Volvo Golf Champions Tips, Picks And Guide

The first installment of European tour action in 2014 comes from Durban Country Club in the shape of the Volvo Golf Champions, and again it will largely be a watching brief, with no current form and only a smattering of course form to go on. There are a couple of O/R and top ten prices that catch the eye in particular.....

The course:

Durban Country club; Par 72; length: 6,689 yds

Key features: Undulating, beach side, links style course. Tree-lined with tight landing areas.

Notes: Very wet in the area. Course tests all aspects of your game. Likely to be windy.

Premium on: hitting fairways, especially with extra rainfall. Controlling ball flight. Strategic play.

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Nicspicks' man to beat: Charl Schwartzel

Likely to be backed in: Louis Oosthuizen 16/1, B Grace 25/1, D. Fichardt 80/1

Market #negatives: T. Bjorn 14/1, J. Donaldson 12/1 (markedly underpriced IMO)

Volvo Golf Champions Shortlist

MA Jimenez 20/1

Current form: 8-20-1; Course form: n/a

Key stats: (2013): 32nd in Stroke average; Driving accuracy 68.76%;

Other: Course right up the Spaniard's street. Keen to prove he still has what it takes.

Notes: Jimenez has now turned 50

Branden Grace 25/1

Course form: 21-7; Current form: 52-20-20-6 #progressive

Key stats: (2013): n/a

Other: Low ball flight will be of benefit round here. Looking to bounce back from poor season. Home advantage. Inflated price.

Peter Uihlein 33/1

Course form: n/a; Current form: 55-57-51-10

Key stats: (2013): Putts per round 29.15; GIR 68.78%;

Other: Proven what he can do in the wind with a win in Madeira, 2nd at the Dunhill Links and he also held the halfway lead at Carton House where I saw a lot of him live.

He said: “In college in Oklahoma it was quite windy all the time, so I quite enjoy the wind"

Julien Quesne 55/1

Course form: wd-5; Current form: 34-12-47

Key stats: (2013): GIR 70.72%

Other: 20th and 7th in last two links outings. Impressive win at the Italian Open.

Darren Fichardt 80/1

Course form: 5-61-1-mc-29; Current form: 15-21-37-mc-12-50

Key stats: (2013): putts per round: 28.07;

Other: Vast course knowledge. Returned to form at the Nedbank. Markedly overpriced in top ten market.

Michael Hoey 110/1

Course form: 52-mc-25; Current form: mc-wd-50

Key stats: (2013): n/a

Other: Links and wind specialist. Can turn it on from nowhere. Injury problems should be behind him.

Volvo Golf Champions finalised staking plan:
1u ew Branden Grace @ 25/1 (BV,Lads)
0.75u ew Julien Quesne @ 55/1 (BV,SJ)
2u D. Fichardt top ten @ 9/2 (Skybet)
2u M. Hoey top ten @ 6/1 (SJ)

Trading zone

Volvo golf Champions Potential Long odds #back-to-lays: M. Hoey, D. Fichardt S. Thornton - lay targets 12.0-16.0


Recent Big Winners: Ross McGowan 400/80 to 1 (place), Tony Finau 50/1, Cam Champ 125/1, Cam Davis 125/1, Matt Jones 80/1 and FRL, Max Homa 60/1, Dean Burmester 55/1, Sam Burns 80/1, KH Lee 200/1, Sergio Garcia 70/1 (FRL), Thorbjorn Olesen 45/1 (FRL), Stewart Cink 150/1, Lucas Herbert 175/1
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