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Rupert Wyman 27th Oct 2009 - 18:08

Stars set for Singapore

For the first time the Barclays Singapore Open is jointly sanctioned by the Asian Tour and the European Tour and as a result a field including five former Major champions will take to the Sentosa Golf Club course.

The Singapore Open is the richest event to be played in Asia with $5 million prize money up for grabs and with crucial Race to Dubai points available there is a lot to play for.

Heading the betting at 8/1 is world number two Phil Mickelson. Lefty finished ninth here last year and has been in good recent form which saw him move up in the rankings to second after beating Tiger Woods in last month's Tour Championship.

Mickelson refound his putting which saw him card a superb 65 in the final round to defeat the world number one by three shots and he is hoping that it is third time lucky at Sentosa as he bids to become the first American since Shaun Micheel in 1998 to win the tournament.

After Mickelson comes Padraig Harrington at 9/1. The three-time Major winner needs to make up ground in the Race to Dubai as he sits outside the top 15 in the standings. He has finished in the top ten in three of his last four European Tour events including third last time out in the Portugal Masters. However, he is yet to win a tournament this season and put a poor round in Portugal down to the heat so the conditions may get to him in Singapore as well.

The Irishman was runner-up here last year as he finished just one shot behind the winner Jeev Milkha Singh, who this week is at the Volvo World Match Play.

Ernie Els (14/1) also finished one shot behind Singh as he tied for second with Harrington. The South African was also runner-up in 2006 so has some solid form at the course behind him.

The other Major winners in the field are New Zealander Michael Campbell (200/1) and Australian Geoff Ogilvy (20/1). The former has had a woeful 2009 while the latter has two wins to his name this season but they were both early on in the campaign. Plus Ogilvy only has one top ten finish in his last eight tournaments so does not come into this in the best of form.

Fellow Aussie Adam Scott won this tournament back-to-back in 2005 and 2006 and with his pure swing is a real contender at odds of 33/1 but that is providing he can find his best form as in the past 12 months his form has dipped. Indeed from a high of world number three he is now down in 76th. Last year in Singapore he missed the cut by three shots, so the big question is will he be able to rediscover his form?

Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez is an Asian specialist as he has won four European Tour events that have been played in Asia. The price for a fifth success is 50/1 and this looks to be a fair price after his 53rd place finish in the Portugal Masters.

K.J.Choi at 22/1 is fifth in the betting and the leading Asian player in the world ended his 18-month title drought at the Johor Open last week so will be full of confidence. One big plus for the South Korean is he will be used to the conditions in this part of the world.

Another Asian with a big chance is Thongchai Jaidee at 40/1. A strong showing in Singapore from the Thai star will help him wrap up an unprecedented third Asian Tour Order of Merit crown. It will be interesting to see though how he copes with being partnered with Mickelson for the opening two rounds.

If he can cope with the pressure of the spotlight then the world number 60 could be a good value bet to capture his third win on the European Tour this season.

It is worth noting that no European has ever won this event and therefore if that trend is to continue you are primarily left with American, Asian and Australian players of whom the pick would be for Jaidee at 40/1.

Here at William Hill we will be offering In-Play betting on all four rounds of the tournament from Sentosa so you won't miss a thing.



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