Asian PGA

Picks Stats Outright Odds Matchup Odds Live Scoring Archive


Caltex Masters

Outright plays (0.5 units):

Maarten Lafeber to finish in the top-five 13/2 @ Five Dimes
Conservative plays on three players who do not win regularly and are facing the most in-form player in world golf at the moment. Lafeber consistently put himself in contention at the end of last year and consistently faded over the weekend. He did achieve top-25 finishes in each of his last eight events of 2002, so if he can repeat that form he should contend against a weak field bar Els. He has a good record in the region and has finished 3rd and 30th in this event in the last two years.

Richard Green to finish in the top-five 12/1 @ Five Dimes
Definitely mis-priced as he is at most 40/1 to win elsewhere. He has won once on the European Tour, but that was six years ago, and he can count two runners-up finishes in this country (1993 Singapore Open and last year's event on this course). He secured a top-5 finish in his last start of 2002, the MasterCard Masters, and looks very capable of repeating the feat this week.

Stephen Dodd to finish in the top-five 12/1 @ Five Dimes
Has shown good form in his two starts of 2003 to finish 8th and 17th in the South African events and this follows a 4th place finish in the Hong Kong Open at the end of 2002. He also has decent form in Singapore with finishes of 13th and 26th in the last two years and should play well again. The 80/1 each-way at BetInternet is tempting, but he can only lay claim to a single European Challenge Tour win and that was back in 1992.

Matchup plays (0.75 units):

Kevin Na to beat Arjun Atwal -111 @ Paddy Power
Almost sided with Na for the outrights @ 80/1 after he was a winning selection in the Volvo Masters of Asia last month, but he features heavily in the matchups instead. Atwal may be defending champion, but he has never won such a big title as this and should find the pressure a little difficult to bear. Against the very consistent Na, Atwal is quite the opposite, missing the cut in five of his last eight events. In Na's last eight events, his worst finish has been 49th, he has won once and finished in the top-10 on three other occasions.

Kevin Na to beat Markus Brier -138 @ Bet365
Brier made the cut in both South African events, though finishing outside the top-40, but will surely struggle this week. He has never played in this part of the world before this week and that means a large home advantage for the young Na.

Kevin Na to beat Per Nyman -111 @ BetandWin
Similar story with Nyman who lost his Tour Card in 2000 and had to come through Q-School to regain it this year. Two top-20 finishes in South Africa show good form, but he has once appearance in this region and that was the 1999 Johnnie Walker Classic. He shot 81-70 to miss the cut in Taiwan. Tired from playing two weeks in a row in a different continent and with no supporting region form, Butch Harmon's pupil should have the upper hand.

Stephen Dodd to beat Per Nyman -125 @ Bet365
Dodd also played both weeks in South Africa and so may be a little drained from the travel, but he does have form in this event and on this course. It should be an important edge.

Soren Kjeldsen to beat Nick Dougherty -111 @ Paddy Power
Dougherty has suffered a worrying loss of form in the last couple of months and having had no winter break to work on his game with his coach, it is hard to see him turn this around. Since the Dunhill Links Championship in October he has played four events in Europe, three events in Australia and two in South Africa with four missed cuts and a best finish of 28th. He missed the cut last year to finish behind Kjeldsen who should be fresh and looking to build on his 4th place finish in the Hong Kong Open.

Gary Evans to beat Gary Murphy -120 @ Bet365
Murphy came through Q-School to earn his card and he put it to good use with two top-15 finishes in South Africa. The long flight and the total lack of experience of playing in this region should make that form very difficult to repeat this week. Evans did miss the cut last year, but this is the start of his 2003 campaign and after an exciting 2002 season, he will be fully prepared for this event.

Lian-Wei Zhang to beat Gary Murphy -118 @ Expekt
Zhang is a very consistent player who performed well on the Japan Tour last year with a number of top-10 finishes and has won the Macau Open in each of the last two years. Unlike Murphy, he does have course form and will be much better-prepared for this event.

Mid-point update:

Na/Atwal Trails by 5
Na/Brier Trails by 2
Na/Nyman Leads by 2
Dodd/Nyman Leads by 3
Kjeldsen/Dougherty Trails by 2
Evans/Murphy Trails by 6
Zhang/Murphy Trails by 1

Lafeber 28th
Green 52nd
Dodd 19th

Not a great position at the cut, but at least every play is still alive and on this congested leaderboard, there could be a lot of changes over the weekend. Green is only six shots outside a top-5 finish, so much can happen yet.

Final update:

Matchups: 1-6-0; -4.62 units

Na/Atwal LOST by 8
Na/Brier LOST by 8
Na/Nyman LOST by 10
Dodd/Nyman LOST by 7
Kjeldsen/Dougherty LOST by 4
Evans/Murphy LOST by 9
Zhang/Murphy WON by 12

Outrights: 1-2; +2.25 units

Lafeber 4th
Green 45th
Dodd 38th

I would have preferred every matchup play to be dead at the cut, so at least I would have won two of them. But at least these were only half-unit plays and Lafeber did secure the top-5 finish to get the best return from the outrights strategy this week. Along with Zhang who was handed victory by Els, they were the only two of the eight different selections who performed anywhere near expected.