The DP World Tour has moved from the Middle East to the Far East for the Singapore Classic, which starts late on Wednesday night at Laguna National Resort.
|Where||Classic Course, Laguna National, Singapore|
|When||23:35, Wednesday 9th February, 2023|
|How to watch||Sky Sports Golf and available to follow on bet365's Live Golf Tracker|
|Odds||Robert MacIntyre 16/1, Ryan Fox 18/1, Jordan Smith 18/1, Adri Arnaus 25/1, Alexander Bjork 25/1, Adrian Otaegui 25/1, Johannes Veerman 25/1, Antoine Rozner 30/1|
Four tournaments in the United Arab Emirates will be followed by this week's Singapore Classic – a low-key gathering which gives the lesser-lights of the DP World Tour the chance to shine.
Victor Perez, Rory McIlroy and Daniel Gavins have won the last three DP World Tour events – Gavins managed to fall over the line in front despite a double-bogey at the final hole in the Ras al Khaimah Championship on Sunday. However, none of that trio are competing in Singapore.
Robert MacIntyre, Ryan Fox and Jordan Smith dominate the outright market. Scottish golf fans have long been expecting MacIntyre to develop into an elite player – perhaps the Colin Montgomerie of his generation – and last year's Italian Open victory provided encouragement.
MacIntyre is seeking a third DP World Tour title this week and the 26-year-old left-hander can be backed at 16/1 for Singapore success. Fox, the highest-ranked player in the field, is on offer at 18/1, while Smith, who won the Portugal Masters in fine style in October, is available at 18/1.
The Singapore Masters starts a three-week spell for the DP World Tour in this region – the Thailand Classic takes place next week, followed by the Indian Open.
Standard each-way terms of a quarter the odds, the first five places are available for the Singapore Masters, while there are also alternative options, including a fifth the odds the first eight places, in the Each Way Extra section.
The Classic Course at Laguna National is much more difficult than its neighbour – the Masters Course. The Masters Course has staged many a DP World Tour event – the Singapore Open was a fixture there – but the Classic Course is making its DP World Tour debut this week.
There was an Asian Tour gathering at the Classic Course in 2015, but hardly any of this week's line-up competed in that, so the Singapore Classic is more to do with who is playing well rather than anything else.
The 7,420-yard, par-72 layout, has four par-fives, ten par-fours and four par-threes.
Daniel Boonma won the Asian Tour event there with a 282 total (six under par to a par of 72), while the best 18-hole score of the tournament was 67.
The field of 132 are clearly in for a challenging week from a course which has earned some fearsome nicknames – Asia's Toughest Test, The Remarkable One, The Beast – from the locals. The 13th green is reputedly the largest in Asia.
Fortunately for the players, soft, calm conditions are forecast, although there is a threat of thunderstorms throughout.
Four of the last six Singapore Masters were won by an Asian player.
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Asia was the home continent of Johannes Veerman for many years – he lived there as a youngster and started his professional career in the continent – so this week's hot, sticky conditions and grainy greens will hold no fears for the 25/1 chance.
Veerman finished eighth in the Dubai Desert Classic the week before last, then 19th in the Ras al Khaimah Championship, so he has found form in time for a perfect assignment.
Malaysian powerhouse Gavin Green has started 2023 with a couple of missed cuts, so has been pushed out to juicy prices, but with the Christmas rust out of his system, it is reasonable to expect better in Singapore.
Green was in brilliant form in the latter months of last year, finishing second in the Czech Masters and the Portugal Masters, and 55/1 will be a tempting price for punters who watched those events.
A low-grade gathering in his home continent could prove a launchpad for the year ahead.
Japanese youngster Taiga Semikawa appears to be rapidly developing into a top player and the 66/1 chance may catch the eye of some punters for his DP World Tour debut.
He won twice on the Japan Tour as an amateur and has made two cuts from three starts on the PGA Tour this year.
Semikawa appears a 22-year-old going places fast and sponsors invitations have been flooding through his letterbox.