The European Tour is always looking to expand throughout the world and this week lays bare its ambitions with a stop off in Australia for the Perth International. This is the biggest prize fund in Australian golf but you would hardly describe the assembled field as top, top quality. There are certainly some big names in attendance but it is a little thin once you move away from the big draws like Louis Oosthuizen and Victor Dubuisson.
It is a long old journey to get to Perth for the majority of the players taking part even if they played in Malaysia last week but all of those who have made the trip will be delighted with the course that they find Down Under. Lake Karrinyup Country Club is a real gem of a track and a place where the players can really score well. Thorbjorn Olesen won the last renewal of the Perth International in 2014 with a score of 17 under par and depending on the conditions, which look a little ropey in the earlier stages, we could be looking at a similarly low score winning.
At 7,143 yards the par 72 course is not a huge test of distance but you need to ensure that you hit the ball straight to have any chance of contending. Regarding those conditions, it is important to be able to control the ball in the wind if it gets gusty but if a top class player gets out in front it is going to take some stopping them.
The man at the very top of the outright betting markets, Louis Oosthuizen, is certainly capable of taking this event by the scruff of the neck. South Africans have done well at this course before and if he has anything like his best stuff he could run away with it. The problem for Oosthuizen fans is that he has been very inconsistent of late but it could do him well to get away and test his game on a new course and the odds of 10/1 that Betfred are offering looking tempting enough for a win bet.
If Oosthuizen doesn’t bring his A-game to Perth it could open the door for Dubuisson. The Frenchman is a real prodigious talent but you get the feeling that his biggest problem is between his ears. All too often we have seen him look uninterested on the golf course but just when you are ready to write him off he does something brilliant like winning the Turkish Open last season. At 16/1 with Coral, Dubuisson cannot be written off in an event of this modest difficulty.
Peter Uihlein is something of a rarity, an American who plays the majority of his golf on the European Tour but that is a decision which is paying off. The 26-year-old already has a win on the main Tour to go with his Challenge Tour win and he looks a real classy player. He is one of those who is capable of challenging this week and the odds of 35/1 that Bet365 are quoting look too big.