It would be easy to make a case, yet again, for Dyson, such is his consistency in this part of the world. When we backed him each-way in the Indonesian Open, at the same 20/1 available this week, he really should have won by several shots. Watching his putter repeatedly misfire that week was an extremely frustrating affair, but would be forgiveable if he hadn’t let us down on other occasions. As it stands, while I massively respect his chance in this field, I’d prefer to look elsewhere.
More interestingly, COLIN MONTGOMERIE is available at double Dyson’s odds. Monty will have been a frustrated spectator at the weekend, but at least he has Ryder Cup responsibilities to focus his mind away from what might have been. His performance over the two years leading up to the 2010 match will be fascinating. Others who have taken on the captaincy have tended to struggle badly with their own games, presumably due to the lack of time for practice. However, I could see it working in Monty’s favour. So far he’s seemed relaxed in interviews, and less obsessed with yesterday’s missed short putt. His last few results, all in better company, have been reasonable and his record in China is highly impressive. Furthermore, a tough course that emphasises driving accuracy has always been perfect for the best player never to win a major.
The other Asian player who looks certain to feature over the weekend is home favourite WEN-CHONG LIANG, who finished 8th last year. Liang is a model of consistency amongst his Asian peers and has looked a strong contender several times previously in these co-sanctioned events. Repeatedly though, it seems that he’s lacked confidence against the Europeans on the final day, a trait that was clearly evident when he blew a golden opportunity at the Malaysian Open a few weeks back. Sooner or later he seems bound to win one of these events, and the support of the home crowd should help substantially.
Others to watch include Johan Edfors and Chapchai Nirat, both of who have won recently on the Asian Tour. The latter may well have been a selection had he not missed the cut last year. Edfors also ended a long barren streak in Thailand on his last start, but I reckon this week’s tough, narrow layout is far from ideal for the attacking Swede. Similarly, the promising Rafael Cabrera-Bello might be seen to better effect at a low-scoring venue. Marcus Brier, winner and 5th in the last two renewals of this event, is another plausible contender.