Fleetwood Fired Up To Go One Better
Volvo China Open
The European Tour remain in China this week where Tommy Fleetwood heads the betting at 18/1.
After last week’s inaugural Shenzen International, the European Tour stays in China for the second of four events to be played in that country this year. The China Open was first staged in 1995 and has been co-sanctioned by the European Tour since 2003, and although it hasn’t always managed to attract the top players, the field looks solid enough this year. Seven Asian players have won this event.
The China Open has had several homes and this year has moved again, to the Tomson Shanghai Pudong Golf Club. At 7343 yards, it’s a reasonable test of length, but the fairways are wide and the rough at this time of year is fairly forgiving so the big hitters have plenty of margin for error. Some rain is forecast before the weekend, but the greens are usually firm and true and we can expect scoring to be low.
In The Bunker
Pablo Larrazabal’s strong record on Chinese soil and recent third in Morocco saw him go into last week’s Shenzen International as favourite, but as suggested, the course didn’t suit his game and he finished outside the top twenty. He’s available at the same price this week, but at a similar venue, I think he can be opposed again at 22/1.
Tommy Fleetwood’s top-twenty finish in Morocco prior to the Shenzen International had been his best result of the year so far and he built on that last week at Genzon, shooting four consistent rounds to finish with an excellent third.
One of the most exciting young players in European golf, he could prove profitable to follow this year and is a solid bet at 18/1 for a tournament in which he finished second last year.
After a poor start to the year, it was hoped that the return to Chinese soil last week would see an upturn in performance from Alexander Levy. A finish of twenty-fifth wasn’t spectacular, but it offered some encouragement and he’s worth backing again this week, given his strong record in China. He was runner-up in the BMW Masters five months ago, and won this tournament last year at the first attempt. The youngest Frenchman to record multiple Tour victories in the same season, he’s a prodigious talent and offers plenty of value at odds of 28/1
The final name to add to your shortlist is another talented young player, Peter Uhlein. The 2013 Rookie of the Year struggled last season but after a steady start to 2015 he showed promising signs in Genzon last week, hitting a 67 and a 68 before fading a little over the weekend to finish fourth. He’s one of the European Tour’s biggest hitters and if he continues in the same vein this week he should be in contention throughout. Back him at 33/1 to pick up a second Tour title.