A relatively new event on the European Tour this week as we move to New Delhi, India and one which is being tri-sanctioned by the European Tour, Asian Tour and the PGT of India. In terms of tournament history there's last year's form to study (Andrew Dodt was victorious - best priced 70/1 with Bet 365 to retain his trophy), plus there's also the 2008 Johnnie Walker Classic to review which was played on this course - check out those final results here.
The DLF Golf and Country Club course was designed by Arnold Palmer below the Avaralli Hills and is a par 72 of around 7,200 yards. There's a good mix of holes - 4 par 5s, 4 par 3s and some good variation in the par 4s with 3 under 375 yards and a couple touching 500 yards. As with most Arnold Palmer designs, you'll need to think your way around the course, plus with water in play on a number of holes - creeks and lakes-a-plenty, particularly on the closing holes - plus out-of-bounds on a couple of the tighter holes, this will demand a degree of accuracy and strategic placement off the tee to the narrow, sloping fairways.
The greens are small and undulating grainy Bermuda which will measure around 10 on the stimp and will tend to favour the more aggressive putters. One other factor is the bunkers which are numerous and deep. If you're missing greens then a great sand game is essential otherwise bogeys await. That said, with calm weather forecast we should some scoring opportunities from in-form players who can get the ball into position off the tee and a score of -18 should be the target.
Here's how I'm betting this week:
After struggling in Qatar, Aussie Strange bounced back to form last week in Dubai with a 4th place finish and a 9-under weekend where he clearly found something with his irons, missing just 6 of his last 36 greens despite the windier conditions. Twice a winner on Tour in the last 3 seasons, it would appear that the 33 year old from Perth is warming up for a personal hat-trick of titles, and this week presents a great opportunity if he maintains last weekend's form into this event.
Further top 10s in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Hong Kong in the last few seasons - all on Bermuda surfaces - adds fuel to the fire this week, plus he finished second on this course in 2008 at the Johnnie Walker Classic. His wins at Celtic Manor and Beijing were in far stronger company making Strange worthy of top selection this week. RESULT: M/C
Bhullar has long been fancied as a superstar in his native India and now the 22 year old is reaching something of a peak having recorded 3 consecutive wins in 2011 already, his most recent a 2-stroke victory in the PGTI Players Championship where he showed the maturity to record a flawless level par final round to secure the title.
True, he's failed to ignite the European Tour on his limited starts to date, however he's quickly developing into a player of some quality and it's quite conceivable that a European Tour victory isn't far round the corner. His accurate game will be well suited to this track, coupled with the confidence from a cracking start to 2011 and experience of these types of green, the local hero may well prove very difficult to beat. RESULT: T65
The Kiwi won his only European Tour event on this course back in 2008 and, like last year's winner Andrew Dodt, is an attractive price to win again on a course he clearly can play.
4 rounds in the 60s at the South African Open was solid and a solitary missed cut since then shows some good consistency. He was 11th going into the weekend in Dubai before a poor Saturday put paid to any aspirations of another title, however for me I've seen enough in recent times to include Brown in the staking plan. His opening 62 in Hong Kong in November was enough for the first round lead and with another strong start here I can see Brown in the mix on Sunday. RESULT: W/D Before Start
I'm a fan of the perennially overpriced American and like to have a speculative punt on him at a long price when he's playing in this type of event. Finished 8th here last year then followed that up with another top 10 in Malaysia before returning to the Asian Tour regular circuit. He finished the season with creditable performances in Hong Kong and Singapore and will be ready and raring to go here.
You'll find additional top 10s in Indonesia and China in recent years on the main European Tour which demonstrate to me that Knutzon is a far better player than he gets credit for. His straight-hitting game will go down well here and I'd expect him to give us a run for our money for a top 10. RESULT: M/C
Angelo Que 0.5pts EW 300/1 with Victor Chandler. £25 Free Bet and 'Hole In Won' Offer, click here.
I'm placing this longshot with Victor Chandler who have launched a cracking 'hole in won' feature for European and PGA Tour golf - basically if your player scores a hole in one during the tournament then your bet is settled as a winner regardless of where your player finishes! Recent tips David Howell (100/1) and Ricardo Gonzalez (200/1) would have both paid out under these terms as they scored an ace in the week I tipped them up - click here for more details. RESULT: T9
3 times a winner in his professional career, the Filipino is on his first outing of the season and will be looking to build on a successful season which saw him lift the Selangor Masters on his native Asian Tour in August. His best efforts have come on similar surfaces to this with 2 top 13s in Hong Kong over the last 3 years and tends to start the season in better form than he ends it. Also my ton-plus tip for the week.
Odds and bookmaker offers correct at 19:30GMT 15/2/2011 but naturally subject to fluctuation