World Cup of Golf a Major problem for English duo!
The World Cup of Golf
Thursday 03:30 - live on Sky Sports 1
A selected group of top golfers head to the Blackstone Course at the new Mission Hills resort in Hainan Island, China, proud to be representing their respective countries. This is a rare opportunity in golf and there will be none prouder than the defending champions, the Molinari brothers, who fought back in 2009 on the same course to triumph by one shot over runners-up Ireland and Sweden.
The Italians have admitted that they will be taking this tournament extremely seriously, they will have no entourage and be solely surrounded by their caddies in Sheznan, exactly the same as in 09. Despite this William Hill have the duo priced at a hugely generous 11/1 to win, and although individually the pair has not hit the heights of 2010, a top 5 finish at 6/5 must be on the cards.
For me the most dangerous duo going in the event this week are the South Africans. The second favourites at 9/2 it's easy to see why. The team comprises of two recent Major winners in Louis Oosthuizen (2010 Open Champion) and Charl Schwartzel (Masters Champion). The later of the two is in fine form, this was demonstrated at the recent Presidents Cup where Schwartzel, although on the losing side, claimed three and a half points from a possible five and didn't look like he was going to miss a putt. More worryingly for the other teams these two have already represented South Africa in the junior and amateur versions of this event where the pair has tasted victory. Over the years they have formed a very close relationship, understand one and others games and are looking forward to reuniting in Hainan Island.
The South Africans will have high expectations what with Gary Player, Dale Hayes, Ernie Els and Retief Goosen all winning the World Cup in the past.
The Irish pair of Graeme Mcdowell and Rory McIlroy heads the betting at 4/1 to win the Omega Mission Hills World Cup and fully expect them to chat their way through the entire tournament. The 2010 and 2011 US Open Champions are the closest of friends and will want to do it for the Irish in a sport that they have been fairly dominant of late. Runners-up in 2009, they will be looking to go one better here, but for me they won't be able to live with the strength of the South Africans so a safer bet may be the 5/2 available for them to be the Top European team.
The English team have suffered a big blow by the unavailability of it's big star and World number 1 Luke Donald. With no major champion between them some would be quick to dismiss the pairing of Justin Rose and Ian Poulter. However this event is ideally matched to the 2010 Accenture Match Play and 2011 Volvo World Match Play Champion Poulter. He revels in this type of tournament and with a solid partner in the shape of Rose the 5/4 available on a top four finish could be tempting.
Golf is an exciting place to be at the moment, although most of the play is at unsociable hours the format of the World Cup of Golf is a pleasant change from the 72 hole total strokes format that we have grown accustomed to. In addition to the event in China there will be betting on the Australian PGA Championship, live on ESPN, where Adam Scott and caddie Steve Williams will look to bounce back after their Presidents Cup defeat. Furthermore the South African Open Championship will be on Sky Sports where The Big Easy, Ernie Els, will look to cement his sixth title on the Serengeti Golf Course. We will have a range of markets for each event and all we be traded In-play. If it's an outsider you're after, then the 80/1 on China's duo Liang and Xin-Jun is the one for me!