Branden Grace spearheads a three-pronged attack on the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters.
Last week proved to be one of the most frustrating on record with Rory coming up a few shots shy and Lingmerth miraculously losing out to Dufner in a play-off in the States. It's hard to pick yourself off the floor with those kind of beats, but pick ourselves up we'll do and plough on into this weeks events which starts a day early with the Qatar Masters.
The Doha GC has hosted this event since its birth and we arrive here with a wealth of knowledge on the place. That is not always ideal. As I pointed out last week with two different courses on the rota for the CareerBuilder Challenge we were able to seek out a lot more value in the market due to the traders having little knowledge of the new courses. This week it is out there for all to see. Wind plays a big factor in this event and it is set to blow for most of the week. Those with experience playing in the wind have dominated this event down the years. Els, Stenson, Scott, Bjorn, Lawrie, Garcia, Wood and Grace have all either tasted success around Open Championship events or been very close. Primarily we'll be looking for those type of players in the field this week.
is the tournament fav this week and I feel odds of 15/2 are quite generous. He is the defending champion and with solid form over the last 12 months holds every chance of contending here again. His fall from grace (no pun intended...*ahem*) during round 2 last week was quite surprising but he rallied well to get back in the mix over the weekend. With a top ten in this two years ago and a win last year I feel he is well equipped to go well again. His last five worldwide starts read 3rd, 8th, 4th, 4th and 5th. This is some serious form and coming to a track that he really likes he has to be a danger. I really thought I'd see around 6/1 chalked up for this so I'm more than happy to back the South African each way at 15/2.
Branden Grace - 2.5pts e/w @ 15/2Won 23.44pts
At four times the price of Grace I quite like Bernd Wiesberger
this week also. Having missed three cuts here in recent years he finally got his game together to finish 3rd last year. He is the type who can string finishes together at the same events. He has a win and second at the Lyoness. Two runner up posts in Malaysia. A top 5 finish and another top 10 in the Dubai Desert shows his game translates on these layouts. The links form is there also with a top 5 in the Alfred Dunhill Links and of course that playoff defeat at Royal County Down last year. The wind blew that week and he was one of few left standing. To fire in three rounds of 70 over the final three days last week was quite good considering he only hit 50% of fairways. We know how tough the rough was last week so -6 was a decent tally. We'll be looking for a shade better this week but all in all the price of 28/1 is quite appealing for somebody who fits all the criteria.
Bernd Wiesberger - 1.5pts e/w @ 28/1Lost -3pts
is one who must be supported at fair odds this week. When we are considering links form as a good pointer to who can contend this week there isn't many with better form on those layouts in the last couple of years. He too was in the playoff defeat in N.Ireland. Other links pointers are top5 finishes in Aberdeen, Denmark and Holland. He clearly has the pedigree but currently finds it difficult to get into contention over the weekends. This is one of the more likely weeks considering the conditions so we'll invest in the young lad to finally get off the mark.
Eddie Pepperell - 0.75pts e/w @ 66/1Lost -1.5pts