After a thrilling week in Abu Dhabi, the European Tour moves to Qatar this week for The Comercialbank Qatar Masters where Lee Westwood heads the market at 10/1 followed by Sergio Garcia at 14/1 (both BetVictor).
I like the chances of 2010 US Open Champion Graeme McDowell at 16/1 with Betfred who will play first two rounds with Hunter Mahan in a Ryder Cup repeat of the final day’s epic singles clash and I expect the outcome to be the same over first 36 holes as Mahan will be jetlagged following his gruelling journey from San Diego. McDowell looks a great bet in this match, he is 7/5 with Totesport in the 3-ball, and is a decent price each way at 16/1.
Defending Champion Thomas Bjorn played well enough last week to suggest a bold defence is on the cards at 22/1 (Sportingbet) while Italian youngster Matteo Manessero played superbly last week on a track many felt may have been too long for him and looks overpriced at 50/1, courtesy of bet365.
Paul Lawrie is still the forgotten man in European Golf despite his 1999 Open Championship win at Carnoustie. Not many will recall earlier that year he won the Qatar Masters and he is a huge price each way at 50/1 this week at Skybet. Ladbrokes are a generous 1/4 first 6 places on both this weeks events.
I have not seen many crueller things in sport than Kyle Stanley’s defeat at Torrey Pines last week when holding a 3 shot lead at the last to take 8 and lose in a playoff. It might be crazy but Stanley did little wrong till the death last week and looks worth taking another chance with at 60/1 with Blue Square for the quick bounce back at the Phoenix Open – it would be some story if he could achieve it. Stanley led by 7 halfway through Sunday’s final round and had played some superb golf all week. He needs to start well and then I believe he has a great chance.
Webb Simpson heads the market here with William Hill at 16/1 while the other two I like at the prices are Scott Piercy at 45/1 (Stan James) and Bud Cauley at 50/1 (Ladbrokes) – a rookie who looks destined to be a real star on the PGA Tour.
The Americans have won the first 4 PGA tour events for the first time since 2001 and it is a short price it will be 5 in a row come Sunday night in Arizona.