Next stop on the Asian swing is the Barclays Singapore Open which will be played exclusively on the demanding Serapong course at Sentosa GC this year. There are a few home players on the radar this week that tend to thrive in this part of the world and the heat factor may come into play
By all accounts, the Sentosa Serapong course may set up tough this week; according to former Barclays Singapore Open Champion Jeev Milkha Singh, your game must be in good shape or you can easily card some big numbers on the tight Sentosa track. The Serapong is lined by bunkers and plays a lengthy 7,372 yards to a par of 71. A sub air system allows for fast greens and water hazards are also a prominent feature so a good all round game, with a premium on driving ability, is the criteria needed for the Barclays Singapore Open this week.
2012 Barclays Singapore Open picks - Follow me on twitter: @Nicspicks
Pick #1: Padraig Harrington ew @ 30/1 (general) may have gone through some troubles with the driver but seems to be back on track of late. Fresh off a victory at the Grand Slam of golf, Harrington still excels in the scrambling department, although it took him a while to get to grips with the groove changes. 37th in scrambling on the PGA Tour and still in the top 20 in putting from 5-15' (and a lover of fast greens), the Dubliner can feed off the newly found confidence on a course where he finished just one shot off the lead in 2008, when all four rounds were on the Serapong.
Pick #2: YE Yang ew @ 50/1 (PP 6 places) is a man with course form on the Serapong and will be obviously well equipped to withstand expected sticky weather conditions. Yang is simmering of late with some decent form in Asia and finished in a tie for 46th at the BMW Masters. His game sets up well for tougher courses and Sentosa will be a test this week.
Pick #3: Thongchai Jaidee @ 66/1 (PP - 6 places) is another who excels in his own part of the world. Prior to Jaidee's win at Celtic Manor earlier this year, all his wins had come in Asia but he will now have the confidence to get it done in quality fields. Jaidee comes off the back of three consecutive top 25s and has the all round game to tackle the Serapong. Thongchai excels in the total driving department, averaging 290 yards off the tee with over 60% of fairways hit.
Pick #4: Thomas Bjorn ew @ 66/1 (PP - 6 places) If driving ability coupled with scrambling skills and experience is the order of the day, Thomas Bjorn is a name that jumps out. One of the best wedge players in the game, Bjorn closed out last week at the HSBC with two rounds in the sixties and his price is simply too big relative to the Barclays Singapore Open field. Thomas featured here in 2008.
Barclays Singapore Open Sleeper Watch
Two superb drivers of the golf ball come into the staking plan here. Rafa Cabrera Bello (80/1 - 6 places) has been showing mixed form of late with four rounds in the sixties in his last eight and I'm still expecting him to burst into form before the season finale, while multiple winner Berndt Wiesberger (66/1 ew) wrapped up last week with a weekend 68-68 and could be a feature this week. RCB is a generous looking 80/1 ew with Ladbrokes for first round leader and trading at triple figures on the exchanges which may represent a good back to lay opportunity
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