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Volvo China Open betting preview
By David John Last updated: 19th April 2010
Rising star Gareth Maybin can claim his first European Tour title with victiory at this week's Volvo China Open.
Suzhou Jinji Lake International Golf Club is the new venue for the Volvo China Open and the Gary Player-designed layout should provide a fascinating test for a decent field that has assembled.
Both nines are a completely different set-up with the outward half Wetlands while the homeward stretch is Links.
There should be something for everyone then and if keenness is anything to go by, then Gareth Maybin gets top marks.
The rising star from Northern Ireland was among the first players out during practice as he starts to familiarise himself with the venue.
It is very much a case of 'when' rather than 'if' Maybin posts a victory.
Beaten in a play-off by Richard Sterne in South Africa last year, he also played very well in Malayasia and and the Czech Republic and the experience of those near misses should stand him in very good stead this season.
T20 in this event 12 months ago in Beijing, Maybin has tremendous memories of playing in China having won the Qingdao Open whilst on the Challenge Tour back in 2008.
Two top-10 displays so far this campaign are promising and Maybin reckons his time is just around the corner.
He said: "My game is good right now, steady without any fireworks but I feel as though I'm ready to take the next step up and hopefully can do something special this week."
I like the way that he is approaching the challenge and he is fancied to earn that well deserved breakthrough victory on the European Tour.
Korean golf is enjoying a real boom at the moment ahead of the Ballantine's Championship next week.
KJ Choi and YE Yang both played a prominent role at Augusta and the latter looks worth following once more.
Yang's win at the USPGA last season was one of the highlights of the year after he went head-to-head with Tiger Woods and has clearly become a top-notch performer on the world stage.
He returns to the country of his shock success in the 2007 HSBC Champions and admits it puts him very much in a positive frame of mind - just like Maybin.
"I always enjoy playing golf in China and have great memories of my breakthrough victory at the HSBC Champions in Shanghai in 2007," he said.
His T8 at The Masters was a very creditable effort and he looks more than capable of carrying over that momentum and making a realistic bid for the title.
Scot Stephen Gallacher is an interesting contender as he battles to bank enough cash from this tournament and next week as well before the medical exemption he is on runs out.
He has a bit of a task ahead to earn in the region of £125,000 from them both but his recent efforts have been encouraging with all five cuts made from his last five outings and top 20s in both the Trophee Hassan II and Open De Andalucia.
Gallacher admits his game is getting sharper by the week and there is nothing more motivating than the opportunity to retain his playing privileges.
A past winnner of the Dunhill Links Championship, I get the impression he will be well suited by this layout and would not be shocked to see him make a hefty dent in the money he has to make with a high finish.
1pt e.w. Gareth Maybin at 50/1 (1/4 1,2,3,4,5 bet365, Blue Square). Promising start to 2010 and chance to get his breakthrough win.
2pts win YE Yang at 14/1 (bet365). Class act and positive memories of a big win in China.
1pt e.w. Stephen Gallacher at 100/1 (1/4 1,2,3,4,5 Stan James). Plenty to play for this week and should be suited by the venue.
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