Avantha Masters | Thursday 14 March - Sunday 17 March | Jaypee Greens
This week the European Tour moves across to the Greg Norman designed Jaypee Greens, an imposing 7347 yard par 72 course set in the heart of India. The course itself is tough and loaded with hazards. Overall there are 14 lakes to contend with and when you consider that on top of this there are 88 bunkers scattered around the course, you realise the players have a pretty tough time ahead of them. The bunkers are deep and the greens are fast and hard so don’t expect too many low scores and be aware that players with experience are going to be the ones who fare well here. Knowing how to avoid the hazards will be key but so will a clear head and unshakeable confidence. So who can win this one? Let’s have a look.
To Win Outright
Thongchai Jaidee 22/1
Ricardo Santos 22/1
Anirban Lahiri 22/1
Felipe Aguilar 25/1
Shiv Kapur 28/1
Ricardo Santos (22/1 a win, 11/2 a place)
Ricardo Santos has been in serious form this year and he is impossible to ignore in a field like this. He’ll be coming here desperately seeking that elusive second European Tour victory and what better run-up could he have had than four top 10 finishes from five starts. The Portuguese prodigy is on fire at the moment, strike while the iron is hot.
Jeev Mikha Singh (35/1 a win, 88/10 a place)
There can be few things better than winning a golf tournament in your home country, especially when that country is essentially starved of big tournaments. This week Singh has a chance to do just that and with the form he’s in, that dream may become a reality. He played well in the Dubai Desert Classic and if he plays anything like he did there he could be a real contender this week.
Jbe’ Kruger (50/1 a win, 12/1 a place)
Kruger comes here as defending champion and so I’m pleasantly surprised to see that he is available at 50/1 this week. Although this is to be played at a different course, the reason I reckon he can do it again is because it’s not easy to travel to the subcontinent and a lot of the other regulars on the European Tour are going to struggle with the conditions. Having proved he can handle the change, Kruger ticks one of the more important boxes for me. A top ten in Abu Dhabi was his best finish in an otherwise average year so I’m not going to tip him to win. A place at 12/1 will do for me.
TOP BET: Thongchai Jaidee (22/1 a win, 11/2 a place)
In a field that consists of a handful of well-known European players and even more unknown Indians, Jaidee is the unsurprising favourite here this week. His form at the moment is second to none, with three top 10 finishes from his last four European Tour starts. With five European titles to his name he has proven he has what it takes to win and of everyone in the field, he certainly looks the most likely to come out on top this week.