Volvo Betting Preview

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David John previews this week’s Volvo World Match Play Championship, and he’s backing Aussie Aaron Baddeley.

The Volvo World Match Play gets another facelift as it makes a return to the idyllic Finca Cortesin venue in between Malaga and Sotogrande in Spain.

The field has been increased to 24 players, who are split into eight groups of three and after two days of competition, the top two from each section will progress through to the knockout stages at the weekend.

World numbers one and two – Lee Westwood and Luke Donald – head the market at around the 7/1 mark with Donald the reigning Accenture Match Play champion having beaten Martin Kaymer back in February in the final.

Donald has moved up the world rankings to sit hot on the heels of Westwood after his T4 in last Sunday’s Players Championship as his run of amazingly consistent run of form continued.

He has not finished worse than T10 in six events since the Accenture, admitting that the victory gave him a huge boost in confidence.

He makes very few mental errors, is a brilliant scrambler around the greens so will fancy his chances on his return to this format of the game.

Donald should arguably have added to his tally in 2011, not an issue you can level at Westwood, who went back-to-back with victories in Indonesia and Korea last month.

His schedule for the year meant that he sat out the Players Championship so should arrive in Spain fresh and raring to go as tries to improve on his 2009 record here when he failed to get out of the group stage.

The two players I am keen on though will have to face Donald and Westwood on the first two days but Ryan Moore and Aaron Baddeley appeal as a duo who could make an impact at 35/1 and 22/1 respectively.

Matchplay was the basis of Moore’s glittering amateur career and although it would be easy to assume he likes going head-to-head against another opponent, his quotes from the Accenture in February actually support the theory.

He said: “I think it’s more fun. I really do enjoy match play. I enjoy just the different aspect of it.

“It’s that day that you’re focused on, it’s not a marathon, necessarily. It’s more of a sprint. It’s get out there and kind of get it done that day.

“There’s just a different feel to it. I think I enjoy it because it’s right there in front of you.”

He faces Donald on the first day and an immediate chance to avenge his 5&4 defeat from Arizona earlier this year – not straightforward on paper but a challenge that Moore can rise to and put him in pole position to progress.

Ross Fisher completes the trio in their group and although the 2009 winner should have plenty of positive memories, he has not been in tip-top form so far in 2011 and is a player to take on.

Baddeley will face Westwood late on day two of the event having opened up against Anders Hansen on Friday morning.

Baddeley got back to winning ways on the PGA Tour in 2011 at the Northern Trust Open in Los Angeles and has also enjoyed a consistent spell since with four top 14s since, including a T6 at Sawgrass last week.

The Aussie has an excellent profile for this type of event as he putts fantastically and makes plenty of birdies – he is 5th in Birdie Average on the PGA Tour so far this year.

I am going to throw in home favourite Alvaro Quiros as well from the other side of the draw with the Spaniard priced up at 16/1.

He finished a very creditable T6 at The Players and there is nothing he likes better than playing back in his own country and thrilling the galleries with his cavalier approach.

I just get the feeling he has something to prove as well having flopped in the Open De Espana a fortnight ago where he missed the cut when defending champion.

I doubt that will sit too well with him as he gets the chance to quickly make amends on a course that will suit his game.

Paul Casey and Soren Kjeldsen look beatable in his group at the moment and he could take some halting at the weekend if het gets on a roll with the crowd on his side.

TIPS

1pt e.w. Ryan Moore at 35/1 (1/4 1,2,3,4 Sky Bet, Coral). Keen on this format and could make serious inroads in the event.
1pt e.w. Aaron Baddeley at 22/1 (1/4 1,2,3,4 Betfred). In good nick and makes birdies – ideal matchplay combination.
1pt e.w. Alvaro Quiros at 16/1 (1/4 1,2,3,4 Paddy Power). Can bounce back on his home patch after missing Spanish Open cut.

Preview posted at 1245 BST on 18/05/2011

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