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LIV Golf: Bangkok preview

Original article published 5 October 2022

The sixth event in the LIV Golf series starts in the early hours of Friday morning - LIV Golf Bangkok - and the 48-man field will tackle a new course.

LIV Golf Bangkok will be the first LIV event staged in Asia. The first LIV gathering was LIV Golf London, then the circuit moved to the United States. For the next fortnight, though, the likes of Cameron Smith and Dustin Johnson will be in Asia.

What

LIV Golf Bangkok

Where

Stonehill Golf Club, Pathum Thani, Thailand

When

4.15, Friday 7th October, 2022

How to watch

YouTube and LIV Golf website

Odds

Dustin Johnson 9/2, Cameron Smith 9/2, Joaquin Niemann 7/1, Louis Oosthuizen 14/1, Talor Gooch 16/1, Sergio Garcia 20/1

This week sees LIV Golf Bangkok, then next week Greg Norman and his merry men head to Saudi Arabia for LIV Golf Jeddah. This week's 48-man field is almost identical to that which lined up for LIV Golf Chicago, with Hideto Tanihara replacing David Puig.

Smith and Johnson dominate the betting for the $20m shootout. Smith won the $4m first prize at LIV Golf Chicago after Johnson pocketed the same cheque at LIV Golf Boston. Smith is 9/2 to complete back-to-back LIV victories in Bangkok, while Johnson is 9/2 to claim his second LIV title.

With no cut in LIV events - and a shotgun start eliminating any chance of draw bias - the market leaders always get a 54-hole level playing field to assert their superiority over the lesser-lights.

Market principals have been performing well in LIV events, while another trend has been the lack of American success. Johnson is the only American to have won a LIV title - the other four tournaments have gone the way of two South Africans (Charl Schwartzel and Branden Grace), a Swede (Henrik Stenson) and an Australian (Smith).

bet365 offer a full range of markets for LIV events. Standard each-way terms of a quarter the odds, the first five places are available, while in the Each Way Extra section as many as 12 places can be catered for. In a field of just 48, a ninth the odds the first 12 places may appeal for punters backing outsiders.

LIV Golf Bangkok course details

Stonehill Golf Club is a 7,591-yard, par-72, which will appeal to big-hitters. The course is owned by the second-richest man in Thailand - Sarath Ratanavadi - and the billionaire spent five years working with famous designer Kyle Phillips on the layout.

It is uncharted terrain to the vast majority of this field because it opened only this summer. It is an open track, with generous fairways and sparse sets of trees, but there is lots of water to punish the seriously errant.

Given the soft, smooth terrain, this young, exposed track seems at the mercy of the LIV stars.

Conditions will be hot and humid, but there is no wind in the forecast, so scoring should be excellent. Those with experience in Asian conditions are probably favoured.

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Three to follow

Cameron Smith

Plenty of flak came the way of Cameron Smith when he signed for LIV Golf, but the Aussie banked a fortune and has happily settled into life on the breakaway circuit.

Smith, who won the Open Championship in July, got off the mark on the LIV Tour in just his second start. He blew the field away in Chicago and could be set for an immediate follow-up in LIV Golf Bangkok. The 9/2 Smith could be popular.

Smith started his career on the Asian Tour, regularly featuring on leaderboards in 2014, getting used to the conditions in this part of the world. He was successful in the CIMB Classic in Malaysia and the CJ Cup in Korea - the two PGA Tour events in Asia - and the wide-open set-up of Stonehill should suit him well.

Phachara Khongwatmai

The 110/1 about local lad Phachara Khongwatmai could be an attractive each-way option for many punters when you consider how comfortable he feels in these conditions.

For some players in the LIV Golf Bangkok field, a trip to Thailand is a new and daunting experience, but Khongwatmai has grown up on these grasses and has been successful from a young age. He won on the Thailand Tour at the age of 14.

Khongwatmai is thrilled with the opportunity of winning a $4m cheque in his homeland and the 23-year-old has the talent to go close.

Sadom Kaewkanjana

Another Thai, who is on offer at 110/1, could also make waves in his homeland this week. Sadom Kaewkanjana, who finished 11th in the Open in July, is a 24-year-old rising star.

The likes of Smith and Johnson will be tough to topple, but Kaewkanjana will relish the course conditions and may appeal to each-way punters.

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