four par 3s, ten par 4s & four par 5s. A long parkland course which can be very challenging if the wind gets up which luckily this week it’s not currently forecast to so winning score could be reaching -20 for the 1st time. Dinah Shore is very much a second shot course, getting the ball in play off the tee will be vital to controlling the second shots to give players the best opportunity of making some low numbers. The rough, 68 bunkers, trees & water in play of four holes can create numerous issues for players if they aren’t accurate off the tee or on approaches. I’m very interested to see if the 18th hole is set up without the back stop sponsorship board of previous years, the longer hitters have been able to go for the green & not risk the water behind the green as they have the board to use as a back stop. Dottie Pepper holds the cumulative score record here at -19 set way back in 1999.
2021 Patty Tavatankit -18 175-1
2020 Mirim Lee -15 600-1
2019 Jin Young Ko -10 9-1
2018 Pernilla Lindberg -15 225-1
2017 So-yeon Ryu -14 14-1
2016 Lydia Ko -12 5-1
2015 Brittany Lincicome -9 66-1
2014 Lexi Thompson -14 22-1
2013 Inbee Park -15 14-1
2012 Sun-Young Yoo -9 66-1
Narrowing down some trends in the winners
Each of the last 10 winners have played the event at least 3 times previously.
9 had at least one top 5 in the calendar year
7 hadn’t registered a top 10 here before
24.7 is the average age of these winners with two of them being teenagers Lydia Ko & Lexi Thompson & only one was in their 30s with Pernilla Lindberg at 31.
Players who fit this trend this year are Leona Maguire, Celine Boutier, Georgia Hall, Hannah Green, Lin Xiyu, Gaby Lopez, Marina Alex, Brittany Altomare, Hsu Wei Ling, Angel Yin & Sakura Yokomine.
Danielle Kang 20-1 Skybet 7 Places
Danielle comes into the 1st major of the year in some of the best form of her career, in five starts this season she has one victory, one second place & two more top 10s. She has played this event ten times with various results, three missed cuts but then also has three top 15s & her best finish here is 6th in 2019. Also, worth noting those three top 15s were in here last three stars here. She took a short break after the Asia swing in Phuket with Ariya Jutanugarn & last week would have been great prep to get rid of any post-holiday rust before this week’s major. The current CME globe leader is one of the best putters on the LPGA which she will need to keep hot this week to have any chance of winning. Her greens in regulation percentage of 76% shows that with the course being classed as a second shot course should theoretically put her in a great position to go well this time round. She’s statistically the 3rd best golfer this year going off stroke gained total behind Jin Young Ko & Lexi Thompson who haven’t played as much as Danielle.
Minjee Lee 25-1 Skybet 7 Places
The green in regulation machine will look to claim her 2nd major this week after getting the monkey off her back last year. The Evian Champion has had a great start to the season with a 2nd first start out & two more top 25 finishes. She like Kang has played here numerous times but has had better overall performances than Kang with just one missed cut & in her other seven starts she’s hasn’t finished worse than 26th with a best finish of 3rd in 2017. She leads the field in strokes gained approach & tee to green so if she can improve her putting stats where she ranks 122nd she should have another cracking week & will certainly be challenging come Sunday afternoon.
Celine Boutier 28-1 Skybet 7 Places
I was slightly disappointed with the price of Celine but given her form I still can’t ignore her this week. She fits the trends of pervious winner perfectly; she’s had numerous top 10s already this year & hasn’t gone particularly well here before with a best finish of 44th In 5 starts. She will 100% win one if not multiple majors in her career & there is no reason why number one can’t be this week. She ranks 5th stokes gained total combining all the strokes gained categories, Strokes gained approach she is 7th, putting 11th & tee to green 18th. She won her 1st LPGA event in the states last year & is currently in excellent form with three top 5 finishes from 5 starts so she will be full of confidence this week.
Hannah Green 40-1 Skybet 7 Places
Hannah spent the off season back home in Australia playing a few mixed events with the guys & girls on the Australia tour with some success, she won the Ladies Vic Open & a mixed event in back-to-back weeks. Since returning to the LPGA she has had one top 10 a 27th & 59th last week. She is a player who fits the narrowing down the field trend but also has good form here & is in excellent form herself. She has appeared four times here before with two top 20s, one missed cut & a 62nd. The 62nd came in the September playing of the event not the usual April. This week could easily be the week she adds another major to her name.
Brittany Altomare 125-1 Skybet 7 Places
I’ve got to be honest narrowing down a long shot I normally find quite easy but this week I’ve really struggled to pinpoint a value long shot play. I looked at Pedersen, Castren & Popov but they didn’t really stick out enough for me to pick them, so I’ve gone for a slightly shorter but still a triple figure price of Brittany. She has made four appearances here with a best result of 16th on debut. She has since gone 44-20-MC. The 31-year-old didn’t have the best of Asia swings with two 51 placed finishes but came back to the states to finish 23rd last week. She has one top 10 this year from the Drive on championship where she finished 4th so another player who fits the trends & I’m happy to play with Sky’s 7 places
Stacey lewis 100-1 – cracking form as of late as well as a previous winner at this event but I’ve backed her numerous times slately with no returns.
Gabriella Ruffells 200-1 – playing on the futures tour currently but has two solid finishes here previously with a 15th & 19th
After a three week break the LPGA returns this week in Singapore for the HSBC Women World Championship. A star-studded field of 65 will take on the Sentosa golf course over four days, for the $1.7 million purse. The field features five different winners from this year already from various tours with Danielle Kang, Lydia Ko & Leona Maguire from the LPGA, Esther Henesliet from the LET & Hannah Green who won the mixed event on the Australian Tour & ladies Vic Open. The event is regarded by some as the Asian Major of women’s golf which with the field strength you can see why with 9 of the world’s top 10 on show this week along with multiple tour winners.
Sentosa golf club might sound familiar to those familiar with other tour betting as it hosted the Asian Tour just a few weeks ago. This time its second course will host the Ladies this week. The Tanjong course hosts for the 5th time after replacing the Serapong course in 2016. Tanjong was designed 1974 by Frank Pennink & was refurbished in 1992 & 2007 before being completely redesigned in 2016 with Andrew Harvey Johnston in charge. The course is set up as a par 72 measuring 6718 yards. The par 72 is made up of four par 3s, ten pars 4s & four par 5s. Twelve holes have water in play with seven of the first eight so an accurate start will be vital on the front nine for good scoring. Bunkers are few & far between this week with just under an average of three bunkers per hole but they appear mainly around the small greens. In the four events at this course the average 72 hole winning score is -17 with the highest score -19 by Inbee Park on the courses first play, In four events the best 18 hole score is a 62 by Sei-Young Kim in 2018.
Yuka Saso 25-1 6 Places on Paddypower
Saso hasn’t played here as a pro before, however in 2018 as an amateur she finished tied 2nd behind Atthaya Thitkul in the Asia Pacific Amateur championship. The US open winner will be looking to use this experience to build on a great start to the season. She has finished 6th & 3rd in three starts this year with a missed cut in her last event. Saso has the power to take the course apart this week, she is the 4th longest of the women teeing it up this week so far this year. When you combine her length off the tee with her green in regulation figures of 73.78% you can see why she ranks 6th on tour this year for the most birdies & 8th for the most rounds in the 60s.
Atthaya Thitikul 28-1 6 Places on Paddypower
Atthaya played here in 2018 when she was just 15 years old & she finished 8th shooting 70-71-68-66. In the same year she also won the Asia Pacific amateur at this course so clearly loves this track. Four years later she is now one of the best golfers in the world, she is ranked 20th in the world & has racked up three wins & fourteen additional top 10s in just thirty one starts. She has made two starts this year on tour finishing 45th & 11th. With her coming back to a track she has gone well before I’m hoping she can rely on experience to challenge for the title come Sunday. So far this year Atthaya has a 77.55% driving accuracy, 65.87% Greens in regulation & ranks 22nd in putting.
Hannah Green 28-1 6 Places on Paddypower
Hannah hasn’t been able to come back to play in America because of covid restrictions back home only just being lifted. This hasn’t stopped her from playing as she has been playing on the Australia tour in mixed events & ladies’ events. She’s took apart the mixed field last week which had some of the best Australian players in the world playing in it, she won by 4 shots to upcoming amateur Hayden Hopewell. Bookies clearly thought she would go well as she was the 8-1 pre-event favorite. Hannah shot 20 under for the week with rounds of 64-65-69-66. This win was her 2nd of the year already after winning the previous week at the Vic Open. You could argue she should be winning these events as she is the best player in the field, but she still has get the job done with all the added pressure. Also how often do the favorites go onto win in golf tournaments? She was winless since 2019 so this added confidence from getting back into the winner’s circle should do wonders for her upcoming season on the LPGA.
Stacy Lewis 50-1 6 Places on Paddypower
Stacy has had a solid start to the year in the three events played she’s has finished 18-8-4. She comes back to a venue where she finished 25th in 2017. That was the last time she played this event with her giving birth to her daughter Chesnee in 2018. The 37-year-old is one of the best drivers on the tour, she is averaging 87% of fairways hit. She’s has hit 134 fairways out of a possible 154 which only Inbee Park can better with over 100 possible fairways to hit. She also has a 71.21% greens in regulation & ranks 32nd on tour for putting which if she can put everything together this week can give her a great chance come Sunday afternoon.
Pajaree Anannarukarn 100-1 6 Places on Paddypower
This week’s long shot is Pajaree, the 22 year old picked up her 1st win as a profession on the ladies European tour last year with the ISPS Handa in northern Ireland beat Emma Talley in a playoff. She has taken this newfound confidence in her game into this year by getting a top 10 in her first start of the year, this has been backed up with two more finishes of 52nd & 41st. She was very consistent last year only missing three cuts in twenty-five events & had five top ten finishes as well as her win. 100-1 seems quite a high number for a player who will be used to the playing conditions from her amateur days playing all over Asia.
After one of the DP World Tours flagship events last week’s it’s time for the Asian Tour Flagship event. The Saudi international at the Royal Greens golf & country club takes center stage this week with a huge $5 Million up for grabs. The 1st 3 editions were all classed as European Tour events so very few of the Asia Tour players have actually played here before. The tour scrapped the event after the 2021 season, but the Asia tour picked it up as part of the new investment & took out a 10-year deal for the Saudi international to be the new flagship event of the tour. The field is full of invites from various tours, there are players from the PGA, DP World, Japan, Australian, Sunshine & the best from the Asian Tour. The PGA Tour players had to get special exceptions to come over for this event where they had to commit to play the AT&T Pebble beach event within a few years. All the invites playing this week make the event the strongest field official golf world ranking points wise that has ever been assembled on the Asia Tour. The event marks the start of the 2022 Asia tour schedule which will finish in late January 2023 but currently there are just 5 events up to March 31st in the schedule.
The royal greens golf & country club has held all 3 editions of this championship. Dave Sampson designed the course as part of European Golf Design. The course opened very recently in 2017. A par 72 for members but this week a par 70 which is made up of four par 3s, twelve par 4s & just two par 5s. The course measures 7010 yards with some two very long par 4s measuring over 490 yards. The course is undulated throughout & features various waste areas & water in play on 5 holes. Luckily the players look set to play in calm & hot conditions, so they won’t need to worry about the wind that caused havoc at the Singapore international with players shooting some very high numbers. With the talent on show this week id imagine the scoring will reach around 15 under for the winning score.
Previous Winners, Key Stats & Winning Odds
2021 Dustin Johnson – Score -19 Odds 6-1
SG Off the tee 3rd
SG Approach 5th
SG Tee to green 1st
SG Putting 90th
SG Around the green 20th
Driving accuracy 48.21% 107th
Greens in regulation 83.33% 3rd
2020 Graeme McDowell Score 80-1 Odds -12
SG Off the tee 36th
SG Approach 32nd
SG Tee to green 14th
SG Putting 5th
SG Around the green 19th
Driving accuracy 69.64% 17th
Greens in regulation 76.38% 14th
2019 Dustin Johnson – Score -19 Odds 8-1
SG Off the tee N/A
SG Approach N/A
SG Tee to green N/A
SG Putting N/A
SG Around the green N/A
Driving accuracy N/A
Greens in regulation N/A
No data available for DJs win in 2019.
Thomas Pieters 20-1 6 Places
The Belgium no1 player already has a win to his name this year just two weeks ago at the Abu Dhabi championship. This week he returns to a venue where he has gone well in the past with finishes of 22-3-10. His average score here in the 12 rounds is 67.8 with a lowest round of 63. Thomas ranked one of the best for strokes gained approach & tee to green in 13th & 10th he was also 23rd for scrambling last year. Last week at the Dubai Desert Classic he was in the top 30 for all key Stroke gained stats & he also was in the top 30 the previous week when he won so his game is in a solid place right now. Everything seems to be going well for him right now both on & off the course & long may it continue. Id of liked to see him at higher odds considering the calibre of field here but I have to take him on current form & course form as nearly half the field have never teed it up here before.
Joohyung Kim 50-1 6 Places
Joohyung comes into this event as the Asia Tour No1 player after picking up the order of merit title last time out in Singapore. The 19-year-old is making a huge name for himself in the golfing world having already racked up 6 professional victories which has him 79th in the world rankings. In his last 5 starts he hasn’t finished worse than 7th with a 2-1-7-2-2 an incredible run. The Korean had the 9th best greens in reg last year with 74.63% & also the 5th best driving accuracy with 71% of fairways hit. Previous winners of this event have done well in the scrambling stats & Joohyung ranked 5th on the Asia tour last year.
Lucas Herbert 55-1 6 Places
Lucas has had the two starts so far this year. One on the PGA & one on the DP world tour where he finished 37th & 18th respectively. After winning the Bermuda championship just 5 starts ago he will still be full of confidence in his game going into this week. Last week at the Dubai Desert Classic he was 22nd Strokes gained tee to green & 2nd strokes gained around the green. Both key attributes that appear high in the previous winner stats here. He was also high in all the putting stats & was 35th strokes gained putting for the week. The Aussie has had mixed fortune in this event in his two showings here with a T27 on debut then missing the cut on the number last year with rounds of 70 & 71.
Ryosuke Kinoshita 350-1 6 Places
Ryosuke has come on leaps & bounds over the past year rising to no76 in the world. He had great success on the Japan tour last year finishing 3rd on the money list with two wins. His stroke average was 70.4 for the year which was the 4th best on tour. For the world ranked 76 player to be such high in the betting, his stats on the Japanese tour show he could be surprise package this week, greens in regulation of 71.9% & 23rd in driving accuracy show he has the game to be competitive this week. There is also a stat called ball striking on the Japan tour where he ranks 2nd but very little information on what this means but you’d assume it’s similar to stroke gained total perhaps, but I might be wrong. 350-1 I simply can’t say no this week.
Sadom Kaewkanjana 125-1
The best player out of Thailand right now who picked up another win in his last start at the Singapore Open but making course debut this week, but I will still have a side bet on him.
All odds correct as of 18:00 Monday 31st all on Unibet
It felt great to have some European Tour golf back on the tv this week especially on the Friday with the tough playing conditions described by Bob MacIntyre as the hardest wind he’s ever played on tour in. Just one player finishing in double digits is the golf I like to see. A proper test of golf, not just hitting it as far as possible then flicking a wedge to join the putting contest but each shot creating multiple scenarios with hazards involved making the golfer plot their way around the course.
This week we come back to familiar territory for the Dubai Desert Classic, the 1st event to be held in the middle east back in 1989 when there was just desert & a few trees. 30 years later Dubai is unrecognisable to the original event. The majority of the field that played last week all tee it up this week again with a few absentees & some golfers playing for the first time this year. Another week which has a huge purse $8,000,000 on offer & double race to Dubai points for those who play multiple tours to cement their position in the race ready for the WGCs & Majors to add to their tally. Thomas Pieters now currently leads after last weeks victory with Sharma & Cabrera-Bello Behind him.
The Majlis Course was designed by Karl Kitten in 1988. Every edition since its inception in 1989 have been held at the Majlis course with the exception of 1999 & 2000. The course is a Par 72 measuring 7424 yards (6789 Meters). The par 72 is made up of four par 3s, ten par 4s & four par 5s. Birdies are the norm every year here with every event bar one ending in double digits under par. The average winning score over the 31 years is 17.3. There are plenty of waste areas & water hazards (8 Holes) in play on the holes to catch out errand tee shots & approaches. The course is mostly famous for its 8th tee shot with its incredible backdrop, I’m sure all the players socials will be full of tee shots from the practice rounds this week. Ernie Els holds the course record set in 1994 at 61.
Course winners taking part this week
Rory McIlroy 2015 & 2009
Paul Casey 2021
Lucas Hebert 2020
Haotong Li 2018
Sergio Garcia 2017
Danny Willet 2016
Rafa Cabrera Bello 2012
Miguel Angle Jimenez 2010
Henrick Stenson 2007
Thomas Bjorn 2001
Colin Montgomerie 1996
Previous Winners, Keys Stats & Winning Odds
Paul Casey 2021 25-1 -17
SG off the tee 6th
SG approach 6th
SG tee to green 1st
SG Putting 57th
Driving accuracy 25th 53.57%
Greens in regulation 5th 75%
Lucas Hebert 2020 175/1 -9
SG off the tee 11th
SG approach 72nd
SG tee to green 7th
SG Putting 20th
Driving accuracy 67th 42.86%
Greens in regulation 5th 66.7%
Bryson DeChambeau 2019 9/1 -24
SG off the tee 5th
SG approach 16th
SG tee to green 3rd
SG Putting 5th
Driving accuracy 33rd 57.14%
Greens in regulation 4th 80.55%
Haotong Li 2018 80/1 -23
SG off the tee 38th
SG approach 27th
SG tee to green 15th
SG Putting 3rd
Driving accuracy 90th 50%
Greens in regulation 75th 65.3%
Sergio Garcia 2017 18/1 -19
Driving accuracy 9th 69.64%
Greens in regulation 1st 81.96%
Danny Willet 2016 40-1 -19
Driving accuracy 61st 55.36%
Greens in regulation 21st 77.78%
Sergio Garcia 20-1 Ladbrokes 8 Places
Sergio’s 1st start of the year which isn’t the norm for him, he usually plays once before the Dubai Desert Classic normally the Singapore Open but opted to make this event his 1st this year, now that could back fire on me with possible cobwebs to burn off but I can’t ignore him this week. He won here back in 2017 & has made all four cuts after this finishing 32-3-23-6 a record only Rory McIlroy & Henrik Stenson beat round here. Garcia ranks in the top 10 for SG in all categories with the exception of putting here. 7th Off the tee,2nd Approach,4th Tee to green then 71st Putting. The Achilles heel of his game but even so his finishes show he’s is more than capable round here, his average score in 11 starts is 69.75.
Robert MacIntyre 35-1 Ladbrokes 8 Places
Bob has had two starts in this event & has finishing in top 10 both times with an 8th & 3rd place finish. A missed cut last week might of done him a favour so he can get to a course he clearly enjoys playing earlier. Being a left hander & the wind direction did him no favours last week on the Friday shooting 80 in ‘the hardest wind he’s played on tour’ so I’m discounting his round of 80. Going off previous years winners stats Bob has all the attributes to win this week. He ranks 8th for SG tee to green on this course, 6th SG Off the tee, 14th SG tee to green & 26th SG Putting. Stats which firmly put him on the radar for me this week.
Erik Van Rooyen 40-1 Skybet 7 Places
Erik has started very consistently this year with 20th at the Sony Open & a 12th place finish last week. Since his victory on the PGA TOUR with the Barracuda championship he has only Missed one cut in eleven events with five top 20 finishes. He can take great confidence in his numbers from last week where he ranked 8th SG off the tee,37th SG tee to green & 19th SG Putting. He has only played the desert classic twice missing the cut on debut then a 37th placed finish but since his appearance in 2020 he has gone on to record numerous top 10s on the PGA TOUR & has a victory so he knows his game has improved since then.
Takumi Kanaya 75-1 Ladbrokes 8 Places
The Japanese former Amateur no1 continued to impress last week with a T25 finish. Kanaya played here last season & finished 9th & with he recent run of form I couldn’t look away this week. Last season he was in great form on the Japanese & DP World Tour where he racked up twelve top 10s & one win with the Token Homemade Cup in Japan. His number keeps getting lower & lower on the main tours now as he becomes more well known with his performances. He ranked 14 SG off the tee & 16th Tee to green last week which should prove very valuable this week should he continue striking the ball so well, it just the flat stick he appears to need to work on after last week where he ranked 80th. I feel it won’t be long before Kanaya picks up a big win on either the DP World or PGA Tour
Thorbjorn Olesen 125-1 Skybet 7 places
With the court case now behind Thor he can move on & get back to the golf that has seen him become a 5 time DP world tour winner. This week he returns to a venue where he hasn’t won but has an incredible record here with four top 10s in nine starts & an average score of 69.75. Olesen like Bob has great stats round this course. He is in the top 25 for SG approach, tee to green & putting. Any rust that he may of had coming into last week looks to of been extinguished very quickly, he hit 71% of fairways & 73% of greens in regulation as well as ranking 41st in putting so his game appears to be good shape. Considering the price & course form I think this is a great value bet.
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 28-1Bet365 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 55-1PaddyPower 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..
The DP World tour makes its 1st stop of the season to the middle east this week on unfamiliar grounds. A new course will host the 17th version of the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship after the Abu Dhabi golf club was replaced with Yas Links. Yas Links sits in what is referred to as the entertainment district of Abu Dhabi sitting parallel to the formula 1 race circuit & a quick drive to Warner bros & Ferrari world. Players will have plenty to do after they finish their rounds of golf this week.
Covid cancelled the remaining events in South Africa at the back end of the year so this is only the 2nd event of the season. Tristan Lawrence leads the Race to Dubai after winning the shortened South Africa Open. Double Race to Dubai points are on offer this week & next with both events being Rolex series events. As per usual the bigger names are on the entry list for a Rolex event with Collin Morikawa, Rory McIlroy & Victor Hovland the star names. They will be looking to get an early win so that they can sit around the top again for much of the year like Hatton did last season, his win here put him top of the race & he wasn’t knocked off until Jon Rahm & Collin Morikawa picked up major wins & even with a few DP world starts last year he still finished 5th so an early win can do wonders for the end of year position.
The Yas Links will be new to many people this week. The course was built in 2010 & features rolling fairways very similar to UK links style courses. Kyle Phillips designed the course & it was awarded top 50 status in the best golf courses in the world last year ranking 48th. Kyle is one of the leading links designers in the world & that is shown this week. The Par 72 championship course measures over 7400 yards & is made up of four par 3s, ten par 4s & four par 5s. Water & strategically placed bunkers are in play on nearly every hole so accuracy off the tee will be key this week. The championship could be won & lost with a visit to the drop zone. Undulating greens will give the players a tough test on the greens especially getting the pace right to avoid any unwanted 3 putts. If the wind gets up which is due to all day Friday with up to 30mph forecast, we could see some very high scores posted if the players can’t control where their ball is going with all the hazards in play.
Rory had a very up & down 2021 from the heartbreak in the Ryder cup to picking up two more PGA tour victories at the Wells Fargo & CJ Cup. He would probably still say he had an average year because of his major performances but by the average pro it was a fantastic year seven top 10s & two wins with just 4 cuts missed out of 24 events. Rorys form at the Abu Dhabi championship & following week at the desert classic is just ridiculous & pretty much the reason I have him this week at such as short number. In his last 18 appearance if you ignore the one missed cut in his last eighteen appearances at both events, he has finished no worse than eleventh. He has finished 2nd three times & three 3rd place finishes.
Tommy Fleetwood 22-1 Ladbrokes 8 Places
Some golf pundits seem to have written Tommy Fleetwood off last year after another winless year & dropping down to world no 40. He still managed six top 10s & only missed 3 cuts in 23 starts so he is still one of the most consistent players on the tour. Tommy is known for loving the previous course that held this event winning twice in 2017 & 2018. This week’s event should suit a player that loves the links & middle east golf which Tommy fits perfectly. He has plenty of top 5 finishes in the Dunhill links as well as Open Championship results so I feel this week he can combine his love for links & the middle east to really plot his way around this course & post some low numbers. Tommy consistency over the years can be put down to his green in regulation stats. For the last 5 years he’s has ranked no lower than 5th on tour for greens in regulation, his lowest average for the last 5 years was 72.39% & topped out at 76.49%. Stats he will be looking to keep at that level this week to go low.
Bernd Wiesberger 33-1 Skybet 7 Places
Bernd will be raring to push on this year after last year’s Ryder cup appearance. He will be able to play more freely now having for-filled a dream to play for team Europe. He led the DP World tour last year in strokes gained tee to green helped with a green in regulation percentage of 72.47% which shows incredible consistency. Bernd has great form in the desert finishing 2nd at fire course in the Aviv Championship, a 6th at the Dubai Desert Classic & in his two previous appearances at this event he has finished 25th & 8th. He had one win & four tops 10s last year so will be looking to build on that that this year
Nicolai Hojgaard 50-1 Ladbrokes 8 Places
Nicolai is one of the hottest players on the tour currently. He had a fantastic last part of the season picking up his 1st DP world tour victory at the Italian Open & then went on to a 2nd place in Portugal & 4th in the DP World Tour Finale. His rise last year can be put down to his greens in regulation stats which went from 62% in 2020 to 71.55% in 2021. Nearly 10% more greens hit in regulation. This helped him rise from 523rd in the world to a career best 88th. Nicolai will arrive here full of confidence after last season performance & want to really push on this year to climb the rankings.
Frederic Lacriox 150-1 Ladbrokes 8 Places
Frederic is one of the challenge tour graduates from 2021 who caught fire towards the end of the season finishing 2-4-28-5-2-5 in his last six starts of the year including the season opener in the shortened Joburg open where he finished T5 on tour debut. If the tournament wasn’t shortened, I feel he was in prime position to challenge for the win, he was hitting nearly 80% of greens in regulation, driving the ball over 320 yards on average & ranked in the top 40 for putting. He is one of the tour graduates I feel could pick up a win on the DP World tour this year, it might not be this week but at 150-1 with 8 places I’m happy to ride this one.
All Bets are 1 pt unless noted
Richard Bland 125-1
An incredible price considering the year he had, eight top 10s & his 1st victory. How will he knee hold up after surgery? Only time will tell.
Haotong Li 125-1
A player who has won me plenty over the years with wins & Places. Lost his way a little of the past year but looks to be trending in the right direction he was 2nd before Christmas in an unofficial China event before finishing 2nd in the Volvo Open & a very good performance last week on the PGA tour but how much will the mammoth travel day take out of him from Hawaii to Abu Dhabi?
The Asian tour enters its penultimate event this week before the Order or Merit champion is crowed. After a few last-minute withdrawals 129 golfers will tee it up looking to gain more money points on the end of season leader board. This week will be the 1st tournament since the tours restart that isn’t in Thailand, with Singapore hosting the last two events of the season. The Singapore International is a brand-new event on the tour which was added to increase the events on Covid hit season which currently spans over 3 years 2020,2021 & 2022. Everything is still to play for this week with just over 130,000 USD between 1st & 10th in the Order of Merit with one win enough to advance even the lower ranked players up the leader board
The Singapore international takes place at Tanah Merah Country Club on the Tampines Course which is adjacent to the airport & only 15minutes away from the iconic Marina Sands hotel.
The Course was opened in 1988 but in 2017 it was redesigned by Phil Jacobs. Par 72 makes up the scorecard with 4 par 3s,10 par 4s & 4 par 5s. The course this week is a monster at 7533 yards with the longest holes being the 5th at 635 yards & 18th at 626 yards. Water is in play on 12 of the 18 holes which keeps being a regular occurrence on the Asian tour so again accuracy off the tee will be key this week. Players will want to keep their balls in play off the tee. The ability to be able to get the pace of greens will also be vital with the huge greens on this course. Being able to hit the perfect lag putt when out of position will be very beneficial. There should be plenty of drama down the last hole with the guys in contention. A par 5 with water in play could be the decision maker when it comes to determining the winner. Who will be able to keep their nerve the best on Sunday afternoon?
Wade Ormsby 28-1 5 places
The current order of merit leader will look to cement his place at the top this week with another good week before next week’s finale. After winning in early 2020 at the Hong Kong open Wade had two more top 10s before covid struck, since golfs restart he has been playing on the DP World tour & has only managed just one top 10. However, since the Asian tour restart, he has had a T23 & T14 finish which should inject some much-needed confidence going into this week. Even without the high finishes on the DP Tour Wade was still ranked as one of the best drivers on tour hitting 65% of fairways which ranked him 7th best. His accuracy has always been one of his best assets never ranking below 20th in the last 5 years on the DP world tour. ese development tour so far in his career.
Jeong Woo Ham 33-1 5 places
Jeong is a two-time winner on the Korea tour most recently just 4 starts ago in the KJ Choi invitational. He finished 5th in the money list on the Korea tour in 2021 having played in all 17 events. To go with the win, he has 5 more top 10 finishes & just 3 missed cuts. The 27-year-old hit 65% of fairways & 70% of greens in regulation last season which will be required this week to stay out of the water. This week will be his debut on the Asia tour having only played on the Korea tour & Japan
Yoseop Seo 45-1 5 places
One of my players to watch from my 2022 preview. He was a 2-time winner on the Korea tour last season. He finished 2nd on the money list so I was quite surprised when I saw he was a lot higher in the betting that fellow countryman Jeong Woo Ham. The world no 297 is another very accurate player off the tee hitting just under 65% of fairways & over 70% greens in regulation. Seo is currently 50th on the order of merit so will want a good week to climb the leader board going into the final event of the season next week.
Udayan Mane 125-1 5 Places
Mane won the season ending event in India to claim the order of merit title. He won four times over the 2020 – 21 season with four more top 10s in seventeen starts. Incredible form. He didn’t quite manage to bring that form over to the Asian tour at the back end of the year with a MC & T68 finish, but he won on his next start back in India. Hopefully this boost of confidence will bring his A game to the Singapore International. A win this week could put him right in the mix for the order of merit title.
Chen Guxin 1000-1 5 places
If you look at Chens form last season on the China tour you do have to wonder, why he is the price he is. He won twice with two 3rd place finishes & only missed one cut. The 18-year-old for me at that price even in a higher quality field is just a no brainer. There are far worse bets to be made. He is currently the 5th best ranked Chinese player in the world ahead of Haotong Li who he only finished 2 shots back on in his latest start at the Volvo China Open. He turned pro in 2020 after a Stella amateur career where he racked up over 10 wins & many more stop 10s. A player to keep watch for in the coming years.
What a year it was in 2021 for golf fans. After all the cancellation of 2020 it was nice to get back to a nearly full schedule of golf every week. A year of highs & lows as per usual which saw Blandy get over the line at his 478th attempt, Hideki winning the Master’s, Phil winning the PGA, Jordan Spieth finding the winner enclosure again & Team Europe winning for the only the 2nd time on US Soil in the Solheim cup were just a few highlights for me. 2022 is looking like it will be another cracker with the main tours & development tours announcing more events in the schedules with even more prize money. With that being said here is a preview of players to keep an eye on in 2022 across various tours & my Ante post bets for Majors, PGA money List, Race to Dubai, Race to the CME Globe, Champion’s tour money & Top Challenge Tour Grad.
Players to watch on the PGA Tour
Sam Burns rocketed up the OGWR this year starting at 154th & ending in 12th. He keeps getting shorter with bookmakers every week he Tees it up with his amazing form this season which features two wins, two 2nds, two 3rds & three more top 10s. In his last five starts he didn’t finish lower than 14th & if he can maintain this form, he will certainly be challenging for major titles next season. In the wrap around events, he ranks 1st in Stoke gained tee to green & 5th strokes gained overall. He is playing full of confidence at the moment & appears to be going flag hunting every round averaging 5.5 birdies or better a round which has him 5th so far this season. There are obviously the main players such as Rahm & DJ that dont play much after the FedEX is complete but there’s still 140guys to beat every week which all go into the stats leader boards.
After breaking the 2nd place duck last year by winning The Northern Trust I think Tony will now be able to push on in 2022 & win multiple times next season. He had ten 2nd place finishes between his 2 PGA Tour wins along with three 3rds & thirty-one more top 10s which is incredible consistency over 5 years. He will be paying with a new mindset knowing he can get the job done when he’s in contention so more winners will be on the horizon & even a maiden Major? The 32-year-old is known for being one of the biggest hitters on tour, but he was actually only 31st last season in average driving distance with 305 which is still huge & can take apart the majority of courses. I think if Tony can improve his putting stats where he was 91st last season in strokes gained putting he can certainly challenge for his 3rd Tour victory next year & even his 4th.
Marc didn’t have the best on years last season but this season he already has two top 5 finishes in four starts as well as a 3rd place with Jason Day in the QBE shootout. He is currently one of the best putters on the tour in this wrap around ranking 13th & nine of those above him haven’t played as many rounds. This helps his current stroke gained total ranking him 11th. In 16 rounds this year he has averaged over 5 birdies a round & has a scoring average of 69.51 which is why he has had such positive finishes so far. Leishman will be a player I’m keeping my eye on in the run up to the Open after being on the wrong side of the playoff result at St Andrews in 2015.
In the early part of last year Matthew took time away from golf citing mental health issues. A run of Poor weeks, Withdrawals & a Disqualification at the Masters for signing the wrong score on the scorecard he decided to take a break. Which to his credit he has been very open about his struggles something some professionals struggle with. He came back for the US Open & finished 15th showing little signs of rust after a 10-week break. He finished off his season with two top 10s & two more top 20s so showing plenty of promise going into this season. If he continues this form into the new season, he could easily get back to the player who reached no 12 in the world in 2020.
Whilst most people will be looking at Will Zalatoris & Mito Pereira from the Korn ferry tour graduates as the players to watch because of the media hype & world rankings I think Taylor Moore has come in under the radar. He had a cracking season on the Korn ferry Tour winning once & had eleven top 10 finishes. He already has a top 10 on the PGA Tour in his last start of the year at the RSM Classic with an 8th place finish. The Texan has risen to world no 121 & he will certainly break the top 100 next year & maybe even the top 50 by the end of the year. That will certainly be his goal to get a ticket to the masters in 2023. In the wrap around season so far, he has one of the best greens in regulation percentages at 73.61% which will only help low scoring if the putter heats up. The rookie of the year award is a certain possibility for Taylor this season.
Players to watch on the DP World Tour
Min Woo Lee
Min Woo didn’t have the best of starts to the year with a couple of missed cuts but after winning the Scottish Open he has been contending nearly every week. In his last four starts of the year, he finished 16th, 4th,8th & 2nd which has bumped him up to 49th in the world & he gets a Masters ticket for Christmas. Statistically he isn’t most consistent golfer on the tour ranking mid table in nearly every category apart from driving where he ranks as one of the longest on tour. The stats could put you off Min Woo at 1st glance but when he’s on form & a few putts start to drop he is one of the best out there. He will be very keen to add to his family’s major tally after his sister won the Evian Championship last season
Dean Finished 18th on the race to Dubai having played the most European tour events in top 25 players. He pocketed two wins & eight top 10s worldwide in 2021 which will give him a tonne of confidence going into the 2022 season. Dean doesn’t seem to have a weakness in his game gaining stokes in almost every department if anything his accuracy off the tee could be better at less than 50% of fairways but he hits the ball an absolute mile to make up for it. He’s 2nd behind Wilco Nienaber in average distance with 319.62yards. He is one of the few golfers that never requires commentary on a bad shot as you normally hear his reactions closely flowed by some apologise from the commentary team which personally, I’m all for. Get the guy’s mic’d up more. Dean will be another player I will be keeping my eye on as the Open gets closer after a closing 65 at St Andrews this year, if he’s the right number I can see him being tipped by numerous tipsters this year especially when places could be up to 10.
After all the hype around Rasmus it’s his twin brother Nicolai who emerged last season. Starting the year over 400 places behind his brother Nicolai is now ahead in the official golf world ranking by one place. He is 96th & Rasmus is 97th. Nicolai’s rise can be put down to his greens in regulation improvement from 2020. He ranked 151st in 2020 hitting just 62% of green in regulation. Compare that to last season where he has improved that stat to 71.55% which was 13th on tour giving himself a lot more chances of birdies. All his stats when you compare 2020 to 2021 season have improved apart from driving distance which has gone down, however he is now more accurate with the driver. 2022 I am very hopefully he will go from strength to strength & pick up a few more wins.
Richard has spent some time over the winter in Florida to help his game develop onto the next level & already he is seeing results with a win on the Minor golf league tour in a playoff a few weeks ago. Going stateside means he won’t have to go indoors to practice & make do with the cold British conditions we get through the off season. He took some time out in the middle of the year to fix his wrist injury that had been affecting his game which did mean he missed out on key events, but it was the best thing to do to get him fighting fit next season. He had Just one top 10 last season which came at the Dutch open in his European tour debut year which he will 100% improve on next year. He is one of the longest hitters on tour & also has one of the best greens in regulation percentages on tour ranking 14th in 2021 with 71.64%. It was his putting that let him down statistically all year, he ranked 189th in putts per green in reg & also 160th average putts per round. It will certainly be something he is working on in the off season in Florida & UK which if he can sort out, he will be challenging for titles next year.
The majority of people will be putting up Marcus Helligkilde as the one to watch this year with him finishing 1st on the challenge tour but I fancy Frederic LaCroix to go well this year. He finished 5th in the covid hit Joburg open on his Tour Debut which he will take enormous confidence from to go into the new year. In his last six starts he finished in the top 5 in five of those events & a 28th in the other. Form which shot him up the challenge tour rankings finishing 5th in the standings to get his DP World Tour card. He was playing on the Alps tour just a few years ago & now finds himself on the big stage it’s been a huge rise for Frederic. His main aim for the year will surely be to keep the card for following year & crack the top 100 in the world but I think he might pull off a surprise win somewhere down the line to complete both objectives.
Players to watch on the Korn Ferry Tour
Chun An Yu (Kevin Yu)
Chun turned pro in the middle of 2021 & made 11 starts between the Korn Ferry & PGA Tours getting two top 10 finishes on the way, one of those being a playoff defeat. He had a great amateur career ranking as the best in the world at one point getting 4 wins along the way. He holds the 2nd highest scoring average for Arizona state only behind the current world no1 Jon Rahm. Yu is very good friends with fellow national CT Pan who he can rely on for advice when & if he needs it.
Andy will be keen to get his career back on track after missing most of last season through injury. After winning low amateur in the masters the future was very bright for Andy, but his hip injury kept him out of action for over 4 months. The 2019 amateur champion retuned for one PGA tour event at the Sanderson Farm Championship & shot three rounds in the 60s where he finished 51st before entering Korn Ferry Q school. Now fully fit again he will be eager to get a PGA tour card at the end of this season
Choi is probably known now for the guy who turned pro then caddy then pro again. He was on the bag for Sungjae Im’s victory at the 2020 Honda classic. Since the covid restart he has used the money he received from that to reignite his career. The Canadian has earnt his playing rights on the Korn ferry tour for next year & also came 2nd in the 2021 money ranking on the Minor league golf tour racking up an incredible 7 wins. Hopefully he can take the Minor league form over to the Korn Ferry next year.
Players to watch on the Challenge Tour
Christopher Feldborg Nielsen
Christopher won the Nordic Tour order of merit this year to be one of 5 to get a challenge tour card from the Nordic Tour. He won 3 times this year in 23 starts which he will look to build on next year. The world no 366 also had five top 10s & only missed 3 cuts all year so he has been ultra-consistent. He played one event on the challenge tour last year in the Made in Esbjerg where he finished 18th so he is more than capable of producing in a higher quality field.
Robert started the year as an amateur but after winning on week 29 in Austria with the Raiffeisen Pro Golf Tour St. Polten he turned pro. Since turning pro, he has had five starts making every cut & finishing 2nd & 3rd in two events. With this & his excellent performance on the Pro Golf tour as an amateur he claimed 2nd spot on the order of merit granting him a card for this year’s challenge tour. In pro & Amateur events this year he had a total of ten top 10 finishes & made every cut in the events he played in so another very consistent player to keep an eye on next season.
Mitch finished 2nd in the overall standing on the Europro tour pipped on the line by Jamie Rutherford. Mitch was the most consistent player on the Europro tour last year playing in 13 events & making every cut. The lowest he finished was a T23 in the 2nd event he played in. He won twice in the year & also had one 2nd place & two 3rd place finishes. He has climbed into the top 500 in the world during this time & out of the 5 grads from the Europro he is the player I feel will be up there in the Challenge tour events. In 2020 Mitch got the chance to play in the Cyprus events & held the 1st round lead in the Cyprus open which he ended up finishing T34. He looks set for a great year on the challenge tour.
Players to watch on the LPGA Tour
Danielle had her 1st winless year since getting her 1st win in 2017. The 29-year-old still managed to finish 12th on the CME globe due to the ten top 10s in twenty-two starts & just 2 missed cuts. Kang is one of the shorter hitters on the LPGA averaging 250 yards, but she does have one of the best accuracies off the tee & Green in regulation stats. She hits 76.9% of fairways & 71.9% of greens in regulation. Those stats more than capable of getting the job done. As one of the shorter hitters her short game must be in great shape to contend & last season it was. Her putting stats are up there with the best, her putting average she ranked 4th & putts per green in regulation she was 7th. This could be down to the advice she got from a chat with Inbee Park who is the best putter on tour. Also having Butch Harmon to rely on for advice & to keep an eye on her swing can only do wonders to her game so in 2022 she should be back in the winner’s circle.
After winning the LET Race to Costa Del Sol & Rookie of the year in 2021 Attaya went to LPGA Q School & finished 3rd to get her card for the year. The rookie of the year for 2022 should be easily taken care of for Attaya next year it’ll be the CME globe & breaking into the Rolex top 5 she will have her eyes on. She played 19 events in 2021 winning twice & only failed to finish in the top 10 3 times with those finishes a 14th,25th & 48th so she will be looking to bring that dominance over to the LPGA this year. A player I’m very excited to see how she progresses against the best player in the world. A major is a certain possibility this year.
In her rookie season on the LPGA Matilda managed to pick up a win at the Mediheal Championship. She also went over to Europe to get onto the Solheim cup team knowing she needed to win to get a place & she did so under all the added pressure. At the Solheim she was one of the best players going 3-1-0 winning her singles match & one foursomes & one fourballs with Anna Nordqvist. A class performance for a Solheim Rookie. To show how consistent she has been this year she has risen from the world no 220 up to 56. Statically she is ranks around the tour average for the majority of stats, but he Greens in regulation is class, 76.32% is something gofers dream of on tour. When she gets the putter going expect Matilda to be adding to her titles next year.
It was another winning year for Celine this year winning on both the LPGA & LET with the Shoprite Classic & Open De France. Five more top 10s & only three missed cuts have risen her up the rankings up to a career high 27th in the world. She was one of the best scorers last season with the 18th best average score of 70.13, this down to her incredible birdie & eagle stats. She ranked 7th for most eagles (10) & 8th for most birdies (297) on tour last year. A 3rd place finish in the final event of the year was good enough for her to finish 18th overall on the race to CME Globe, I’m sure she will have aspirations to finish in the top 10 this season.
Na Rin An
Na should be the player who come closest to Attaya with the Rookie of the year. She won the LPGA Q School 8 round event with a score of -33 hitting over 40 birdies in the process. She played all last year on the Korean tour missing just 2 cuts. It was a winless year in 2021 however she did have ten top 10s & does have two wins from the 2020 season so she is more than capable of closing a win out when she’s in contention. The world no 61 will be looking to emulate the likes of Inbee park, Jin Young Ko & Sei Young Kim by winning multiple times on the LPGA.
Players to watch on the Ladies European Tour
After finishing in the top 5 on the Race to Costa Del Sol she was invited to play LPGA Q school which she turned down. The other 4 all went & got their LPGA cards so Pia will be in prime position to dominate the LET next year. In 2021 she had two wins & four top 10s which helped her finish 2nd in the Race to Costa Del Sol only behind Attaya Thitikul. The 17-year-old is one of the longest hitters on the tour averaging just short of 280 yards in 2021 & when you combine that with her 75% of greens in regulation you can see why she had such a good year in 2021. If she can improve on her putting stats next season, she should be able to easily add to her two wins she has already & could run away with the Order or Merit title.
She turned pro last year at just 15 years old. She was born in Germany & raised in England but now calls Dubai home. Even at a young age she has already made 3 cuts from 3 starts finishing 26-40-47. Last season she also had great outings in the Let access events with a 2nd & a 7th placed finish. There will be plenty of noise made about her in the years to come but I feel her success will come down to how well she can cope with the pressures of the media at such a young age. One to keep an eye on for progress during the upcoming year.
A player who won twice in 2020 but was a no show in 2021. Now that could be because of Covid or Injury but there nothing confirming why. I’m assuming it’s because of injury as she posted on her Instagram on the 19th august ‘guess who is finally back hitting irons’ with a nice swing video to go with it. Should she return to the LET next year she will be one player who will certainly challenge the race to Costa Del Sol. Having not played for all of 2021 in any official event she has only dropped 100 paces in the Rolex ranking which shows how well she was progressing before she stopped playing. Starting the year in 182 & finishing in 284th means she will still rank higher than nearly all the LET fields.
Players to watch on the Other Tours around the world.
Sadom was in scintillating form in 2021 picking up three wins & three 2nd place finishes. He had a run of five events where he went 1-2-1-1-2. Incredible form for any golf tour. In the 9 events he played this year he finished in the top 8 in all of them. The 23-year-olds average score was 67.18 just 7 clear on the tour average. He was hitting over 70% of fairways & greens which if you have seen how tree lined & tight some of the Thai courses are, you’ll know that stat is very impressive. Hopefully he will get a few sponsors invites next year on the DP Tour to see how good he really can be. However, with the Asian tour now restarted he will want to be topping the order of merit in that first.
The 2-time winner this year on the Korea Tour will look to make a name for himself on the Asian tour. He only missed four cuts in twenty starts with four additional top 10s. His performances this year have jumped him up 400 places to a new high of 300. He is also ranked 5th in the Korea order of merit which shows how well he has played all season.
Denwit David boriboonsub
The 17-year-old won his 1st title as a pro this season just 11 months after turning pro. He won the Chiang Mai Open by 2 shots. Denwitt will look to go from strength-to-strength next year after gaining the confidence from that win to challenge the likes of Sadom Kaewkanjana & Phachara Khongwatmai. In eleven starts last year he had nine top 20 finishes & two missed cuts. In just his 2nd start on the Asian tour he managed a 2nd place finish so he will be a player full of confidence going into the next years golf.
One of the biggest world ranking movers of 2021. He was unranked at the start of 2021 but finishes the year in 283rd. He won 3 times on the development tour in Japan which got him some starts on the main tour where he made every cut in the events he played. The best finish he managed on the main tour was a 4th in the Taiheiyo Masters. Overall, his year stats are very impressive, three wins & five top 10s with just three missed cuts. I have high hopes for Ryo this year.
Amateurs to watch out for this year
Keita will finish the year as the No1 amateur in the world after picking up the Asia pacific Amateur towards the end of the year. It’s been a fantastic season for Nakajima who also won the Japanese amateur & a professional win on the Japanese tour with the Panasonic Open. He is being compared to Hideki already & you can see why. He has a spot in the Open & a spot at the Masters, so I’d be interested to know if he goes Pro after these events or not after already picking up a win on the professional tour. A Player with huge potential in golf.
Ratchanon Chantananuwat. A name that could in 10- or 20-years’ time could have landed Thailand their 1st Men’s Major title. At the age of just 14 he is already 657th in the world rankings ahead of the likes of Kevin Chappell, Oliver fisher & JB Holmes. He has already had three top 10 finishes on the All Thailand tour this year & that includes a 2nd place at Phuket Open. The kid became the youngest player to make a cut on the Asian tour shooting a 65 on the Sunday with a T15 Finish. A Player which if he can keep his head screwed on & not let the fame get to him will certainly go very far in the game of golf.
@golftipster5 Early Major Selections
Masters – Rory Mcilroy 14-1 & Victor Hovland 28-1 Both 6 places
US Open – Patrick Cantlay 25-1 & Jason Kokrak 80 Both 6 Places
PGA – Sam Burns 80-1 6 Places
Open – Jordan Spieth 14-1 & Marc Leishman 55-1 Both 6 Places
PGA Money List – Victor Hovland 20-1, Matt Wolff 66-1, Brooks Koepka 80-1, Billy Horschel 200-1 all 3 places bar Wolff who is 4 places.
Race to Dubai – Min Woo Lee 40-1, Bernd Wiesberger 40-1, Dany Willet 100-1, Dean Burmester 150-1 All 6 Places
Champions Tour Money List – Thongchai Jaidee 150-1 3 Places
Race to CME Globe – Attaya Thitikul 16-1, Danielle Kang 40-1, Pauline Roussin Bouchard 125-1 All 3 Places
Top Challenge Tour Graduate – Frederic Lacrois 16-1 4 places
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.
The 2021 Solheim cup is the 17th time this event has taken place. The Women’s equivalent of the Ruder cup taking place just a few weeks before the men tee it up. 12 players from Team USA & 12 from Team Europe will compete over 3 days of match play to see who will come out victorious. 2 sets of foursomes & fourballs then 12 singles matches will decide the winners. 28 points are on offer throughout the event with 14 ½ needed to win & 14 needed for Europe to defend. USA will be keen for revenge after last time where they lost on the very last hole. Suzanne Peterson holing the winning putt on her retirement match to win for team Europe. An iconic moment in the women’s game which will long live in the memories of many. This year sees a Monday finish with all 12 singles matches taking place on Labour day. The event will start on Saturday with 4 foursomes in the morning then 4 fourballs in the afternoon. This is then repeated on the Sunday & concluding on Monday with singles.
Inverness golf club is this year’s host located in Toledo, Ohio. The Donald Ross design has held Majors in the men’s game 6 times most recently in 1993 for the PGA & held its 1st LPGA event in 2020 which Danielle Kang won with Celine Boutier finishing 2nd. Half of the field playing this week also played this event to get some key insights on the course. The course was designed as a par 71 but this week plays as a par 72. 3 par 3s, 13 par 4s & 2 par 5s will make up the 6833 yard course. There is water in play from a stream that meanders its way through the course, nearly half the holes have this hazard to look out for & also every green is well protected by numerous bunkers to punish any way ward approaches. All the practice rounds will be played in a completely different wind direction to what is predicted at the weekend as the north breeze they have all week changes to a South westerly breeze on opening day & will stay that way for the weekend which could catch a few players out. The forecast looks set to be cloudy for most of the championship but very warm at an average of 28°C
Team USA – Host
Captain – Pat Hurst
Vice Captains – Michelle Wie West, Angela Stanford & Stacy Lewis
The world no1 & Olympic gold medallist will have a target on her back from team Europe this week. Everyone will want to take points off her so she will need her A game. She is highly likely to feature in all 5 matches & will more than likely be paired with her sister Jess. She was unbeaten on debut last time winning 3 games & halving 1.
Danielle loves the Solheim cup she gets the crowd going & creates a huge atmosphere around her. She won’t have her usual partner & best friend Michelle Wie to partner up with this week but that won’t phase her. She has played in 2 Solheim’s playing 8 matches winning 4 & losing 4. Apart from the Open she has been in great for with 4 top 10 finishes in 7 starts so comes into the week full of confidence & one of USAs inform players.
Ally didn’t have the best of debuts losing 3 times & winning once. She won the 2nd event of her career this year with the Bank of Hope LPGA match play which she will take plenty of confidence into especially after beating one of team Europe in the final Sophia Popov. She has had a very consistent year & has climbed to 22nd in the world with 2 top 6 finishes in her last 5 starts.
The world no 27 will play in her 2nd Solheim cup. Her event record currently is 2 wins & 2 defeats. Another player who has been consistent all year long & picked up her 3rd career victory this year with the Drive on Championship in March. Her partner is 2017 was Paula Creamer for all 3 foursome & fourball matches so she will be getting a new player to team up with this week. Jennifer Kupcho, I think could benefit from playing with her this week.
Lexi at just 26 years old is one of the veterans on the team this week having played in 4 Solheim cups already. She was involved in one of the best match play single matches off all time with Anna Nordqvist in 2017 where they halved the match. One for the neutrals to look out for on Monday should they get drawn together again. No wins for nearly 2 years now for Lexi but she has had 4 top 10 finishes this year in 15 starts with no missed cuts.
Another American who has a victory to her name this year wining at the very start with the Tournament of champions. She made all the cuts at every major & has had another solid year. She has played in 2 Solheim cups previously & has a record of 4 wins 2 loses & 2 halves so she has the joint 2nd best win percentage with Brittany Altomare only behind her sister. I’m fully expecting her to be teamed up with her sister every day this week as they are a very tough team to beat.
Megan is still looking for her 1st win on the LPGA but that doesn’t take away what a great player & year she has had. A consistent run of events with 3 top 10s sees her ranked as the 36th best golfer in the world. She will be keen to improve on her 2019 Solheim record & notch up a 1st win. She suffered 2 defeats & a halve on debut in 2019.
The 2nd Veteran of team USA with 4 appearances & holds an impressive record with 6wins 2 halves & 6 loses. Lizette came very close this year to her maiden major title with 2 2nd place finishes at the Open & PGA Championship. She is without a win since 2014 but a solid season has seen her rise to no14 in the world. The only thing missing for her this year is a win which I’m sure will be just around the corner. Team Europe will certainly be aware that she is undefeated in her 4 singles matches winning 3 & halving the other. She will make a great partner for one of the rookies this year to show them the ropes of the Solheim.
The 1st of 3 rookies for team USA but the only one who qualified in the points system. She has had 4 tops 10s & only missed 2 cuts from 16 events this season. A player who is still waiting for her 1st LPGA title but one of the most consistent players on tour. She rose to world no11 this year with her form but has since dropped to 28th. She made the cut in every major this year but never really challenged in them. She is somebody who I think will go very well this week.
The 1st Captain pick got in with her form over the past year only missing 3 cuts from 17 starts. Her 2 top 10s at the Meijer classic & a 9th place finish in the match play enough for captain Hurst to select her. Another player who is waiting on her maiden win on tour but a player who is good enough get it done very soon. As the 2nd oldest player on the team at just 30 she will be needed for her experience this week.
The 20-year-old is the youngest player playing this week by 3 years & is set for a great week. Her form in her last 4 events made her a dead cert on the captain picks. She has finished 13-7-14 & 3rd in her last 4 starts so is one of the in-form players this week who id expect to be out for all 5 matches even if she is a rookie. I can see her & Danielle Kang playing together this week as they both seem to be very fiery characters who can bounce of each other.
The final pick & another rookie for team USA. She has been on tour sine 2010 & we be buzzing to of finally made the team. She will bring over 10 years of tour experience to the team which could be vital. A few question marks on her pick could add pressure to her when she plays as there were 2 players in the world rankings ahead of her that have had equally good years. However, she fully deserved her place on the team especially on recent from which reads 13-5-29-2-46 3 of them starts being majors so she like Yealimi is in great form currently.
Captain – Catriona Matthew
Vice captains – Laura Davies, Kathryn Imrie & Suzann Pettersen
The current race to Costa del sol winner probably made the team last season with her 3-win winning streak she went on meaning nobody could catch her points total. Hard to believe she is still only ranked 68th in the world. She is one of Europe’s most in form players with recent finishes reading 13-5-29-2-46. She’s transitioned from LET to LPGA well this year with 3 top 10 finishes. She played in the 2017 edition of the Solheim & didn’t claim a point for her team which she will be determined to put right this time.
The 2018 British Open champion came close again last week finishing 2nd which got her an automatic spot on the team. She has played in 2 Solheim’s before & at the last one had a 100% record winning all 4 of her matches & 3 of them with Celine Boutier who I’m sure will both be paired together again this time round. Similar to the Korda sisters for Europe the Americans will be looking to take points of them this year to dent the team confidence. Her record overall is 6 wins 3 loses.
The most recent major winner & Solheim veterans comes into this week still elated with her 3rd Major championship. All of team USA will want to take points of the British Open champion. She is the oldest player playing this week at just 34 & has played in 6 Solheim’s playing 23 matches. Her record is 12 wins 9 loses & 2 halves. She will be expected to give advice & guidance to all the team this year as she has the most experience of any of the team playing & the rookies will learn a lot from her this week. I wouldn’t be surprised to see her paired up with Matilda Castren or Madelene Sagstrom this week.
It hasn’t been the best of years for Sophie results wise, but she is still an Open Champion & had a fantastic run in the match play which will give her plenty of confidence this week. Sophia didn’t play any of team USA in the match play but took out some of the world’s best such as Inbee Park, Patty Tavatanakit & Shanshan Feng on her route to the final where she lost to team USA player Ally Ewing. I’m sure she will be hoping for the same draw in the singles to get some payback. Even as a major winner Popov will be a rookie this year
Charley is USA equivalent of Lexi; she is only 25 & has already played in 4 Solheim’s. She has the best record of any of team Europe who had played in more than 1 Solheim winning 9 halving 3 & just 3 loses. She seems to be very Poulter like where she doesn’t always do amazing in Strokeplay events but when it comes to the Solheim something clicks & she delivers points. The Solheim Postwoman. She will be the perfect partner for Leona Maguire this week to show her the ropes.
Carlota is another player who hasn’t had a great year results wise. Just one top 10 all year but has made 14 cuts out of 17 event she has played so still plenty of ranking points earned. Its hard to believe her last victory was back in 2016. This will be her 5th Solheim this week & she has a great record from the previous 4 winning 6 halving 4 & has 6 loses. She played in all 5 games last time out & it’s likely she will be highly involved again this year.
A no brainer of a pick after her debut in 2019 winning every game she played. Herself & Georgia Hall were unplayable. 4 points from 4 she will be looking to add similar if not more points this year. The world no 65 is the 2nd lowest ranked player playing this week only Emily Pedersen is lower in the world rankings. I’m not quite sure how she isn’t higher she has had 4 top 10s in her last 8 starts one of those being at the PGA & has made 15cuts out of 18 starts. I can’t see her & Georgia being split up after their 2019 run they had.
Matilda had to go & win her home open to be eligible to play this Solheim cup which she went & did which shows what type of competitor she is. I’m very excited to see how she gets on this week & she should be another player who plays in all 5 matches. She has 2 wins to her name this year one on the LPGA & 1 on the LET. It only took her 15 starts on the LPGA to get a win & has been solid all year. The world no 47 has had 3 top 10s in 14 events. I can see her playing with another Scandinavian player this week to help her on the Rookie start.
Nanna was so close to her maiden Major at the Open going down the 18th level with Anna, but it wasn’t to be & she will have plenty more opportunities down the line. Another of the 4 rookies this year for team Europe she will be looking to carry on her impressive form as of late. A T5 & T9 finish in her last 3 starts show her game is trending in the right direction & a win isn’t far away it would seem. Just 2 missed cuts from 15 starts show how well she has been performing each week.
What a season it has been for Leona, its just missing the maiden victory on the LPGA. The world no45 has made 14cuts from 16 events & has 5 top 10 finishes to her name. In her last 9 starts she hasn’t finished lower than 26th so she could be the most in form player on team Europe without a win. She played 2 of team USA in the match play group stage beating the eventual winner Ally Ewing & halved with Kupcho so can take plenty of positives from those results. Leona should be playing all 5 games even as a rookie as she is one of Europe’s strongest players & they will need her.
Mrs Solheim Cup, she loves this event & couldn’t hide her delight after being selected for the team on her Instagram. ‘all jokes aside it will feel so good to be back inside the ropes this years & I don’t shy away from the fact that every 2 years this is always my goal’ this was after she wasn’t picked in 2019 & was handing out the water & snacks to other players as a vice captain. She got her maiden victory in 2020 at the ShopRite Classic, a win that was coming as she was in sensational form around that time. She has played in 3 Solheim’s over a 10-year period winning 4 games losing 6 & halving 2. Her experience will be vital to Team Europe this week.
Madelene won at the very start of 2020 with the Gainbridge. Since then, she has had steady results & lead after the 1st round of the Olympics just a few weeks ago going on to finish 20th. She has made 13 cuts from 17 events & last time out at the British Open she had her best finish of the year finishing 2nd so comes into the Solheim full of confidence. In her previous appearance at the Solheim in 2017 she won her singles match but lost both her fourball matches.