Recap on last weeks Trophee Hassan II
Huge congratulations to Edoardo Molinari, no better way to close out an event than to make eagle on 18 to get into a play off and stay strong from there on in to win. Little gutted I ignored his better recent form and like most avoided him not wanting to take a gamble on his unpredictability on this very though course but I guess you cant pick them all.
I cant say it had been my best week, most profitable or what I expected. However I would of thought a lot of exceptional players in the field will be saying exactly the same. Even so I still made a small profit and certainly benefited from those lower known picks where some of the so called more valuable failed to impress or offer a decent return for their price.
From the 24 names I selected last week ( 14 costing less than $7,000 ).
8 missed the cut, 5 by a very frustrating single shot. From the 16 that made it sadly my best placed finishers were 4th with Lasse Jensen costing only $6,400, Ashley Chesters only $6,100 and Jordan Smith $10,400 in 8th place. 3 were inside the top 10, 6 in the top 20 and 12 inside the top 35. Not bad, not great and of course working towards a bigger/better week.
Next Up - Shenzhen International - Genzon GC - Shenzhen, China
Were in China for the first time this year where they will host the Shenzhen International at Genzon Golf Club. This will be the 3rd time the European tour have held this event and the 4th time visiting this course, where it previously hosted the Volvo China Open (won by Levy in 2014 and runner up Fleetwood).
Last year we had Soomin Lee winning his maiden tour victory off the back of a sponsors invite, Bubba making his 2nd appearance and finishing 8th compared to a prior 34th in 2015 and the Usual solid performance from a firm favourite of mine this week Tommy Fleetwood.
Measuring a little under 7,200 yards this traditional par 72 Parkland layout is littered with hazards especially in the home stretch, many of the holes are rough and tree lined and it even boasts its own beast in the form of the Dragon Lake.
Having studied the course in depth it really does look like a fun course to play, but I must admit maybe one that wouldn't suit my eye over 4 days of play... way too much water to cross and greedy old me would want to cut off as much as I could and then the next day try for more... Maybe why I'm still scrapping around on development tours and not picking up the big cheques? Maybe why Bubba only finished 34th first time out, learnt his lesson and finished 8th last year? Maybe why ball strikers with experience do well year in year out?
Key Stats and Strategy
In my opinion its a course that a big hitter could score very low around as long as that balls on the end of a frozen rope, might struggle for 4 days without the odd mistake but equally could have an absolute disaster of a tournament if they don't play with a little sensibility to make the cut first and foremost. The course also fits the game of the tactician and ball striker, fairways/greens, bogey free rounds and steady solid scoring each day.
Tough one to call when making your drafts what style to lean towards and just like the game itself there's no right or wrong way to play it. So I'll be mixing up these picks in my drafts this week looking for that perfect winning balance.
For me one of the biggest stats will be form and course history, I believe a little experience here will pay off well with limited mistakes and a better chance of getting 6/6 to the weekend. I will also be looking at accuracy stats like fairways and greens in regulation. There will be plenty of opportunity for players to score birdies or better on these greens if the balls kept in play.
The bigger hitters here can benefit with a little more risk/reward opportunity, its a bigger gamble but one I will be taking in hope of birdies and eagles to score big.
Its looking like the field will be playing in waterproofs for at least the first two days, however they should be used to this by now, with most events this year having heavy rain play its part. If I was to want a particular side of the draw I might want late/early so there was less time between rounds and hopefully a little less rain forecast.
Of the 3 players on offer here it has to be Tommy Fleetwood $11,500 he has by far the best recent form, his course history is superb and proving to be a world class player. Tommy has never recorded a score above par at this venue, loves the course and across all of his visits has impressed. Would love to see him bring that confidence from the U.S back to his home tour and dominate.
$10,000 - $11,000
In this choice of 3 I will be drafting Peter Uihlein $10,500. Been looking solid all year, forms been exceptional and been scoring really well most weeks with his birdie performance. Ticks a lot of the stats and has the longer game to benefit.
$9,000 - $10,000
My favourite play here is Alexander Levy $9,500. He won the the Volvo China Open in 2014 at Genzon has always played well in China and in particular here. Showing signs of picking up a win soon, don't be too surprised if its this week. All stats look good as does form and history, will feature a lot in my drafts.
I will also play a little Bernd Weisberger $9,900 for obvious form reasons, yet to miss a cut might lack experience here but when looking at stats he's a no brainer pick.
$8,000 - $9,000
I will be sticking with Jordan Smith $8,600 again. He scores well, places well, adapts well to different styles and of course ticks a lot of boxes for stats. He may not tick the experience box but he plays with a great level of maturity for a young player. Finished very strong last week with 2 rounds of 70 getting back in the top 10 and in a tie for 8th
In this section I might play a little Paul Dunne $8,500 and Brandon Stone $8,400 Paul in cash because he's the safer bet by far, makes very little mistakes and an all round solid dependable game. Very unlucky last week to lose in a play off, hopefully form continues. Brandon in gpp, potential to be an absolute birdie machine, little hit or miss, at the most, worth a gamble based on lower ownership from last weeks missed cut.
$7,000 - $8,000
There is a whole host of value and talent in this section.
Dean Burmester $7,900 crazy price for one of the best in the field, Draft Kings point scorer and very capable of another win here.
David Lipsky $7,800, having a good year not as good value as Dean but always does well for me, hence why he has become 1 of my 2 go to U.S picks
James Morrison $7,400 with rain forecast, James is a wet weather specialist and of course superb player. The course should play into his style of play.
Jorge Campillo $7,400 had a good week in Morocco, I expected better and hoping for a higher finish and more birdies this week.
Edoardo Molinari $7,300 risk/reward course, risk/reward player. Can the gamble pay off 2 weeks running. With Edoardo being a form player I'm taking the gamble this week.
M. Lorenzo-Vera $7,300 again incredible value, solid performer on all course styles and most certainly in good form.
Carlos Pigem $6,900, L. Bjerregaard $6,800, R. Bland $6,800, S. Brazel $6,500, L. Jensen $6,500, A. Chesters $6,400, D. Brooks $6,400, C. Paisley $6,200.
Hope you enjoy the write up and best of luck to all of you this week in your drafts on both sides of the pond. I'm off to play and practice at the home of England golf for a few days, keep an eye out on twitter for a masterclass on cavernous bunker escape.... no doubt ill get a few chances to get one right during my stay.