Fraser Fits The Bill In Hong Kong
Hong Kong Open
The Hong Kong Open was established in 1959, and has been part of the European Tour schedule since 2002.
The prize fund has been increased significantly to $2 million this year, but more importantly, there are crucial ranking points on offer as this is the final event of the regular European Tour and the last chance for players outside the world’s top 110 to qualify for the Tour’s Final Series.
The tournament is played over a composite course at the Hong Kong Golf Club at Fanling, comprising holes from the Eden Course and the New Course. Both courses are short, so big hitters will have no particular advantage, and the layout doesn’t present too many challenges. The fairways are tree-lined but generous, and accuracy with the irons is probably the most important requirement for success.
In The Bunker
Dustin Johnson is making a rare overseas foray for this event, and he’s sure to attract plenty of support, particularly given his strong finish to the Fed Ex Cup play-offs, where he made the top ten at the BMW Championship and the Tour Championship.
But it’s worth noting that he’s never won a tournament outside the United States, and although the fact that he’s never played this course won’t be a disadvantage, the fact that it doesn’t play to his strengths is a negative, so he doesn’t appeal at 7/1.
It’s been a quiet season for Marcus Fraser, but the Australian found his form at the British Masters last week, and except for a disappointing second round, could have done even better than his eventual finish of fifth.
That performance was encouraging ahead of his trip to Hong Kong, where he has four top-tens to his name,
…including last year, when he led the field going into Sunday. Back him at 25/1 to land the prize this week.
Thongchai Jaidee hasn’t played this event for a couple of years, but up until 2012 he was a regular, and boasts a solid record, with eight consecutive top-twenty finishes to his name, four of them inside the top ten. His last outing at a European Tour event saw him pick up his seventh Tour win at the Porsche European Open, and after a couple of weeks off, he warmed up with a solid effort in Macau last week. At 25/1 he offers plenty of value this week.
The final name to add to your shortlist is Peter Hanson. He hasn’t played this event since 2011 but he finished third that year and was also fifth in 2007. His form in recent weeks has been solid, with three consecutive top twenty finishes and he looks a good outside bet in Hong Kong at decent odds of 33/1.
*Prices correct at time of publication