The European PGA Tour once again confounds geographers by descending for a two week stint on to the Chinese mainland, starting with this week’s Shenzhen International, which is in its third year.
The demands of mainland Chinese golf extend beyond the playing surface and into the travel and cultural aspects of the trip. As such, even though past event form is important in many golf events, it is even more imperative here.
We have looked for in form golfers with a proven record in this event and next week’s China Open to form the basis of our ticket.
Tommy Fleetwood has been quietly rising from European Tour starlet to the world’s No 33 ranked golfer. He comes here to shallower waters having competed with great credit in the WGC/Masters series of events in the US.
Tommy has prior in both this event and the China Open, and whilst favourite, he arguably should be shorter given his current form and the relative weakness of the opposition.
Bernd Weisberger narrowly misses out on selection – he too is becoming a stronger force and could go well here.
For second choice though we will take Frenchman Alexander Levy. He is a real China lover, with a great track record in this event and in the China Open. The French PGA players are known for their close bond and socialise together. That fraternity can help when thrown into strange waters, and it is no surprise that Levy has an outstanding Far East record.
He has 14 countrymen with him this week as the French descend in force, and he can emerge as number one from that merry band, and possibly for the tournament as a whole.
Recommendations: Tommy Fleetwood, to win, 14/1 generally available & Alexander Levy, each way, 30/1 Stan James & Betfair, 1/4 odds first 5
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