Punters have to get their heads round a completely new format to the ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf event, which is staged this week at Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Australia.
When Matt Kuchar, who is representing the United States with Kevin Streelman, won the last World Cup in China, four-balls and foursomes were used to determine a team score. This time around, individual stroke-play scoring has been introduced for all four rounds to mirror what will be the Olympic format when the sport returns to the games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, with the best two scores from each country establishing the team placings.
The onus is on the individual, where as in the past a weak teammate could drag a nation down.
Few players in the field are in as good as form as Adam Scott, who is the deserved favourite at 3/1 and just cannot be ignored. Sure, he is almost criminally short in the market, but the current Masters champion comes into this event off the back of two straight wins, both achieved in Australia, the latter of which was claimed at this week’s layout on Sunday in the Talisker Masters.
Detractors will point to the raft of off-fairway public appearances to show off his Green Jacket, not to mention some mental stress after winning twice in the last fortnight, as potential negatives but, after his latest success, the world number two said “I’m riding a wave of confidence on the golf course at the moment”, and that he feels “pumped” every time he tees up. And that’s good enough for me.
Scott’s teammate Jason Day will be a danger to the headline pick at 9/1, as will Kuchar (7/1), who was second in Melbourne on Sunday. However, both have been allocated single-digit prices and are overlooked.
Third to Scott last week was Vijay Singh, and with a second place on the PGA Tour just last month – when runner-up in the Frys.com Open – there is a feeling that the Fijian might be able to roll back the years and run a place at least. Singh can be backed at 40/1.
Finally, Peter Hanson, fourth as long ago as 2004 at Royal Melbourne in the Heineken Classic, is taken to put an injury-hit season behind him by giving each-way supporters something to shout about at 25/1.
My three to follow – Scott, Singh and Hanson.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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