The European Tour has reached its last four events of the season, and the Race To Dubai, and the $3.5 cheque that goes with it, begins in earnest.
The first event is the BMW Masters, and there is a strong form-link between this week’s venue, The Masters Course, Lake Malaren Golf Club, Shanghai, China, and the one used for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Champions event. Both layouts lend themselves to long powerful hitting and those who can find plenty of greens in regulation. However, good wedge players can also profit here as the well-contoured greens put an emphasis on getting your ball near the flag in order to take some of the pressure of the putting.
Likely favourite Justin Rose could easily have won the 2013 Abu Dhabi Championship, and finished 6th here on his only appearance, however he’s passed over as he may be a little rusty after playing no recent tournament golf.
Two players who ideally fit the criteria this week are Jamie Donaldson and Shane Lowry, whilst Brooks Koepka and Rafa Cabrera-Bello are added to the staking plan.
Jamie Donaldson (1.5 points each-way @ 20/1)
Donaldson took advantage of Rose’s last-round surrender in the 2013 Abu Dhabi Championship, whilst finishes of 16th and 34th in this event don’t tell the full story. In 2012, he started with a 62 but failed to take advantage, whilst last year he did the polar opposite by starting with a 79 before posting three solid rounds afterwards. Since then, nobody can argue that the Welshman has made giant strides in world golf, including holding the winning putt in his debut Ryder Cup, and I expect a big performance here.
Shane Lowry (1 point each-way @ 30/1)
The Irishman is another to have made giant strides since hitting form in the second half of the season, and posted a 4th in the Abu Dhabi Championship in 2010. He was also 5th here in 2012, whilst an opening round 78 ruined his chances last year though he still finished tied 24th.
Brooks Koepka (1.5 points each-way @ 20/1)
If I’m honest, the young American looks underpriced at 20/1 as he’s yet to win a professional event outside the Challenge Tour – but it surely won’t be long before he does. Recent form figures of 3/11/9/8/4 show his turn surely can’t be far away, and he’s as long as anyone off the tee. His great American friend peter Uihlein also played well on his debut here last year.
Rafa Cabrera-Bello (0.5 points each-way @ 66/1)
The Spaniard finished 8th here last year, shooting rounds of 67 and 68 which were unfortunately book-ended by a pair of 73’s. Only three outings in the last 10 weeks signal his intention to arrive fresh for the big-money season final four events, whilst 12th on his last appearance showed that his game shouldn’t be far away.
Kevin Kisner’s tie for 4th landed both a share of our 1 point each-way bet on him at 100/1 (13 points return) and our 2 points top-10 bet on him at 9/1 (returned 20 points); helping us to a nice profit on the week of 17 points.
That’s our Golf betting tips for this week, what do you fancy?