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Nic Ladds 9th Feb 2009 - 21:28

Three could be the magic number for Jaidee

The Maybank Malaysian Open gets underway on Thursday and at odds of 5/1 we have a superstar favourite in the shape of Anthony Kim.

The event will be held at the Saujana Golf and Country Club and is the richest tournament in Malaysia.

Previous winners include Vijay Singh, Arjun Atwal and Lee Westwood, none of whom are taking part but there are a host of other Malaysian Open winners lining up this week for a shot at first prize.

Kim is not amongst the previous winners but is the star of the field. Currently ranked eleventh in the world Kim could quite easily dot up amongst this field.

However he missed the cut last week and there has been questions raised over his fitness after it was reported he has some trouble with his shoulder.

While a bold showing is entirely possible at 5/1 it may be best to look further down the field.

Thongchai Jaidee is at 12/1 in the betting and certainly has the pedigree to take this. He has won the tournament twice before in 2004 and 2005 on this very course which he clearly loves.

Jaidee will be right at home here and his form has generally been excellent and he is rarely out of the frame when playing in the Far East. At over double the price of Kim he certainly has more appeal.

South African Louis Oosthuizen at 14/1 in the betting may seem a little short given his inexperience but he has been having fantastic season and currently stands at seventh in the Race To Dubai. He certainly can't be written off in this field and in his current mood.

Simon Dyson sits just behind these in the betting at odds of 16/1 and the Englishman has a chance, having tied for third place in this tournament last year and he will be eager to improve on that excellent finish.

An interesting one is Francesco Molinari who has already come in for some support and is now 25/1 in the betting.

The Italian seems to perform well in Malaysia and has been in better form recently than in the last couple of years. He is driving the ball well and if he can improve on his putting will be a big danger to all at a nice 25/1.

Peter Hedblom managed to win the tournament in 2007 and came runner-up to Atwal last year after a play-off.

The Swede clearly has a liking for this event and could well put in a big performance at a handsome price of 40/1.

Other possible big performances could come from Nick Dougherty at odds of 45/1 who has had his fair share of personal problems that have affected his game but should he be able to play to his best he would have an outstanding chance.

You can never write off the Asian golfers in tournaments like this and the likes of Prayad Marksaeng, Prom Meesawat (both 33/1) and Shingo Katayama at odds of 40/1 will all be looking to put in a bold showing.

The most appealing out of all the more local talent though is Seung-Yul Noh at 66/1 who looks extremely talented and managed to get his head in front towards the end of last year and looks a nice price to give us a run for our money.

Look out also for the rookie South African James Kamte who won his first event on the Asian Tour last week.

He clearly is extremely talented and his confidence will be sky high having already won an event fresh out of Q-School and he may well have his backers at odds of 40/1.

Recommendation:
Thongchai Jaidee - 12/1

Francesco Molinari - 25/1

Sueng-Yul Noh - 66/1

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