This week in golf: Back two home-grown heroes in Thailand C’ship

With both the European and PGA Tours in a state of festive hibernation until early in the new year, the Asian Tour’s flagship event takes its place in the spotlight in the second week of December, with plenty of big names looking to land the 2015 Thailand Golf Championship.

The $1m purse and OWR points on offer are enough to lure plenty of the world’s finest golfers to south-east Asia to compete against the leading Asian Tour players looking to finish their impressive seasons with aplomb.

Lee Westwood didn’t look back from winning the inaugural edition in 2011 by claiming the trophy again a year ago.

The Englishman is clearly a force to be reckoned with at Bangkok’s Amata Spring Country Club, but there has been little other than this specific course form in recent months to suggest Westy is set to make it a hat-trick in 2015, priced as he is at 25/1.

That said, finishes of 1st, 11th and 1st in three starts at the tournament render each/way wagers attractive enough, while the 2/1 about a top-ten finish may be the safest way to play it.

Having just crushed the Hero World Challenge field stateside, it is no surprise to see Bubba Watson installed as joint 5/1 favourite, especially with a 2012 runners-up spot on his glittering CV.

The two-time Masters winner shares market leadership with Sergio Garcia, the victor here in 2013, and although the Spaniard finished his European Tour campaign on a relative high with 11th in the BMW Masters, a little rust could be in evidence.

Garcia opted not to play the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai so hasn’t swung a club in anger for nearly a month.

Instead, the best punting advice here would be to split a wager evenly on two of Thailand’s finest, who have shown plenty of consistency both here at this event and on the European Tour, at 16s.

After pulling out of the inaugural edition, Thongchai Jaidee has been getting closer to the lifting his home open year on year, with finishes of 17th, T10th and most recently 6th.

Jaidee comes off a ninth-place finish at the Nedbank and like compatriot Kiradech Aphibarnrat (16th), who was a multiple winner on the European Tour last season, he has course and current form going for him, not to mention partisan support.

Aphibarnrat recorded three top-fives in his final six events of last season. The Thai golfer came closest here in 2012, ending up sixth and was back in the top 10 a year ago.

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.