The Championship at Laguna National favours an Asian winner

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Formerly the Ballentine’s Championship held in South Korea since its inclusion on the European Tour in 2008, staging issues have led to the event to be re-housed and renamed at Singapore’s Laguna National course.

Reigning champion Brett Rumford is therefore given the unusual task of defending his title on a different course in a different country and combined with a 63rd place finish at the recent China Open this goes a long way to explaining his 66/1 price.

The Australian may feel a little aggrieved too, having finished in the top 20 in all five years of the Korean-based event, but Rumford is far from alone in having to readjust his game for the demands of Laguna National.

The course’s most recent use on the world stage was hosting the European and Asian Tours’ co-sanctioned Singapore Masters event between 2001 and 2007.

During that run the tournament at Laguna gave way to sustained Asian success with a first ever Tour winner from both India and China claiming the title and four from seven winners overall,

Among the field this time around is one such winner, Singapore native Mardan Mamat, who could be one of the more attractive 80/1 shots at any Tour event this season.

However, much more favoured in the betting is freshly crowned Indonesian Masters champion Anirban Lahiri from India and last year’s Malaysia Bank champion Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand, both available at 20s.

This is not to say there is no hope for the rest of the world, not least the 2012 champion Bernd Wiesberger, who heads the betting for this year’s event at 12/1.

A lack of stellar names makes this a slightly hard event to call, but the highest ranked player in the Race to Dubai standings is England’s Tommy Fleetwood, fresh from a second-place finish in China.

Fleetwood is a 20/1 shot for the title, but a much more prudent yet tasty 4/1 to be the top Englishman.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.