Malaysian Open Betting Preview

Matteo Manassero

Most of the world’s best players have assembled at Bay Hill for the Arnold Palmer Invitational, but there’s still a nice collection of guys who will be teeing it up in Malaysia at the Maybank Malaysian Open, co-sanctioned by the European and Asian Tours.
2013 Malaysian Open Fact Sheet

  • Course: Kuala Lumpur G & CC
  • Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Yardage: 6,967 yards, par 71
  • Defending Champion: Louis Oosthuizen *not in field*
  • Five Consensus Favourites: Luke Donald, Charl Schwartzel, Matteo Manassero, Alexander Noren, Rafa Cabrera-Bello

TV Schedule:

  • Thursday – 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM ET (Golf Channel)
  • Friday – 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM ET (Golf Channel)
  • Saturday – 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM ET (Golf Channel)
  • Sunday – 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM ET (Golf Channel)

Kuala Lumpur G & CC
The course first opened in 1991, but was redesigned and reopened in 2008, and even though the routing and layout remain the same, every blade of grass was replaced on the course with seashore paspalum. This tends to make it a little easier for the pros due to how high the ball sits on it, even in the fairways, which will likely lead to lower scores throughout the week. There are very few trees that will be in play, but water is present on 13 of the 18 holes, including the toughest stretch on the course from 11-14, which played as the 6th, 1st, 2nd and 3rd handicaps last year.
Key Storyline This Week
I touched on it in the opening, but most of the best players in the world aren’t here this week with Bay Hill on the PGA Tour docket. The field here isn’t bad, but two names that clearly stand out are Luke Donald and Charl Schwartzel. They’re far and away better than pretty much everyone playing this week, and the books know it, listing them at 5-1 and 6-1 respectively, with Matteo Manassero being the next closest at roughly 16-1. These are the types of events that guys like Donald and Schwartzel should go out and win with ease, when you consider the lower quality field and easier course that has produced talented winners in each of the last three years in Seung-Yul Noh, Manassero and Louis Oosthuizen.
Suggested Plays (All each-way)
Matteo Manassero (Best Odds 16-1 at Bet 365)
This tournament was the site of Manassero’s second career win, the same week that he turned just 18 years of age. He hasn’t been playing great in 2013, but he also hasn’t done anything disastrous either, with his worst stroke play finish being a tie for 29th a couple of weeks ago at the Honda Classic. In addition to that win, he also finished T-7 last year, so he does seem to like the course.
Alexander Noren (Best Odds 29-1 at You Win)
Noren missed the cut here last year, but did have a T-4 back in 2011 when Manassero took the title. People were surprised to see the relatively unheralded Swede knock Dustin Johnson out of the Match Play a few weeks ago, but they shouldn’t have been. His T-9 finish at the Open Championship last year was one of seven top-10’s in 2012, and while he only has one top-10 to start 2013, he’s pretty much only played in strong field events. He hasn’t been hitting nearly as many fairways this year as he usually does, but that’s less of an issue at this course, so he should be there at the end of it on Sunday.
Padraig Harrington (Best Odds 35-1 at Betfair)
Harrington’s hot start to 2013 has cooled in recent weeks, but his track record in Malaysia is hard to ignore. He’s played ten rounds in the area since 1996, with all of them being in the 60’s, which includes a T-13 in his lone appearance here in 2006. His other finishes include a win and a T-3 at the Johor Open in 2010 and 2011, with that victory in 2010 being his last full-field win.
Victor Dubuisson (Best Odds 51-1 at Betfair)
Dubuisson is an excellent driver of the golf ball, and has both recent and course form working in his favour. His lone appearance at this event last year netted him a T-11, and he’s finished inside the top-10 in two of his last three starts.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Best Odds 56-1 at Betfair)
I’d be lying if I said I knew anything about Aphibarnrat, including the pronunciation of his name, but he’s worth a flyer. He’s finished inside the top-6 in each of his last four events, and even though he’s got a missed cut and a WD here in the last two years, he did finish tied for third in 2010.

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