There is just one regular-season tournament remaining on the European Tour’s schedule before the real money-making business of The Final Series can begin and it’s to Lake Karrinyup Country Club in Perth that the pack flock.
The defending ISPS Handa Perth International champion, Jin Jeong, is back to protect his grip on the trophy, but with no score registered under par in 12 straight tournaments, his status as a 200/1 outsider is wholly understandable.
Instead it’s left to European golf’s newest sweetheart to lead the way, with floppy-haired Ryder Cup star Victor Dubuisson priced up as 12/1 co-favourite alongside Charl Schwartzel by Ladbrokes.
The Frenchman, who impressed so greatly at Gleneagles, struggled in his return to strokeplay after playing his part in Paul McGinley’s side, finishing T103 at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. He again revisits “traditional” golf following his T5 at the Volvo World Matchplay and is likely to need another adjustment period.
Schwartzel’s appearances have been sporadic as the season has worn on and his form has flittered as a result. Backing him on reputation alone cannot be advised, which is the same advice given for Jason Dufner, who makes his first start for two months following injury.
Instead, it’s the consistent, if unspectacular form of Englishman Richard Bland at 50/1 that shines the brightest, with the 41-year-old taken to progress into a top-end finish in Perth.
The boy from Burton-on-Trent has finished inside the top 25 in five of his last seven tournaments with his two best finishes in that stretch coming in his last two starts.
Bland was T4 at the Portugal Masters before the event was declared after two rounds due to heavy rain and followed up with a T15 at the Hong Kong Open last time out.
His record at the Perth International is favourable too, with his T36 last year following on from the T17 he secured in the tournament’s inauguration in 2012.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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