The big names have shunned this years competition at a new-look Royal Pines on the Gold Coast. There is a dearth of high quality players on show - there are only three players in the top 100 taking part, and it’s the highest ranked player, Brandt Snedeker, who heads the market. Twenty five players from the European Tour and an additional 24 from South Africa’s Sunshine Tour are taking part, but it’s the home-grown talent that we prefer to take home the majority of the $1.75million prizemoney.

The greens at Royal Pines play right into the hands of Queenslanders, which makes Australian Masters runner-up John Senden hard to look past. The Brisbane-born player comes into the competition in much better form than co-favourite Snedeker, who has failed to crack the top 10 in any event since June. Senden had an indifferent time in the competition last year, hitting two over in this 1st and 3rd round but he still finish three under par for the competition. Senden is now ranked 72nd in the world and is well worth getting behind at $13.

John Senden - 1pt @ 13.00Lost -1pts
Another one of our outside fancies is the Kiwi Ryan Fox. Fox carded an impressive -2 in the Australian Open after a pretty poor third round. Ryan has seemed to struggle on the middle days in his latest competitions but if he’s there or there abouts come the final day he’s well in with a shout. He’s been backed into $34 with some bookies but he’s still $46 with one bookie and definitely worth backing e/w at $46.
Ryan Fox - 0.5pts e/w @ 41.00Lost -1pts
One person we didn’t originally look at backing was Rod Pampling but the Queenslander had a day to remember in the final round of the Australian Open scoring an amazing ten under par. Other than that last round Pampling hasn’t really caught our eye but being a Queenslander and coming in after this round makes him hard to ignore at $34.

Rod Pampling - 1pt @ 34.00Lost -1pts
Another Aussie we’re getting behind is Melbourne-born Marcus Fraser . Fraser may have missed the cut in last week’s Aussie Open but he’s been playing pretty consistent golf on the European Tour and we believe these Queensland greens will suite him. He finished an impressive twelve under par in a competitive field at the BMW Masters just last month and finished tied 5th in the British Masters in October. His Open form has put a few punters off, but he started at $40 in the market and is now as short as $21 with some bookies, back him e/w at best odds $34.
Marcus Fraser - 1pt @ 34.00Lost -1pts