Selectabet: Alfred Dunhill Championship

Date:                     17th – 20th November 2011

Competition:     Alfred Dunhill Championship

Venue:                 Leopard Creek CC, Malelane, South Africa

Aweh my bru! Welcome to the rainbow nation and a truly awe inspiring Mpumalanga. Designed by Gary Player, the course at Leopard Creek is in a stunning setting on the edge of Kruger National Park. Winding through the bush and grasslands past natural water hazards, the layout is famed for its plentiful and diverse wildlife with hippopotamus, waterbuck, impala, giraffes, crocodiles and leopards all frequently seen on and around the course. This year we will also see the rare (on the big Tour) cheating half of Team Saltman – “little” Elliot (423/1 at BetDaq).

Yards:                   7,326 yards

Par:                        Par 72

Field:                   

Although the field is dominated by home players, a number of the lower ranking Europeans are on the start sheet, many from the Challenge Tour or those who finished outside the top 115 on last year’s Tour. Included in this watered down Tour event is the very American sounding Linus (Gillgren) at 835/1, Dodge (Kemmer) at 265/1, Wade (Ormsby) at 275/1 and both the Tyrone’s (Mordt (275/1) and Ferreira (854/1)) – all at BetFair! The LA Crips clearly has some new members!

Who could cast a beady eye over the start sheet without stopping on the RSPC sponsored Neil Sheitekat (618/1) and my new favourite monickered player on any Tour – the one, the only…Theunis Spangenburg (974/1) – both BetDaq!

Consider…:

With just four events left on the 2011 Race to Dubai, a number of players in the field this week are feeling the pressure. Some are trying desperately to ensure they finish in the top 115 on the money list in order to retain their playing privileges for 2012, others are looking towards the top-60 and the prospect of competing in the Dubai World Championship.  Beyond that, the trick will be finding the greens in regulation. The last seven winners of this event have averaged 72.41% of GIR.

Ones to watch:

With five top five finishes, a putter that’s always on fire and having made the right career choice (his father wanted him to be a tennis player) Pretorian George Coetzee (14/1 with William Hill and PaddyPower) is definitely one to watch this week. Coetzee has firmly secured his Tour card for next season and clearly stated his intentions on the Tour with frequent strong finishes. Ag baas!

With seven top fifteen finishes in the season before making a breakthrough with his maiden victory at the Open de Espana in 2011 just a few days after golfing legend Seve passed away, South African Thomas Aiken (141/10 with BetDaq) has certainly cemented his standing on the European Tour. Has earned a wage every week bar five this season and sits comfortably in the top 20 on tour. Finished fifth here last year and again will be a strong contender ya?

Ones to win:

Moffie look-a-like Robert Rock (18/1 at Coral and BetFred) is widely tipped among those to perform well this weekend having performed consistently in patches throughout the year. Is about to embark on his most consistent performing “swing” on the tour but will he be chomping on the boerewors on Sunday and waking with a babelaas babbelas on Monday?

Pablo Martin (34/1 at UniBet) obviously! A win again here at his special place would mean a hat trick of consecutive gold medals. Enough said!

Your welcome! 

Jenks out!

http://www.selectabet.net/

Selectabet: Barclays Singapore Open

Date:                     10th – 13th November 2011

Competition:     Barclays Singapore Open

Well, it’s hot and it’s wet. Good if you are with a lady, but no good if you are trying to grip it and rip it down tight lush fairways! That aside, welcome to sticky Singapore and the third major Barclays sponsored tournament of 2011! The Asian swing continues after an exciting KAY-max last week in Shanghai and you find all of us here hoping for more “to the death” action over two of this Island Country’s finest golf courses for the richest purse in the East!

Venue:                 The Tanjong & the Serapong, Sentosa Golf Club, Singapore

Both courses at this unique tournament are played over the first two days, while the weekend brings consecutive rounds on the tougher course. While the Tanjong is the natural beauty – shorter with water, trees and is superbly well bunkered – the Serapong is significantly longer and has views over the vast Singapore harbor – the world’s busiest port (in terms of shipping tonnage). In terms of shots takenage though, it’s the Tanjong that should ignite some interesting low scores in preparation for the real business over the weekend.

Yards:                   6,625 yards and 7,357 yards respectively

Par:                        Par 71

Field:                   

A bumper 204 strong field is taking to the lush Zoysia Matrella grass of these immaculate fairways including Major Champions Phil Mickelson (16/1), Yang Yong-eun (35/1), Graeme McDowell (18/1) and 3 time old timer Padraig Harrington (40/1). However, other talent is included in the form of Anthony Kim (18/1), Camillo Villegas (25/1) and several unheard-of unprenounceables beyond Melvin Chew Por Chen (2000/1), Madasaamy Murugiah (2000/1), Guido Van Der Walk (“No bets please we are Dutch”) and Quincy Quek (1,000/1 – all Bet365). Take your pick!

Consider…:

Rules. The Singapore authorities love rules and make ridiculous ones at that. Consider a jail term for the following simple actions: peeing in an elevator; walking around your own home in the nude; and oral sex (caveat: unless used as a form of foreplay). Consider also the rules on homosexuality being illegal and failure to flush a public lavatory will lead to hefty fines. No wonder then that John Daly never made the sponsors invite list. 

Ones to watch:

Mardan Mamat (300/1 at SportingBet) created history as the first Singaporean to win on The European Tour for a one stroke victory in the 2006 Singapore Masters. The local hero believes he’s still got what it takes to keep alive his record at this Open and especially with a long putter in the bag for the first time. He has made the cut every year except 2007 (disqualified!) and has finished 16th in 2005, 12th in 2006, 41st in 2008, 31st in 2009 and 37th last year.

Grinding out a 7th place in Shanghai last week, Louis Oosthuisen (26/1 at BetFair & BetDaq) is clearly back to his very best and while he comes with no history at the Barclays, has no jet lag and is acclimatized to the surroundings that welcome him this week. A win in Africa in January and not much since, his last two events have earned top 10 places (the Alfred Dunhill Links Championships) – now that’s surely a way to put the spring back in the Springboks step.

Ones to win:

Former paratrooper Thongchai Jaidee (79/1 at BetDaq) has found a remarkable rich vein of form. Several weeks ago it was looking likely that despite having more air miles than any other professional, he may lose out on a European Tour card but now a top 100 place is all but secured! This return to form, coupled with recent success in Asia on the short Tour means that Jaidee could be the one singing the Thongs come Sunday evening.

Knocking back the Singapore slings (like Rioja?), smoking a fine Cuban this week and holding the winning Raffles ticket (get it?) I clearly see Miguel Angel Jimenez (50/1 at BetDaq) staring back at me atop the winners rostrum in my crystal ball. With a timely second place finish in Andalucia (courtesy of some brown sponsor’s envelopes perhaps?) and 333,000 gold sovereigns later – his season is back on track as he now fights for a stunning R2D top ten finish. All that eludes him from this year is a victory – and for someone of his caliber, despite the humidity, is no sweat.

Your welcome!

Jenks out!

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Selectabet: WGC – HSBC Champions

Date:                     3rd – 6th November 2011

Competition:     WGC – HSBC Champions

Shanghai huan ying ni! Welcome to Shanghai – and by the way, you are welcome to it! A city where every one of its 23,000,000 inhabitants will be at the airport when you arrive! Or at least, it will seem like it after the 12 hour flight!

And so, another European Tour year meanders towards its end and with this week’s Asian event, a star studded and global field that represent over 20 Nationalities for the $7 million prize pot of the World Golf Championships – Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Champions Tournament – unsurprisingly shortened to WGC – HSBC. (Which for all your grammar Nazis and repetitive human rights activists’ avoids repeating the same words in the one short soy sauce infused breath).

Venue:                 Sheshan International GC, Shanghai, China

Sheshan International Golf Club is Shanghai’s first and most exclusive private golf club where in truth both of its members are too busy trying to only have one child (or pay a fine) to find time to play the wonderful game that is golf. That said, I’ve played this on the Wii many a time and it’s a fantastic golf course where my personal best is a 57!

Back in real life, many of the holes play along the existing canal, around manmade lakes or over the spectacular quarry which is the major feature of Sheshan. Beyond the lakes, scenic landscaped streams don’t forget to add a stunning mountain forest backdrop to the picture and you have pretty much got one of the most aesthetically pleasing lush golf courses anywhere on planet golf. Holes 16 and 17 play around and over the quarry, giving golfers both a stern test of golf but also a wonderful vista, if you were not focused on your A-game.

As you can imagine, as a course, it is more American than Chinese. Otherwise it would be short. And yellow.

Yards:                   7,233 yards

Par:                        Par 72

Field:                   

The 7 million Yuan first prize has appealed to every one of the Worlds’ most in-form golfers including Masters Champion Charl Schwartzel (28/1), Open Champion Darren Clarke (370/1) and US PGA Champion Keegan Bradley (48/1) who will all look to add the final World Golf Championship event to their 2011 Major success. They are joined by Cadillac Championship winner Nick Watney (23/1) and WGC – Bridgestone Invitational champion Adam Scott (88/5 – all BetDaq) alongside 23 of both the European and PGA Tours event winners and victors of other piddley-little events in Asia.

All, that is, except one Lucas Donald, who is rubbing salt into hard working Chinese wounds by staying at home while his live-in-baby-maker pops out yet another money-grabbing-sleep-stealer to push the population tally well over the 7 billion mark. Which appears to be a similar figure to that of his combined season’s winnings this year!

Consider…:

Consider only the quality of the field – it’s a really open 78 horse race! Anyone of these finally honed athletes could take the Old Tom Morris Cup come Sunday evening. It will be humid, it will rain and there may be thunderstorms and so obviously the likely performers, able to cope, will be those based in Florida or who are from the region.

Ones to watch:

With two wins in 2011 – including one, bizarrely, for his own tournament (The CJ Invitational hosted (and won!) by KJ Choi) – it is World Number 13 Choi (33/1 with Paddy Power and Bwin) who is my one to watch this week. The Korean son of a rice farmer made history as the first of his Nation to win on both sides of the Atlantic and has kept a consistent form at the top level since. With 8 top tens and a victory in the 5th major in 2011 he shows no signs of throwing the golfing equivalent of a “paddy” and should be contender rice up to the bitter end!

Second in 2010, and enjoying playing on the best conditioned golf course that he has seen all year, the Chinese tinged Lee “Woksop” Westwood (8/1 with Bet365 and SkyBet) hopes to follow in Luke Donald’s pedicured footsteps by vying for his first WGC title. Westwood’s fifth in the Shanghai Master last week included a hole in one and comes at the end of a quality five week spell where he has had 4 top ten finishes in 5 starts. He is certainly one to watch given recent form and sitting in a lowly 5th position in the Race to Dubai, a top finish will see him likely rise towards the top once again.

Ones to win:

Never the first to do anything of note, but will always eventually follow suit, it Rory McIlroy (11/2 with Victor Chandler) who will fire himself into the footsteps of Sergio and Bjorn with back to back win on the European Tour this year. With fire in his belly after the shambles that was the Masters, his form has been nothing short of phenomenal and you can see it in his eyes he believes that he can catch Luke for the European Crown. With the World Number 1 in absentia this week, it’s as good a chance as he will get to significantly close the gap! 

However, this week it’s all about a player with 7 top tens this year including a victory and a six in the other WGC events; it is the six foot good looking Aussie love machine Adam Scott (88/5 with BetDaq) that excites me this week. It’s a rarity that he plays outside the USA and his homeland but after sticking the fingers up at the “Has Been” Tiger Woods by employing his caddie and subsequently winning; Scott has been back to the form of old since returning from a dip in form in 2009 and reentered the World’s top ten. In particular watch for his crisp swing, accurate ball striking and some trophy broad of the quality of Ana Ivanovic, Kate Hudson or Marie Kojzar on his arm.

Your welcome!

Jenks out!

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Selectabet: Andalucia Masters

Date:                     27th – 30th October 2011

Competition:     Andalucia Masters

Hello, welcome to Spain, the Number 1 ranked course in Continental Europe and the last European event of the 2011 Race to Dubai season. We are at Club de Golf Valderrama, a few miles North of Gibraltar in Paella Country.

As the race hots-up nicely for a dramatic climax with the Dubai World Championships a few weeks away – all eyes are on the 15 individuals who are a mere 3,000,000 Euros behind run away Race to Dubai Money leader, PGA Tour Money Winner and, lets’ not forget, World Number 1 (without a major)…Luke Donald.

Venue:                 Club de Golf Valderrama, Sotogrande

Navigating subtle doglegs on gently undulating parkland terrain through a cork forest, this Robert Trent Jones Sr. design seems so simple and effortless one does not have a day go by without pondering why every golf course can’t be like this. It is, by no means, an easy course – nor was it intended to be, but designed to call for thought and precision on every shot. Now one of the world’s most famous clubs, Valderrama features small, raised greens defended by heavy bunkering and cork trees. (I said cork imbécil….!)

Yards:                   6,988 yards

Par:                        71

Field:                   

Now that the US PGA Tour has come to a giddy money grabbing climax (congratulations again Luke), it’s the turn of the European Tour to turn up the heat on those focusing on a top 60 position for the Dubai World Championships and specifically the top 15 who can qualify for their share of the $7.5 Million Bonus Pool. Those currently wide of the mark include Padraig Harrington, Justin Rose and Jeev Milka Singh who this weekend will flamenco head to head for 500,000 small golden reasons why they should make this year’s draft and take their strutting to the Arabian desert.

Consider…:

This course favours length, accuracy and with such small greens, meticulous putting (Paul Lawrie is not playing).  This week, those hotly tipped for these very reasons include Richie Ramsay (75/1), Thomas Aiken (28/1) and Ross Fisher (35/1 – all Bet365) although none of them made Jenks’ shortlist this week.

Last year’s winning score was minus 3 (-3) but despite that, look out for the 536 yard par 5 17th that delights golf nuts each year with everything from albatrosses to wet feet as the round draws to a close!

Ones to watch:

One player, likely to never complain about Valderrama’s 17th hole is Miguel Angel Jimenez (69/1 with BetDaq). In the 1994 Volvo Masters, Jimenez carded an albatross, eagle and two birdies over four rounds. Currently sitting in 16th position outside the bonus pool, the athletic, flexible and clean living Miguel needs to quit the siestas and put in solid performance in the busy coming schedule to secure his position within the crème of the crop.

With its tight fairways and small greens, Valderrama suits Graeme McDowell (20/1 with PaddyPower) down to the ground. He currently ranks fifth on Tour in GIR, hitting 13.9 per round, which coupled with his above average driving accuracy (9.1 fairways per round) should see him fare well this week. And whatever the venue it always helps to putt well, and with the Northern Irishman ranking 16th in putts per GIR the numbers really do seem to be in his favour.

Ones to win:

One of the many local heroes, Pablo Larrazabel (81/1 at WBX) has played consistently and solidly across the whole length of the season. Pulled off a great win at the BMW International to cement his Tour Card (to avoid future work on the family fish farm) but will be keen to avoid playing like a donkey and put in further good performances to put him in with the big hats in the European Tours valuable top ten club.

Moving to England from South Africa was just the start of Justin Rose (22/1 at Bet365 & VictorChandler) and his link to the world of golf – first breaking 70 aged 11, playing off plus 3 at 14 and playing in the Walker Cup aged 17 years and 10 days. 14 years later, and now playing much of his golf in the US, he finished 5th in the Fed Ex Cup in 2011 and requires 4 more outings to meet European Tour obligations (having played 9 events) and a number of high placed finishes to ensure a decent position in the rankings let alone an exclusive top 60 or even top 15 finish! His US win in late September proves he has it to compete for the sangria from the silverware while the Marcha Real plays on!

Your welcome!

Jenks out!

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Selectabet: Portugal Masters

Date:                     13th – 16th October 2011

Competition:     Portugal Masters

This week we turn to a small slither of mainland Europe that is a little bit Spanish, a bit African and more than just a little bit Brazilian. And so with no hairs (“Brazilian” – geddit?) or graces, it’s the turn of the Portugal Masters from the Oceanico Victoria Golf Course, Portugal, West Spain.

Venue:                 Oceanico Victoria Golf Course

This jewel in the Algarve’s golfing crown is the most recent course project of one Arnold Palmer that opened in 2004. With wide, undulating fairways, extensive water hazards and cleverly positioned bunkers it is very American in look and feel and despite sounding relatively easy for us hookers, hackers and duffers, I am reliably informed that its not.

Yards:                   7,231 yards

Par:                        72

Field:                   

Five major champions and 20 Ryder Cup players take part in this week’s stroll around a wet and sandy field with the 416,660 tiny incentives to do so. Some names you may have heard of comprise Kaymer (10/1), Harrington 22/1), Pa. Lawrie (90/1) and The Mechanic (50/1) amongst their sort.

However, despite Portugal’s sporting prowess topping out with Ricardo “The Woodcutter” Carvalho, Cristiano “I dance!” Ronaldo and some bloke called Figo, also in the thick of it this week are golfing Portugeezers including the greasy Santos brothers – Hugo (1500/1) and Ricardo (200), Antonio “Mr Pink” Rosado (2000/1) and Nuno “No Overnight Stay” Campino (2000/1 – all at Bet365).

Consider…:

…what you like, but this weeks’ competition is wide open as the race hots up on Top 60 status; Dubai World Championships invite; Tour Cards; or just impress for increased event invites next year. Therefore it is anyone’s game.

Having said that, I smell brown envelopes and so….

Ones to watch:

Despite wanting to cut off his damn ponytail, it’s Marcel Siem (256/1 at Betfair) who, for me, has the X Factor this week. The little pedantic German will tee off at precisely 13:50 on Thursday fighting for a top 115 spot and secure next years’ tour card. Not the only one fighting out for the richest of European golfing prizes but certainly Marcel has the talent; turning Pro with a handicap of plus 6 in 2004, nearly hitting the gong on the European Tours “Every Shot Imaginable” series and is a consistent performer worthy of more than the sum of this year’s results.

Having viewed, analysed and dissected his swing (with Paul Lawrie) closely at the Dunhill Links Championships, Joost Luiten (24/1 at Unibet) is another one I will be watching this week. Not only does he has one of the better names on the tour, but Joost has had three top tens in his last three outings in a Luke Donald rich vein of form and 5 since June. That said it’s disappointing to hear that his interests are computers. Watch him play golf, just don’t engage him in conversation.

Ones to win:

Two second place finishes in the last two Portugal Masters have meant its third time lucky for Italian, Francesco Molinari (16/1 at PaddyPower and Bodog). With two card busting 62’s in last year’s event, expect a little more from the Inter Milan supporting 2010 Ryder Cup Rookie and a typifying end of season charge up the Race to Dubai Leader board. The Superbock awaits….

Proving himself to be more Portuguese than Nelly Furtado, Jay Kay, the leader singer of rock group Journey and some bloke called Tim (google them!), its Peter Hanson (16/1 at Coral and Bwin) who this week, is getting set for European domination and heading for a top ten R2D finish.  As with Molinari above, a strong season finish (alongside the 6 top tens of 2011) will position the Swede at the business end of the European Tour chart.

You’re welcome.

Jenks out!

http://www.selectabet.net/

Selectabet: Bankia Madrid Masters

Date:                     6th – 9th October 2011

Competition:     Bankia Madrid Masters

The fourth Bankia Madrid Masters will take place this week with some of golf’s top names bullfighting for the lion’s share of the €1 million prize money. This year, the tournament, will be held at the El Encín Golf Hotel in Alcalá de Henares for the first time, taking over from last year’s venue, the Real Sociedad Hípica Española Club de Campo. Alcalá is a beautiful, historically rich city located around 20 miles from the Spanish capital, no-where near Benidorm. 

Venue:                 El Encin Golf Hotel, Alcala de Henares, Spain

El Encín Golf Hotel is a typical Robert Von Hagge design; a long championship course, but with six different sets of tees overlooked by the stunning mountains of the Santos del la Humosa region. It is a ridiculously flat course but comes with great undulating greens, a plethora of bunkers and huge water hazards in play on 16, 17 and 18.

Yards:                   7,651 yards

Par:                        Par 72

Field:                   

It will mark the first time for 18 years that the World’s number one player will compete in a European Tour event in Madrid – if you lot remember Nick Faldo (Google him), he was the last in ‘93! There will be 22 home nation players competing including a Pedro (Oriol (399/1)), a Jose (Manual Lara (69/1)), a Javi (Colomo (499/1)) and Jesus himself (Arruti (749/1))! Perhaps mid-transgender operation, there are even a handful of Marias. The Master of the Masters is 48 year old winner of the 1995 Madeira Islands Open, Santiago Luna (499/1 – all BetDaq) who is making his 589th European tour start.

Consider…:

The rain in Spain won’t be falling mainly on the plain this weekend as it is planned to be typically warm and sunny and the key considerations are what time is the siesta, who’s backswing is least hindered by huge sun hats and who can follow through properly with a wicker donkey stuffed under their arm. And if stereotypes are to be believed, we can count out the Brits who come midday will be sun burnt and pissed and wont figure at all. That said….

Ones to watch:

Former Essex born English Amateur Champion and paella addict, Ross McGowan (294/1 at BetFair) is worthy of casting your mince pies on as a former winner of this tournament with record breaking scores (-25 under par) in 2009. Despite returning from a serious injury in 2010 and having a more off than on season, Ross is a fantastic putter and more than capable of causing some serious harm on these greens.

Former Johnny Walker Championship and Scandinavian Masters winner Marc Warren (85/1 at BetDaq) is also a man on form after a season best 5th place over the three links courses of the Alfred Dunhill Championships. Returning from missing his Tour Card in 2010, Warren’s season has been bitty (like tapas) at best but is on the up again.

Ones to win:

With 9 top ten’s from 11 starts in Europe (not to mention 13 top ten’s from 18 Stateside) Luke Donald (9/2 everywhere) reaches the real pinnacle of his career being mentioned in this feature two weeks on the trot. The winner of the paella pan and flamenco master class of the Madrid Masters in 2010 is again a contender this year, despite only three wins amongst his global dominance. Donald is proving to be as consistently brilliant as a Torres Rioja or the Rodriguez Spicy Chorizo sausage. This was the event that kick started his global ascendancy – will it continue here? 

If it’s not a Brit, it may be a fiery Latin (non Spanish) and this week we look no further than one of the Molinari’s. And specifically the quiet brother to the even quieter hairy one. A repeatedly consistent performer with one missed cut in 2011, Francesco (19/1 at BetFair and BetDaq) is where my money is at this week and I anticipate 166,666 reasons he believes he can win before he packs up to head for the hills and his annual snowboard-fest. No bull.

Jenks Out

http://www.selectabet.net/

Selectabet: Alfred Dunhill Links Championship

Date:                     29th September to 2nd October 2011

Competition:     Alfred Dunhill Links Championship

The Alfred Dunhill Links Championship is one of the richest tournaments on the European Tour and a 4 day pro-am.  With teams consisting of one professional and one amateur (from other sports or the worlds of entertainment or business) playing one round each at St Andrews Old, Carnoustie Championship and Kingsbarns. After these first three rounds there is a cut, with the leading 60 professionals continuing on to play in the final round at St Andrews over the historic Old Course.

The 60 leading Pros’ and their teams are joined by the leading 20 teams, regardless of whether the professional member of the team made the cut individually.

“Oh. My. God. Hugh Grant looks a bit divine doesnt he?”

Venues:               St. Andrews Old, Carnoustie Championship & Kingsbarns Golf Links

A stern links test for all players this – especially Carnoustie (where in club medal competitions the standard scratch can be as high as 76!), but it is a great way for following patrons to get up close and personal with many of the players and the celebrities and enjoy the amazing walks around the three participating golf course.

“Howzat! Ian Botham looks fat now-a-days doesn’t he?”

Yards:                   St Andrews: 7,279 yards; Carnoustie Championship: 7,412 yards; Kingsbarns 7,150 yards

Par:                        Each Par 72

Field:                   

It is one of the stronger European Tour fields that you can get with a total of 15 of the world’s top 50 making the trip to Scotland, including Major Champions Darren Clarke (113/1), Charl Schwartzel (28/1) and other leading players including Ernie Els (69/1), Retief Goosen (77/1), Dustin Johnson (30/1) and Graeme McDowell (52/1 – all BetDaq).

“What a come-back for Shane Warne’s hair!”

Consider…:

Here are three links courses – two of which are exceptionally tough and the third of which can be relatively easy provided you know where to put the ball. So bearing in mind that despite recent forecasts for hugely unseasonal weather if the wind blows, playing well in this weather will be tough for all.

“What do you call a woman who knows where her husband is every night? A redhead….oh look, there’s Chris Evans.”

Ones to watch:

Sadly losing out on adding the FedEx Cup to his trophy cabinet last weekend, and the potential to remove consistent ownership from the yanks (yet still add yet another top ten finish to the 14 that helped get him in to contention), Luke Donald (Ladbrokes and 888Sport), winner over the Links at Castle Stuart earlier this year bids to ensure that the Race To Dubai doesn’t slip from his grip in the same way. Luke was 11th at the Open in 2010, 7th in the Dunhill in 2009 and is fishing for his second straight Scottish title.

With one or two putting problems on his shoulders at the moment, but still with 4 consecutive top ten finishes on both sides of the pond in the last 2 months, Lee Westwood (11/1 at Bodog & StanJames) continues to fight for the retaking of his Race to Dubai crown. A win here should see him skip over Rory McIlroy and Charl Schwartzel (28/1 at BetDaq and BetFair) into second and an exciting run in where he stands an outside chance of catching Luuuuuuke for the European Number One spot.

“It’s so unfair; Tim Henman is a great golfer as well!”

Ones to win:

It’s the most exciting golfer of the last 12 months who, for me, is hotly tipped to take the Links trophy and 500,000 cans of Irn Bru that come with it. Rory McIlroy (10/1 with Victor Chandler & BlueSq) was third here on his second outing as professional in 2007 (securing enough money in two events, to retain his tour card) and who shot a blisteringly low 62 in the 2010 Open. Contrary to his admission at Royal St Georges, McIlroy is clearly a man who does enjoy his links golf when the going is good.

With 7 top tens’ including two wins in 2011, and as with bragging rights as a previous winner from 2009, its Simon Dyson (22/1 at Bwin) who is on a charge in the latter part of this season as he has climbed up to the Race to Dubai rankings. With a penchant for winning over courses he likes (he was won three KLM Opens now) it’s only a matter of time before he tops the leader board at the Dunhill, next year’s Irish Open or the HSBC Indonesian. While I’ve money in my pocket, he can have it now…. 

“Isn’t that one of the highest scorers ever playing in that group over there? It looks like Sir Bobby Charlton…”

See you in the Jigger Inn! Jenks out….

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