Bernd The Wies Man For Laguna Championship
Bernd Wiesberger looks the man in-form ahead of the Laguna Championship starting in Singapore Saturday. Can anyone stop him in what looks to be a moderate enough field? I preview the tournament below.
Previously known as the Ballantine’s Championship, this is one of the newer tournaments on the calendar, first staged in 2008, and was the first European Tour event to be held in Korea, although it is being held in Singapore this year. Healthy appearance fees have drawn many of golf’s big names to previous editions, but there are few stars amongst this year’s field and none from the United States.
Laguna National at Tampines, Singapore, is a flat, tree-lined par 72 course of just over 7200 yards that was previously used to host the Singapore Masters and the Singapore Open. Water is in play on twelve holes and the fairways are narrow, so accuracy with the irons and from the tee is important. The weather is expected to remain hot and humid, but thunderstorms are likely in the afternoon on all four days, so it is worth checking the schedule of play before parting with your cash.
In The Bunker
After a disappointing return to action in the Malaysian Open, Rafael Cabrera-Bello hit form at the China Open, with a final round 67 to finish eighth, and is second in the antepost betting for this tournament. But his record at the course is a concern. He’s played Laguna National four times and has twice missed the cut, his best effort being a sixteenth at the Singapore Masters in 2010. I’m not convinced it suits him, and so he doesn’t make much appeal at 16/1 this week.
Bernd Wiesberger finished just inside the top twenty-five on his sole outing at this course in 2012, but can improve on that this week and is the in-form player in this modest-looking field. After three weeks off, he put in an excellent performance at the Malaysian Open, hitting sub-70 opening and closing rounds to finish runner-up behind Lee Westwood, and at 15/1, he’s a solid bet in Singapore.
Another in-form player to keep on your side is Tommy Fleetwood. He picked up his first European Tour win at the Johnnie Walker Championship last year, and after an indifferent run of results in 2014, he returned to his best at the China Open last week, where he threatened to overhaul leader Alexander Levy with a strong start to his final round, before eventually finishing second. The talented young Englishman is a decent bet to add a second career win at 25/1 this week.
The final name to add to your shortlist is Anders Hansen. The veteran Dane has made a late start to his 2014 campaign, but he found his touch in his second tournament outing of the year, finishing fifth at the China Open. His record at this course is also worth noting. In four visits to Laguna National between 2009 and 2012, he has managed three top tens. He clearly enjoys playing there and at 33/1 offers good value.