Volvo World Match Play Preview

Written by @Matt_Cee for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now!

Volvo World Match Play | Thursday 16 May - Sunday 19 May | The Thracian Cliffs

This weekend, one of the biggest events on the European tour tees off in Bulgaria as some of Europe’s finest line up to take part in the Volvo World Match Play. The prestigious tournament has been won by some of the biggest names in golf over the years and holds a special place in South African golf fans’ hearts, as Ernie Els has dominated here having won on seven separate occasions. He won’t be competing this year, but the South African contingent is still strong as the likes of George Coetzee, Branden Grace, Richard Sterne and Thomas Aiken all make an attempt to be crowned champion come Sunday. The par 72 course measures in at 7291 yards and has a reputation for providing a serious challenge. Often hit by gusting winds, the task of those competing this week will not be made any easier by the numerous bunkers and cliffs ready to punish wayward shots. So who will win this one? Let’s have a look.

To Win Outright
Ian Poulter  15/1
Henrik Stenson  8/1
Graeme McDowell  8/1
Nicolas Colsaerts  10/1
Peter Hanson  16/1

Henrik Stenson (8/1 a win, 4/1 a place)
They say that you need to strike while the iron is hot and at the moment Stenson is on fire. Stenson had a solid tournament last week after we tipped him to place at 16/1 and that form, combined with his experience in this tournament, certainly makes him a promising prospect. Having won this before, we know that he can hold it together under the pressure of an intense final day. The win bet here is the way to go.

Ian Poulter (15/2 a win, 4/1 a place)
It comes as little surprise that match play specialist Ian Poulter is the favourite this week. Despite the fact that he has had a quiet season so far, he cannot be underestimated in this type of tournament. His recent form is concerning but I reckon the missed cut at the Masters and more recently, at the Players Championship, can be ignored. Rather, look to his performance in the WGC Accenture Matchplay in February where he finished fourth after being beaten by eventual winner Matt Kuchar. Places aren’t worth your while but the win is certainly a good bet.

Graeme McDowell (8/1 a win, 4/1 a place)
I’m sure McDowell will be feeling a bit sore after narrowly losing to Colsaerts last year and will be looking to make amends in this year’s instalment of the competition. Much like Poulter, he has underperformed on occasion this season but he is a great match play competitor and should be able to get ahead of Chris Wood and Stephen Gallacher, the other two in his group. He knows how to handle windy conditions and this will almost certainly be key on what should be a windswept course.

TOP BET: Nicolas Colsaerts (10/1 a win, 5/1 a place)
Nicolas Colsaerts comes into this one as defending champion and I reckon he has what it takes to emerge victorious once again. He’s been quiet of late but that doesn’t mean he’s been playing all that badly. A missed cut at the Wells Fargo Championship was preceded by a T8 in the Zurich Classic and that combined with the fact that experience counts for a lot in this format makes Colsaerts my top  bet for the week.

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