Again largely because of their ideal starting times, I’m taking a chance on a couple of frequently disappointing, if very talented, players in ALEXANDER NOREN and NICK DOUGHERTY. Noren did nothing to cast off doubts over his ability to win over the weekend, with a nervy performance in Malaysia. In fairness, he was under pressure from day one after opening with a 62, so he may deserve another chance. The young Swede is certainly good enough to win at this level, and surely will sooner or later. Its also very encouraging that Noren finished 4th recently on another Aussie track with fast greens at Huntingdale.
Dougherty is hardly a player to rely on, but does win and contend every so often and would appear to have the credentials to prosper around The Vines at a decent price. Putts per greens in regulation was very much the key stat to follow when the event was last held here in 2006, and he usually scores well in this department. After a lean spell since his mother died last summer, there was plenty of promise in Dougherty’s performance just off the pace last week in Malaysia.
I should mention at this stage the players discarded due to their afternoon draws. I was seriously considering affording Francesco Molinari another chance despite last week’s massive let-down, as the Italian finished 6th here three years ago. Richard Green, third in that 2006 renewal, would appear to have the ideal iron accuracy credentials, but is such a rare winner that 25/1 odds just can’t be considered. The other player discarded was another Aussie, Marcus Fraser, who played so well at Huntingdale a couple of months ago and again looked in decent nick over the weekend.