The Black Mountain Golf Club in Hua Hin hosts the inaugural True Thailand Classic as the European Tour stays in Asia for the second consecutive week. Although this is the first running of the tournament, the course will be familiar to the Scandinavian contingent, many of whom use the facilities as their winter training base. Many other players have been impressed by the resort course which is one of the best in Asia.
The par 72 course at Hua Hin is a long 7,350 yards but it can be taken apart by the players if the conditions remain benign. The wind can often get up and cause issues but officials at the resort are confident that the weather will allow players and spectators to see the club at its best. The allure of the course along with a prize fund of $2million, a specially designed trophy and a luxury house on the resort for the first player to hit a hole-in-one at the 14th has attracted a strong field.
Among those playing from the Asian Tour are the winner of last week’s Malaysian Open, Anirbarn Lahiri and local hero Thongchai Jaidee. From Europe a host of in-form players like Alex Noren and Marc Warren are joined by veterans Thomas Bjorn and Miguel Angel Jimenez. The winner of this tournament is likely to have to post a seriously low score over the four rounds. Let’s have a look and try to find that winner.
We’ll start with Marc Warren. The Scotsman has recorded three top-15 finishes in a row and is one of the best putters in the field. Warren is also remarkably consistent from round to round so if he shoots a good first round, he can be expected to stay around the top of the leaderboard. He will need to maintain his good form having travelled a considerable number of miles recently but if he does, he’s a good shout for an each-way bet at 14/1 with Bet365.
Jaidee never really got going at the Malaysian Open but with the European Tour coming to Thailand for the first time in eight years, he is sure to do all he can for the home fans. Jaidee is 16/1 for the win with Ladbrokes and again, that is a solid choice for an each-way bet.
Next we move to Miguel Angel Jimenez. The ‘most interesting man in the world’ won on the Champions Tour in January and finished in the top 50 at the Malaysian Open. He is 33/1 for the win generally and can be backed at 11/4 for a top 10 finish. The victory may be a step beyond him, especially as he has talked about his desire to win next week’s Indian Open. In order for him to find form for that, he will be looking for a good showing this week so you should side with him in the top 10 market. The last player to back each-way is Robert Rock at 66/1 with Coral. He’s been quiet recently but is an accurate driver with excellent greens in regulation stats. This course could well suit him, especially at that price.