Best bets for the DP World Tour Thailand Classic

February 14, 2023 04:13 PM

South African journeyman Ockie Strydom, who was as high as 400-1 in the market last week, shot a 9-under 63 in the final round to win the Singapore Classic by one stroke over Sami Välimäki. Strydom also won the Alfred Dunhill Championship in December in his native country and is now a two-time DP World Tour winner in the span of three months.

This week, the DP World Tour stays in Asia for the True Thailand Classic as the former Asian Tour event returns for the first time since 2016 now as a full DP World Tour event.

Nicolai Hojgaard (18-1) tops the market this week, followed by Jordan Smith (20-1) and Robert MacIntyre (22-1).

Thorbjorn Olesen (22-1) was T-4 two weeks ago in Ras Al Khaimah and Antoine Rozner (25-1) was T-6 last week in Singapore.


The Course

Amata Spring Country Club was designed by Lee Schmidt and Brian Curley in 2005 and is a 7,505-yard, par-72 located in Chunburi and situated between Bangkok and Pattaya. It has been built around two large lakes.

A regular setup with four par-3s and four par-5s, the long holes vary from the relatively short 537-yard 11th to the more stringent 617-yard seventh, with the other pair measuring 584 yards apiece. The short holes are equally varied with the 236-yard eighth likely to prove challenging, while the 152-yard 17th signature hole plays to a floating green, which can be physically moved around the lake and requires a boat to access the putting surface.

As with many courses in Asia, Paspalum grass has been used from tee to green and the greens are heavily bunkered, with the bunkers having been recently renovated and returned mostly to their original form.

Amata Springs CC has hosted plenty of events over the last 15-20 years:

— Royal Trophy (2006-2010) a Ryder Cup-style event between Europe and Asia. Europe winning in ’06,’07 and ’10; Asia in ’09.

— Thailand Golf Championship (2011-2015) an Asian Tour event that saw Lee Westwood (x2), Sergio Garcia, Charl Schwartzel and Jamie Donaldson all win here.

— Asia/Pacific Amateur Championship (2012 and 2022) one of the most prestigious amateur events in Asia. China’s Tianlang Guan (remember him?) winning in 2012 and highly rated Australian amateur Harrison Crowe winning late last year.

— Honda LPGA Thailand (2006) the first LPGA event in Thailand, won by Korea’s Hee-won Han.


Thorbjorn Olesen (22-1, DraftKings)

Olesen’s form has been trending in the right direction with form figures of 45-30-20-16-4, and really all that is left to do is win.

Olesen missed out on a playoff by two shots at the Ras Al Khaimah Classic two weeks ago.

Antoine Rozner (25-1, BetMGM)

Rozner was seventh for Strokes Gained: Off the Tee and 10th for Strokes Gained: Tee to Green last week in Singapore in his sixth-place finish, plus seventh for Driving Accuracy and second for GIR.

His three DP World Tour wins have all been on Paspalum greens.

Adrian Otaegui (30-1, DraftKings)

Otaegui started slow last week but did card a 66 in Sunday's final round.

The Spaniard ranks seventh on the DP World Tour for Strokes Gained: Approach, eighth for Strokes Gained: Around the Green, 12th for Scrambling, 12th for Strokes Gained: Tee to Green, and 16th in Driving Accuracy.

Matthieu Pavon (50-1, BetRivers)

Pavon comes to Thailand on the back of consecutive top-10 finishes — ninth at Ras Al Khaimah and sixth last week in Singapore.

The Frenchman has perfomed well on correlating courses in Ras Al Khaimah (third in 2022) and Portugal (second in 2021).

Shubhankar Sharma (66-1, BetRivers)

While the man from India has not won since 2018, his form seems to be coming around.

In his last four starts, he’s missed one cut in Dubai but has otherwise finished second to Tommy Fleetwood at the Nedbank, seventh in a strong Abu Dhabi field and then 12th in another strong field at the Saudi International.

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