Please excuse the quick picks version of the write up this week. After a hectic and successful 2nd season writing for Tour Junkies, I have waved the white flag on a full write up and decided to take advantage of an opportunity to travel to Portugal with former England representative Darren Timms on a pre-season golfing warm up session.
As to be expected we have been playing some exceptional courses, racking up the hours on the exquisite practice facilities and for the first time in way too many years for me, I have even been clocking up the hours in the gym…. If I keep this up who knows you may just see me having a go at qualifying for this years Open and with a massive amount of luck I could end up with a DraftKings price attached to my name… LOL
All jokes aside its been one amazing week and I have as always absorbed every snippet of information I can whether that's been to enhance my own game or get a better understanding of some of the players that Darren knows well who play on both the European and Challenge tours.
I will try to share some of the stories I have heard as the season progresses and as they become relevant, some ill have to keep to myself as they just shouldn't be shared and hopefully this year we will be able to get a couple of the guys from this side of the pond to appear on the Tour Junkies Podcast…. Watch this Space.
Anyway after getting all of that off my chest time to get back on with the real reason you read this article and straight back in with the season opener at Hong Kong Golf Club.
Key Stats and Strategy
The key areas I have considered whilst making my picks are:
Possibility of a slight edge for those on the early tee wave for Thursday…. Throughout the first days play conditions stay very similar, some rain forecast for late afternoon. However on the Friday the temperatures rise considerably and the wind speeds drop a little for those teeing off in the afternoon.
Driving Accuracy - Hong Kong G.C is a tight, fiddly course that requires attention to detail off the tee.
Proximity to the hole with short to mid irons - Ball strikers course where getting the ball on the greens and close to the hole will present needed birdie opportunities.
Hot with the short stick - Confidence with putter in hand is always massive in any event.. No point playing someone when the balls not dropping for them.
Course History and Course Fit - With this being the 18th edition of this event there are plenty of stats and trends available and certainly players or style of players that favour better on this layout.
Current form - Although I'm keen on those that are in hot form right now I have been carful to consider the nature of the previous events and time between competitive rounds for those no lucky enough to have participated in the Rolex series events.
Patrick Reed $11,300
Rafa Cabrera Bello $10,500
$10,000 - $9,000
Shubhankar Sharma $9,300
Sean Croker $9,000
$9,000 - $8,000
Matthew Southgate $8,500
Miguel Angel Jimenez $8,100
$8,000 - $7,000
Paul Peterson $7,700
Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano $7,400
Joachim B Hansen $7,200
Less Than $7,000
Nino Bertasio $6,900
Sam Brazel $6,700
Matt Fitzpatrick $10,200
As always best of luck with your line ups. If you have questions please feel free to get them to me before the lock and once again my apologies for the short version of the write up, however I hope you enjoy it none the less.