The UBS Hong Kong Open 2015 Preview

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

The UBS Hong Kong | 22 October - 25 October | Hong Kong Golf Club

This week the UBS Hong Kong Open tees off at the Hong Kong Golf Club at Fanling and as we have come to expect, a world class field has assembled for what promises to be an exciting four days of golf. This is a co-sanctioned event, which means a number of golf’s superstars will be participating. It will be interesting to see how the European Tour players fare against their US counterparts.

The course is one of the shortest on either tours and measures a mere 6,660 yards. This par 70 layout places a premium on accuracy rather than distance off the tee and with only two par fives, birdie opportunities don’t come all that often. Par five scoring could be an important factor to consider when looking for a winner here. Apart from that, hitting the fairway will be the name of the game as the tight, tree-lined fairways have proven difficult to find in the past. Once on them, things don’t get much easier though and the small greens allow for some difficult pin placements, making accuracy with the short irons a factor that can’t be overlooked.

Typically the more experienced players win here, so I’ll be keeping that in mind when assessing the field. So who will win in Hong Kong this year? Let’s have a look.

To Win Outright
Justin Rose  6/1
Dustin Johnson  15/1
Matthew Fitzpatrick  14/1
Patrick Reed  14/1
Graeme McDowell 20/1

Value Bets
Thongchai Jaidee (25/1 a win, 11/2 a place)
Jaidee had the International fans cheering at the President’s Cup a few weeks ago, when he took half a point against Bubba Watson, and after that performance I’ve been waiting to see how he does in Hong Kong this season. He’s always done well here and seems to enjoy the course, which suits his game to a tee, with his consistently straight drives rarely missing the fairways. This is a course that rewards experience and the ability to manage technical layouts, and in those respects, Jaidee is one of the finest. At this price, I’ll be backing him each way.

Matthew Fitzpatrick (14/1 a win, 31/10 a place)
Despite his lack of experience at this course, the bookies have seen fit to price Fitzpatrick up near the top of the betting, and a quick look at his stats show why. He’s been near the top of the driving accuracy stats as well as the GIR% stats all season and both of those will go a long way in ensuring he handles this intricate layout. During the British Masters, he showed that he has the temperament to handle pressure situations and after that victory, his confidence should have skyrocketed. The price may be a bit short, but Fitzpatrick has a real chance this week so don’t ignore him.

Lucas Bjerregaard (50/1 a win, 11/1 a place)
Lucas Bjerregaard is on fire at the moment and his current form, combined with his course form, make him an interesting each way bet in Hong Kong this week. He’s managed three Top Ten finishes in his last five starts, and all of those came against stiff competition. Unlike my other tips, who have the ability to manage this course and go low, Bjerregaard seems to have the ability to overpower it. His big hitting combined with his ability to shape shots will go a long way this week. I’m hoping he finishes inside the Top Five, at least if he does the reward will be worth the risk.

Anirban Lahiri (25/1 a win, 11/2 a place)
Defending champion Scott Hend won in Macau last week and it’s extremely tempting to tip him to win again, but I’m going to play it safe and stick with a player who has been impressively consistent all season. Lahiri looked to be almost as good as Hend last week and bar a few loose shots, which ended up costing him a possible victory, his game looked to be in a really good place. The course looks like it will suit Lahiri to a tee and he should arrive here confident. Each way is the bet for me.

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