Written by Matt Cee for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now!
The BMW Masters | 12 November - 15 November | Lake Malaren Golf Club
This week the Final Series of the Race to Dubai heads to the Lake Malaren Golf Club in Shanghai and although Rory McIlroy will be sitting this one out, it still looks like it will be one to keep an eye on. With McIlroy gone the door has been opened for the likes of Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson and Branden Grace, all of whom will be eager to earn valuable points as the Race to Dubai begins to draw to a close. That may be easier said than done on the Masters Course at Lake Malaren though, which in the past has proven to be challenging.
Measuring over 7,500 yards, this beast of a par 72 plays long and when the wind gets up, which it looks like it may do, things get tough. Things are slightly easier when it’s calm though so if you’re betting on the First Round Leader market keep in mind that those teeing off earlier will have an advantage. With the course playing so long the first stat to keep an eye on is driving distance as the ability to hit it long will go a long way in taming this course. The layout itself is fairly straightforward though and although numerous hazards can be found throughout the course, avoiding these shouldn’t be an issue for the field. On the greens things are different though and putting here can be a real challenge. The greens are unbelievably quick and at times they are notoriously difficult to read. Those who rank highly in putting stats will almost certainly be at an advantage, as will those who can get their approaches close enough to the pin to remove that issue entirely.
So will we have another surprise winner this week or is it time for the favourites to step up to the plate? Let’s have a look.
To Win Outright
Justin Rose: 11/1
Henrik Stenson: 12/1
Branden Grace: 18/1
Patrick Reed: 20/1
Sergio Garcia: 20/1
Bernd Wiesberger (35/1 a win, 77/10 a place)
It looks like the big hitters will be at a distinct advantage this week and the first player to to tick this box and catch my eye is Bernd Wiesberger. We’ve been following the big hitting Austrian for a while now and it hasn’t paid off just yet but he’s come close more than a few times and it looks like it’ll only be a matter of time before our faith pays off. Last week he finished just inside the Top 20 but I feel like this week he’ll improve on that, especially when you consider that he’s seemed to enjoy playing here over the past few years. At this price Wiesberger definitely looks worth an each way bet.
Louis Oosthuizen (33/1 a win, 73/10 a place)
Louis Oosthuizen has been infuriatingly inconsistent this season but he always brings his A game when the pressure is on and he’ll arrive here this week knowing that a win could go a long way in helping him get to the top of the Race to Dubai standings. Oosthuizen hasn’t won in a while but he’s shown flashes of brilliance around the greens and that’ll go a long way in ensuring he makes some birdies this week. If he arrives and putts as well as he has thus far this season he’ll definitely have a serious chance this week.
Danny Willet (25/1 a win, 11/2 a place)
It’s been a great season thus far for Danny Willet and he’s played some superb golf throughout the year which has resulted in him currently sitting 2nd place in the Race to Dubai rankings. He kicked things off early on in the season with a fantastic display in the Nedbank Golf Challenge and hasn’t really slowed down since then, posting a host of Top 10 finishes throughout the year and getting his second win in the European Masters. I’m surprised to see Willet available at this price so won’t be missing the opportunity to back him this week, you shouldn’t either.
Branden Grace (18/1 a win, 4/1 a place)
Branden Grace has been knocking on the door for a while and like Wiesberger, he’s become a favourite in this column lately. He’s provided a small return on the odd occasion with a few Top 5 finishes here and there but he definitely still owes us a win and I reckon he has the ability to deliver winning performance this week in China.. He looked to be in good form last time out, finishing T5 and things aren’t getting any more difficult this week. I’ll be backing Grace to win this one, at this price he looks to be the bet of the week.
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