The European Tour remains in China this week with the Volvo China Open taking place in Shanghai. The championship course at the Tomson Shanghai Pudong Golf Club is flat and tree-lined with plenty of water hazards. The OneAsia Tour shares the sanctioning duties this week but as the course feels European, expect the players from the European Tour to have the best of it.
Alexander Levy goes into this week as the defending champion for the first time. Last year’s China Open was his maiden victory on tour but that win came at the Genzon Golf Club, which played host last week. He’s not played a tournament at the Shanghai course but has spoken of the confidence he has this week. There’s never been a back-to-back winner of the China Open in its 21-year history but Levy is an intriguing option. He couples decent distance off the tee with a high percentage of greens in regulation. The Frenchman’s putting has improved this year so as long as he gets a hang of the track, he could go all the way. Bet365 are offering a tasty 30/1 on Levy so get involved on each way terms.
Another European to take a look at next, in the shape of Englishman David Howell. The 39-year-old is one of the most experienced players in the field. It’s been almost 10 years since he was placed in the world’s top 10, when he held off Tiger Woods to win in Shanghai at the HSBC Champions, but he’s fared well so far on tour this season. He had a shot at winning the Shenzhen International last week but couldn’t quite get his round firing on the Sunday, ending up tied for fourth, good form to take into this week. Winless on tour last season, the bookies have all priced Howell up at 40/1. It’s not the strongest field that will be assembled this season so that’s a very tempting price for an each way bet about a player who should be in contention on Sunday once again.
The final tip for this week is a player who also had a chance of winning last week. Emiliano Grillo ended up tied for 11th, the latest in a series of good performances for the young Argentine. He boasts a stroke average of under 70 shots in his last 15 tournaments and if he puts those sorts of numbers together this week he could secure his first win on the European Tour. Grillo’s game has steadily improved since he first played on tour in 2012. This season he’s hit three quarters of all greens in regulation, averages around 290 yards with the driver and hits 70% of all fairways. Those are impressive stats and point towards him making a major breakthrough at some stage. The bookies believe that he’s dangerous this week as the best price you can get on him is 25/1 with Coral. Take that price with a third each way bet and his breakthrough could land you with a tidy profit, hopefully adding to profits from our other long odds selections.