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Rupert Wyman 15th May 2012 - 13:57

World Matchplay Championship preview

Twenty-four of the world's best golfers will head to Andalucia this week for the Volvo World Match Play Championship at the Finca Cortesin.

There will be plenty of talent on-show including the Open Champion Darren Clarke (66/1) and the defending Match Play champion Ian Poulter (8/1). Spain's finest golfers are also represented at the event. Sergio Garcia (8/1), Carbrera Bello (33/1) and Quiros (18/1) will all be trying to please the locals.

The players split into eight groups of three and they play in a round-robin format on Thursday and Friday. Sixteen players will complete in a knock-out stage on Friday, then there are semi-finals and the final on Sunday.

The course is very challenging and the greens are some of the toughest on the Tour, they are undulating and fast. The course is extremely open and if the wind gets up, it could cause havoc for the players. It is a long course and there plenty of hazards around the fairway.

Birdies are a must on plenty of holes so the players will need to be finding fairways from the tees.  Kaymer (15/2) is one of the stars on show, he was good at the weekend in the PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP but he was never in contention.

He has had a quiet season but he is a strong Match Play golfer and he can putt, he averages only 28.9 putts per round on average on the European Tour and he lost the final of the WGC Accenture Match play Championship in 2011 to Luke Donald.

Colsaerts (14/1) reached the semi-finals of the event in a stronger field last year at a big price. He lost out to Poulter at the first extra hole. He is the biggest hitter on the Tour and he has course knowledge, so we can expect a good performance.  He looks a cracking each-way bet at 14/1 and I would back him to win his opening round-robin match at 11/10 against Schwartzel.

I would not put anyone off having a punt on Branden Grace (14/1), he is one of the best of the younger generation on the Tour and he is becoming a household name. He has already won three events on the tour this season, including two in South Africa.

He is a big hitter and he is accurate and by beating the likes of Schwartzel (11/1) and Colsaerts already this year, he has proved he has the mettle to win big events. The South African won last time out at the Volvo China Open and he is in the form of his life.

Sergio may be one of the most renown players in world golf and he had proved it by winning titles but he has always had problems putting and with fast undulating greens. If his iron-play is not sharp he may struggle and I would not be backing him at 8/1 to win the event.

Carbrera Bello (33/1) looks the best pick at a big price if he takes to Match Play. He won the Omega Dubai Desert Classic this season and he was third at the Malaysian Open recently. He is the future of Spanish golf but he has a tough first round-robin match against Kaymer ( Kaymer 4/6 v Carbrera-Bello 17/10).



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