Last year’s Alstom Open de France came down to Martin Kaymer and Lee Westwood in a play-off and that duo head the betting in another very good renewal at Le Golf National in Paris.
Westwood dunked his ball in the water on the first hole of sudden death to make Kaymer’s job that bit easier but the layers this time around clearly reckon Westwood will gain his revenge and price him up at just 10/1 with the German double those odds.
Westwood has been pretty spectacular all year and certainly deserved the title he picked up in Memphis earlier this month.
That required four extra holes and should prove a tremendous boost to a player who has suffered more than his fair share of near misses much to the frustration of both himself and punters.
Kaymer has been a bit disappointing since his success in Abu Dhabi in January but there are signs in the last few weeks that he is finding some form.
A top 10 at Pebble Beach and his love of this venue – a “typical Kaymer course” – as he put it, suggests he will not relinquish his crown without a decent fight.
A bit further down the list is a surprising name – America’s Heath Slocum – and he could be an interesting contender at 55/1.
He missed the cut at the US Open but his form prior to Pebble Beach can’t be knocked with five top-20 finishes from seven starts.
He finished solo fourth in Memphis behind Westwood and admitted he played beautifully all week so it is not too hard to envisage him continuing in that sort of mood.
Players have admitted in the past that this course requires some care and attention to score well and Slocum’s neat and tidy approach should thrive with dangers lurking everywhere.
It is a little bit of a shot in the dark as to how he performs outside of the States but the price is fair and he beat a top field at The Barclays last season so has the class to contend.
I am going to take a little punt on a couple of outsiders from England in the shape of Kenny Ferrie and Paul Waring.
Both are players I have been keeping half an eye on over the last couple of months and now looks the time to get behind them financially.
Ferrie has not had much to shout about for a while but returned to something more like it with a T3 in the BMW International Open last week.
That display came out of the blue after a string of average performances but a glance at his past record has shown he is capable of maintaining the momentum in back-to-back tournaments.
Marry that up with the fact that this event (T6) was his best effort in a modest 2009 plus a fine effort when T3 here way back in 2002 suggests Ferrie could be in the right mood for another decent week.
Waring is a talented player who has been bothered in the past by injury problems but a trouble-free week makes him a lively outsider.
Like Ferrie, France 12 months ago was the scene of his best display and he should return in a decent frame of mind following eyecatching efforts in Portugal and Germany.
Having watched compatriot Dave Horsey break his duck last week, Waring could well take some inspiration from that and he looks the type of player to run into the frame at the very least.
1.5pts e.w. Heath Slocum at 55/1 (Sky Bet 1/4 1,2,3,4,5). Playing well currently and can make the trip from the US worthwhile.
1pt e.w. Kenny Ferrie at 150/1 (bet365 1/4 1,2,3,4,5). Hit some form last week and can carry that momentum forward.
1pt e.w. Paul Waring at 125/1 (bet365, totesport 1/4 1,2,3,4,5). Played well here 12 months ago and worth following again.
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