European Tour Golf Betting: Willett To Mount Serious Challenge In Perth

It's destination Perth on the European Tour as the Australasian circuit teams up with this side of the globe. Maybe not a trip too many would fancy but in terms of the Race to Dubai and wrapping up full playing rights for the 2015 season, some have little choice.

It's Matthew Nixon - 126.0 - who currently holds the unwanted tag of bubble boy - 111th on the list, with the top 110 making it through to the Final Series. Some big names lurk outside the qualification zone: 2012 rookie of the year Ricardo Santos sits 114 while home favourite Brett Rumford - 101.0 - will need a big week to catapult himself from 119th position. Craig Lee (108) will be looking for a third top 30 from three here to cement his card for next year.

Victor Dubuisson - 13.00 - and Charl Schwartzel - 13.00 - look strong market leaders but Danny Willett - 15.00 - who owns a 3rd place finish at Lake Karrinyup looks like he is just about to peak and he could emerge as the one to beat. Geoff Ogilvy - 19.00 - is strong on home soil and appeals largely due to the fact that he had a hand in the course redesign here in 2007 and the course sets up to suit his game and fit his eye.


The course - Lake Karrinyup

Ernie Els recorded a European Tour low -29 winning total here in 2003 at the Johnnie Walker Championship but since then we've had a redesign overseen by the aforementioned Geoff Ogilvy.True to form, the fairways - though all treelined - are wide and generous, with rough unpunishing, unless seriously errant. Greens are elevated and mown all around to incorporate run offs. Conditions will generally be fast and firm and premium is on approach shot accuracy and slick green putting.


Three from the pack

Richard Green - 67.00 or 14.00 - looks a nice value price of the home contingent. After a quiet few seasons Green has seen a return to form in 2014, recording a handful of top 20s which includes a narrow miss in a playoff defeat in Spain. For the last 7 years on tour the Aussie has averaged approximately 29 putts per round and will have the advantage on greens that will play fast and firm in Perth. A T18 in the Alfred Dunhill Links the other week has him prepared well for his home event.

Lucas Bjerregaard - 91.00 or 18.00 - is probably not a name you'll see bandied about this week but the big Dane is sneaking under the radar. Flashbacks for me to the US Open at Pinehurst where Lucas featured early doors and eventually finished T40. Pinehurst offered a test with wide fairways and severely elevated greens where emphasis was big time on approach irons. He will face similar this week and with a form line of 32-47-5 culminating with that top five finish on a tight course in Hong Kong, it would seem he's now about to hit first gear. Bjerregaard also relieved some of the pressure in Fanling when propelling himself from 110th to the 101 spot on the Race To Dubai.

Ryan Fox is a name that's been on the one to watch list for a while and he is now moving up the ranks fast. Kiwi Fox gained his first win on his local Charles Tour in New Zealand back in May and had recorded a number of top 10 finishes on the Aus and Asian Tours this year before his maiden high profile stylish win at the WA Open last week. Fox has also qualified for the Webdotcom Tour 2nd qualifying stage in November and looks value at 91.00 or 18.00


Sleeper Watch 

Michael Sim  - 101.0 or 19.00 - was the next big thing from Australia around five years back - a 2009 season which saw him card three wins on the Webdotcom Tour, win the money list and gain automatic promotion to the PGA Tour. Sim was ranked in the top 50 in the world and also took down the Australasia Order Of Merit. Injuries have blighted him since but recent top 10 finishes have the man who resides in Perth on my radar again.

Rhein Gibson - 67.00 or 14.00 - is another young Aussie to keep an eye on. Gibson led the Nanshan China Masters two weeks ago after 54 holes only to see a final round 81 capitulation. Rhein showed a strong mentality to bounce back from that with a T3 at the WA Open Championship and could be set to contend again.

Bet on the Perth International now.