Its the Volvo Golf Champions tournament this week as Paddy Power release a new free bets offer and the latest odds on the outright winner, as Ernie Els, Louis Oosthuizen & Thomas Bjorn head the markets.
The European Tour tees off for the first time in 2013 as the Tour’s top-35 players battle it out for the pot in the Volvo Golf Champions event at Durban Country Club in South Africa.
The event is only open to those who won a tournament in 2012 and golfers with more than 10 career European Tour victories, therefore it’s fair to say the cream of the crop will be battling it out this week.
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The top-class nature of the tournament will bring out plenty of punters from the betting doldrums as they look to start 2013 with a bank breaking profit.
The Durban Country Club is a very tricky 6,732 yard course that is the only African course to be ranked in Golf Magazine’s top 100 global courses ranking. It includes some really challenging par-4 that takes some plotting round.
The key attribute to look for in potential winners of the tournament is accuracy off the tee as despite not being overly long the rough on the periphery of the fairways in very challenging and hazardous.
Staying out of danger around there can be the difference between challenging at the top of the leaderboard and just falling short.
The greens also take some getting used to and it’s much wiser going for players that are safe on the greens rather than aggressive, inconsistent players that blow hot and cold with better.
Usually, the player that makes the least mistakes seems to flourish under these conditions.
With those attributes in mind, it is no surprise to see Louis Oosthuizen heading the market at 9/2 with bet365 in his native South Africa. The little man is arguably one of the most consistent players on the European Tour and relishes tournament like this where length is taking out of the equation and putting skills come to the fore.
He is likely to have a successful four days, but at a single figure price he represents little value due to his inability to win tournaments on a regular basis. The 2010 Open Champion is a mainstay in the top 10 but hasn’t won an event since April when he ran out a three-stroke winner of the Malaysian Open.
That statistic makes him very opposable at the prices for this week’s tournament with plenty of players in behind Oosthuizen in the market that a very capable of turning it on this weekend. Sticking to the local players when assessing a punting attack on the tournament certainly looks a ploy to consider.
Branden Grace emerged from a play-off as victor at last year’s event but he won’t be the same player around this tight track, therefore the 14/1 quotes are best ignored. Better value can be found in the shape of 2012 Open champion Ernie Els, who certainly has found some of the old magic in his arms over the last 12 months.
Big Easy is a master with the putter and will relish the challenging greens this week. Having won at Durban in 1998 and 2010, Els also has solid course form.
Punters seem to be latching onto his chances though, and he has been well backed from 8/1 into 13/2 with Bet365 ante-post, which perhaps isn’t an ideal price but still well worth considering.
Bernd Wiesberger could be a player to consider at bigger prices. He has played very well in his homeland before, finishing runner-up at the South African Open Championship in 2011.
The 66/1 quotes with Coral certainly are worth a second look when you consider he won twice on the European Tour in 2012. As an each-way prospect he makes plenty of appeal.