After almost a decade away, the DP World Tour returns to Laguna National – the host venue for the Singapore Masters which ran from 2001 to 2007 and the Ballantine’s Championship from 2008 to 2014. But before I get to my Singapore Classic betting tips…
- Also this week: WM Phoenix Open betting tips
2023 Singapore Classic preview
Venue: Laguna National (Classic course), Singapore
Date: February 9-12, 2023
Course stats: Par 72; 7,471 yards
Course summary: Visually stunning, Laguna National’s Classic course is one of the most dramatic tests of golf in Asia. Known locally as ‘The Beast’ the Classic unfolds over hilly terrain and features more than 146 bunkers, undulating putting surfaces, and no fewer than five water features.
Purse: $2 million
Defending champion: N/A (inaugural tournament)
Thursday: Sky Sports Golf and Main Event from 5.30am
Friday: Sky Sports Golf and Main Event from 5.30am
Saturday: Sky Sports Golf and Main Event from 5am
Sunday: Sky Sports Golf and Main Event from 5am
2023 Singapore Classic betting tips
The Banker: Alexander Bjork @ 25/1 with Bet365
Alexander Bjork is one of two bankers in the field this week, as I just don’t think you need to reinvent the wheel to find a winner at this Singapore Classic. After two Rolex Series events and then a quick trip to Ras Al Khaimah, these mid-tier DP World Tour players now shoot to the top of the market and are expected to contend, and that includes Bjork.
The Swede missed out on a playoff with Daniel Gavins by one shot last week, as he raced a birdie putt past on the last and missed the come back for par, but little did he know the mess Gavins was about to make of the last hole. Of course looking back, he would have loved to have made that putt and made the playoff, but ultimately he thought a birdie was needed for a chance and went for that, and that’s fine by me.
In terms of form in Asia, Bjork has won the Volvo China Open and finished 2nd in Hong Kong, and they are two of his five best performances on Tour. Bjork may not be the longest but he’s a decent enough driver of the ball, finds plenty of greens, and when he doesn’t, I trust him to get up and down, so this should be a perfect test for him.
28th, 16th and 2nd to start the season, Bjork is clearly trending in the right direction, and a drop down in class can lead to a second DP World Tour win.
The Other Banker: Adrian Otaegui @ 25/1 with Bet365
For largely the same reasons I like Bjork, I like Adrian Otaegui. They both have similar skillsets and are close in terms of talent, but Otaegui is the better winner so far, with four DP World Tour wins to his name.
One of those came in spectacular fashion at Valderrama last season, a course where you typically have to grind for victory, and that is what is expected of this course in Singapore as well. He made light work of the former Ryder Cup venue that week, shooting a tournament-record 19-under to win by six shots. That may mean that form line is less important now, given how easy he found it that week, but it does show how good he can be at courses that demand strategic play and a good short game.
Otaegui finished 2nd behind Bjork at the Volvo China Open, and he also finished T5 at Green Eagle, another course that demands strong driving and a good all-round game, on a long layout, which matches the test here.
Since that win at Valderrama, Otaegui has made eight straight cuts, and also had another opportunity to win, at the Alfred Dunhill Championship. He is in great form and the dip in quality can set him up for a fifth victory on Tour.
The Each-Way Play: Johannes Veerman @ 35/1 with Bet365
I liked Johannes Veerman last week, and not much has changed after a 19th place finish at Ras Al Khaimah added to his 8th place finish the week before.
Veerman has an Indonesian mother, so it is perhaps no surprise that he started his professional career in Asia, after graduating Texas A&M University. Things went well for him early, as he won on the Asian Development Tour, while also posting three other runner-up finishes on the Asian Tour over the next few years.
Singapore is directed located between Indonesia and Malaysia, and one of Veerman’s 2nd place finishes came in Indonesia, and he’s also finished 4th and 12th in Malaysia, so I have every faith he can perform in this part of the world again.
In a common theme with Bjork and Otaegui, his class is bound to shine through now the field is weaker.
The Long Shot: Alexander Levy @ 225/1 with Bet365
Alexander Levy ticks so many boxes when it comes to Asian form and form at similar tests, and although he’s been out for a long time with injury, he made his comeback with a made cut in Abu Dhabi, and while he has missed the weekend twice since, I think a return to this part of the world can spark good golf once more.
Levy is a two-time winner of the Volvo China Open and has also finished 3rd there. Add to that a 3rd at the Thailand Masters, a 4th in the Maybank Championship in Malaysia, a 4th and an 8th in the Shenzhen International, and a 14th in the WGC HSBC Champions, and it is clear what part of the world Levy loves.
Add to the Frenchman’s resume a win at the Porsche European Open, plus 2nd and 12th place finishes at the potentially correlating Green Eagle golf course, in the same event, and Levy is clearly suited to this test when in form.
We are swinging for the fences a bit, as he’s only played three times since missing virtually all of 2022, but I believe in the long-term talent of this five-time DP World Tour winner, and if he’s ready to go, which four starts in a row suggests he is, I cannot resist taking the Frenchman at this price.
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