UBS Hong Kong Open
At the end of a very long golfing season, it can be hard to pick a winner of the November tournaments as we close out the year with events that don’t attract a big field. There are a number of withdrawals along the way and even some of the best players who are in attendance simply look drained as they head towards a well earned Christmas break.
At the same time, this is the point where it is possible to pick up some value with winners coming from odds of high double figures or maybe even longer. So, it’s off to Hong Kong this week for the UBS Open and we’ll see if we can land a decent profit.
We’re at the Hong Kong Golf Club this week with one of the shortest venues on any tour. It’s a par 70 at a fraction under 6,700 yards but scoring indicates that it’s not easy here. Last year, Australia’s Sam Brazel came home by one shot at -13 and that’s not untypical of our recent winners.
Distance is clearly not an issue so the big boomers have no real advantage but accuracy and tee to green will be key to claiming victory. With that in mind, let’s see who the bookies have in the frame.
Out in Front
Two of this season’s best golfers occupy the top slots and we start with Justin Rose at best odds of 5/1 with Unibet and 888Sport. It’s been a superb few weeks for the former US Open Champion who claimed back to back wins from the end of October but he faded on Sunday in Dubai with victory in sight and may be one of a number of golfers fighting the fatigue factor.
While Rose failed to bloom, Sergio Garcia finished strongly with a closing 65 that led the Spaniard to fourth place. It’s been a positive year for the 2017 US Masters Champion and Garcia looks a more tempting option at a best of 13/2 with Bet365 and Betway.
Another golfer who is finishing 2017 strongly is Matthew Fitzpatrick, although he finished just outside of the top ten on Sunday. The Englishman was defending his DP crown and after a decent run of form will tempt many at his top price of 11/1 with Coral and Sun Bets.
In contrast, Tommy Fleetwood looked completely drained as he fell over the line in the Race to Dubai. He’s had a brilliant 2017 but looks jaded and out of form so we’ll be swerving his best odds of 16/1 with Ladbrokes and Coral.
Other names in this section include last year’s runner up Rafael Cabrera Bello who is on offer at 20/1 with Bet365 and Winner Sports but the first name we’re going to commit to is that of Kiradech Aphibarnrat. The Thai has momentum after shooting three straight 67s in Dubai and his best odds of 25/1 with Bet365 and 10Bet should be worth an Each Way look at the very least.
It’s a reduced field as many golfers look forward to an extended break but there is some definite value as we move through the list. There are a number of previous champions here too including Spain’s Miguel Angel Jimenez who has won this event on no fewer than four previous occasions.
A number of bookmakers have Jimenez listed at 66/1 in the outright markets but BetFred have an exceptional best price of 100/1 next to the name of the four-time winner. Elsewhere, 2014 Champion Scott Hend is also at 100/1, this time with Bet365 and Sun Bets.
There are some shorter prices that are really worth taking on board and these include South African Dylan Frittelli who was in contention for much of the four days across the DP World Championships. Frittelli is one of crop of talented South Africans who are capable of making a big breakthrough on the world stage and he looks good here at a top price of 40/1 with Stan James.
Also worth a look are Paul Dunne at a best of 40/1 with Ladbrokes, Julian Suri at 40/1 with Stan James and Thongchai Jaidee at excellent best odds of 80/1 with Bet365 and William Hill.
If there is such thing as momentum then there are a number of golfers who can carry over their form from Dubai and really make their mark in Hong Kong. The stats are set up for a man like Sergio Garcia and while the Spaniard hasn’t been closing out the season on a high in terms of tournament wins, that final round 65 in Dubai could set him up nicely this week.
Justin Rose also has the qualities to win on this course but the name that jumps out for us here is that of Kiradech Aphibarnrat. At 28, the popular Thai golfer has eight professional Tour wins and while the last of those came in 2015, a couple of second places in recent weeks make him a strong Each Way pick for Hong Kong.
Elsewhere, Dylan Frittelli is also in good touch but we’ll play a little safer with the South African by taking the Each Way route at a top price of 3/1 with Stan James.
- Kiradech Aphibarnrat Each Way for the UBS Hong Kong Open at 25/1 with Bet365
- Dylan Frittelli for a top ten finish at 3/1 with Stan James