For what seems like the umpteenth time this season, another headline selection finished in second place as a bogey-free final round from Julian Suri wasn’t quite enough to catch Jorge Campillo in Morocco. Campillo had been knocking at the door with increasing vigour of late so it wasn’t a shock to see him finally convert a chance, however disappointment still abounds that our man couldn’t get the job done.
The European Tour heads east for one of the more established events on the European Tour schedule this week, the Volvo China Open. Having originally been scheduled to take place in Chengdu, organisers decided earlier in the year to switch the venue to the Genzon golf club in Shenzhen which hosted this event in 2014, plus 3 renewals of the Shenzhen International between 2015-17, which is worth bearing in mind when studying the event’s history.
The highest ranked player in the field, Haotong Li, heads the betting at a general 14/1 with prominent performers from last week Jorge Campillo, Julian Suri, Jordan Smith and Erik Van Rooyen all rating as chances in the 16/1 to 20/1 bracket. Former Genzon winner Alex Levy will also be looking to bounce back to form after a disappointing missed cut at last week’s Trophee Hassan II, whereas last year’s champion Alexander Bjork fared far better by recording a solid top-10 finish as he prepares to defend a European Tour title for the first time in his career.
Before we talk the Wells Fargo Championship, the number of new visitors to Golf Betting System is increasing by the week. Welcome to new visitors, listeners and viewers and let me point you in the direction of our weekly Golf Betting System podcast (published Tuesday) our Golf Betting Show on YouTube and our hugely popular private group on Facebook – you can Join Here.
Volvo China Open – Featured Bookmaker:
Boylesports are attacking this week’s Volvo China Open and are offering 8 places each way at 1/5 odds in the outright market. If you haven’t already got a Boylesports account then new customers can access up to £25 in free bets using this qualifying link. 18+, T&Cs apply:
- Boylesports New Customer Offer – Significant Terms:18+ T&Cs apply. Cash stakes only. Min £10 stake required for initial £5 free bet. Min odds ½. Max £25 in free bets. Subsequent free bets equal 50% average of each 3 qualifying bets. 13 bets required to receive full £25 free bet. Qualifying bet must be placed within 30 days of opening account. Free bet expires after 7 days. Payment method restrictions apply. T&Cs Apply.
Genzon Golf Club, Shenzhen, China. Designer: Neil Haworth, 1995 with 2008 re-design; Course Type: Resort; Par: 72; Length: 7,145 yards; Water Hazards: 12; Fairways: Paspalum; Rough: Paspalum; Greens: Platinum Paspalum, 10′ on the stimp.
Course Overview. Neil Haworth put the finishing touches to his re-design in 2008 with the course having originally opened in 1995 and the clearing of trees and foliage, particularly on the front 9, made the course feel a little more open than it was following those original renovations. The 7,145 yard, par 72 features 4 mid-length par-5s and 3 sub-380 yard par-4s that will appeal to the longer hitters, however with Dragon Lake lurking on many of the holes there’s certainly an element of accuracy required to avoid the worst of any trouble. Both 9s follow a similar pattern of generally easier holes to allow players to get a decent start to their rounds before the course bites back a little, however in normal conditions the course is scoreable and the par-5s at the 9th, 13th and 17th offer the best eagle opportunities to the more aggressive players.
Tournament Stats. Please note, only the 2014 event was held here on this track – all previous Volvo China Opens were held elsewhere and event form should be considered accordingly: Current Form | Event Form | First Round Leader | Top 20 Finishes | Combined Stats.
Predictor Model. Our published Predictor Model is available here. As always you can build your own model using the variables available.
Winners & Prices. Alexander Bjork, 40/1; Alex Levy, 25/1; Haotong Li, 100/1; 2015: Ashun Wu, 200/1; 2014: Alex Levy, 150/1; 2013: Brett Rumford, 50/1; 2012: Branden Grace, 60/1; 2011: Nicolas Colsaerts, 80/1; 2010: YE Yang, 14/1.
Weather Forecast. The latest weather forecast for Shenzhen is here. The tournament should enjoy warm and sunny conditions with temperatures in the high 70s Fahrenheit throughout. Wind will be light to moderate and shouldn’t trouble the professionals.
Tournament Trends & Key Factors. Although we have limited course history to go on in terms of the Volvo China Open, the course hosted the Shenzhen International on the European Tour from 2015-17 to give us a little more to work with. Key stats from those 3 winners plus Alex Levy are detailed below:
- 2017: Bernd Wiesberger (-16). 284 yards (30th), 76.8% fairways (13th), 75% Greens In Regulation (26th), 72.2% scrambling (2nd), 1.76 putts per GIR (31st)
- 2016: Soomin Lee (-16). 286 yards (28th), 64.3% fairways (50th), 75.9% Greens In Regulation (30th), 69.2% scrambling (4th), 1.66 putts per GIR (3rd)
- 2015: Kiradech Aphibarnrat (-12). 287 yards (22nd), 67.9% fairways (32nd), 75.0% Greens In Regulation (22nd), 55.6% scrambling (23rd), 1.69 putts per GIR (6th)
- 2014: Alexander Levy (-19). 296 yards (7th), 80.4% fairways (11th), 81.9% Greens In Regulation (5th), 53.8% scrambling (23rd), 1.63 putts per GIR (3rd)
With Soomin Lee ranking just 50th of those players to make the weekend in terms of fairways hit, but still finding the short grass almost two-thirds of the time, it tells us that this is a 2nd shot golf course. The par-5s are critical to a player’s performance – the quartet above finished a combined 39-under for the long holes on their way to their respective successes – and that combined with minimising errors on the remainder of the course is a sound approach to getting into contention this week.
Incoming Form: Immediate form varies between the Volvo China Open winners since 2010, however each had at least one top-10 finish in their previous 10 starts and 4 of them arrived fresh off of a top-10 finish on their last start:
- 2018: Alexander Bjork: 52/17/2/MC/MC/6/MC/12/19/MC/39/3
- 2017: Alex Levy: 63/4/58/25/64/27/MC/57/49/4/34/8
- 2016: Haotong Li: MC/26/7/41/53/MC/MC/60/35/MC/57/MC
- 2015: Ashun Wu: 47/MC/MC/11/28/64/14/6/50/14/22/MC
- 2014: Alex Levy: MC/46/52/47/3/56/MC/67/42/MC/37/20
- 2013: Brett Rumford: 22/36/3/40/10/MC/MC/22/MC/12/71/MC/1
- 2012: Branden Grace: 9/14/1/1/MC/47/51/28/35/25/MC/40
- 2011: Nicolas Colsaerts: MC/MC/MC/8/MC/11/MC/28/5/57/MC/17
- 2010: YE Yang: 33/29/9/19/46/15/17/3/MC/30/31/8
Event Form. Only the 2014 event has been played at Genzon GC so event form of the winners should be considered accordingly:
- 2018: Alexander Bjork: MC
- 2017: Alex Levy: 1/3/28
- 2016: Haotong Li: MC/MC/MC/50/6
- 2015: Ashun Wu: MC/57/MC/MC/MC/MC/50
- 2014: Alex Levy: Debut
- 2013: Brett Rumford: 45/14/11/33/MC/22/29
- 2012: Branden Grace: 16
- 2011: Nicolas Colsaerts: 32/MC/8
- 2010: YE Yang: 43
In terms of actual course form of the winners here at Genzon, each of Bernd Wiesberger, Soomin Lee, Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Alex Levy were making their competitive course debuts when winning their respect events held here, so no additional clues there.
For me this is an event that will reward 2nd shot excellence first and foremost, with those who are best able to convert birdies or eagles on the par 5s likely to advance their scores the quickest and those who can minimise bogeys best able to hold onto a contending position. The Paspalum greens are also a consideration and those who’ve putted well on similar surfaces in the past could also enjoy this week’s test.
My final selections are as follows: