GOLF analyst Lewis Blain (@LewisBlainSport) shares his betting thoughts ahead of Qatar Masters.
Qatar Masters | 4th-8th March 2020 | Sky Sports
The European Tour heads to Qatar this week where we will be looking to continue a hot streak of returns. It was agonisingly close to back-to-back victories as Brandon Stone lost in a play-off to a 250/1 shot Sami Valimaki (I tweeted these picks out so follow me – @lewisblainsport!).
We leave behind Doha GC for Education City, which is a fresh layout that will host the competition for the first time…
- Education City Golf Course.
- Designed by Jose Maria Olazabal.
- Par 71 – approx 7,307 yards – 3 x par 5s.
- Typical exposed desert track with very little trees but does have water in play on several holes.
- Wind a major factor.
There's not much to go off given it is the first time around this course but it's not too far from Doha and shouldn't be too dissimilar. I also think it could correlate to last week in Oman too.
Wind hints that experience on links-type tracks as well as coastal courses on the ET will be key.
Some length off the tee will be required as well as a sharp and accurate iron game.
George Coetzee (28/1 Betfair)
The front of the market here is very hotly contested and quite frankly, you could make an argument for the lot. Some of the ones scratched off my list late on were Haotong Li, Eddie Pepperell and Jordan Smith. All of which are worthy of their price.
I have opened with George Coetzee instead as I feel if you removed the likes of Marty Kaymer and Joost Luiten, he would be far shorter. Yet, we can take advantage here – considering his form, his record in Qatar and how he performs in similar conditions.
He's 2-8-MC-7 in the country with that runner-up coming here last year. South Africans have littered the leaderboard quite often here too. Coetzee is a 4x winner on the ET in his home country and Mauritius while his T6 in Oman last week shows he's trending well. He's contended in France, Portugal and Sweden – all places that combat wind. I rate his chances this week.
Marcus Kinhult (50/1 Betway)
Last year's British Masters winner has all the attributes to go well this week. He's got the patience and skills to negotiate this course even if he's not in the best nick so far this season.
He finished 3rd in Doha in 2018 and has already contended in France, Switzerland, Portugal and South Africa – the latter he finished runner-up to Tommy Fleetwood. That's just how good he can be when on his game.
If you delve into that British Masters leaderboard you'll see it is full of players who are priced shorter than him this week – Smith, Pepperell, Bob Mac so that only emphasises a possible correlation there. Matt Wallace and Fleetwood were high up on that too. Some great company.
More than happy to chance the young but talented Swede.
Guido Migliozzi (50/1 Betway)
I very nearly went with Guido Migliozzi last week and he nearly made me pay by finishing T4 in Oman. It ended a run of three straight missed cuts, so there has to be confidence that he has refound his form – and as said above, last week should transition nicely into this test.
The Italian won twice on the ET last year, clinching the titles in Kenya (next week will defend) and Belgium. Before that maiden victory, he wasn't in the best shape either and has plenty of experience contending with the wind having come through the Alps Tour once upon a time.
Connor Syme (80/1 Betfair) and Alejandro Canizares (80/1 Betfair)
Dipping into two longer shots now we've got Connor Syme and Alejandro Canizares at 80s, and I am quite gutted to miss the bigger number on the latter but alas I'm still okay with the price on offer.
Syme was on the Challenge Tour last year where he picked up a victory, Scots have also performed well in Qatar – Paul Lawrie has won at Doha twice, Andrew Coltart won the first-ever tournament here too.
They are brought up on the links back in Scotland so he should, in theory, be able to handle a bit of wind – it'll be nothing like the highlands. T10 last week shows he's on form right now whilst T11 at the Alfred Dunhill and T9 in Mauritius are decent stabs on the ET. He's also played well in Portugal and England.
Meanwhile, the Spaniard has a 5th and 8th place in Qatar and is coming back here in great nick, finishing 6th last week in Oman which was after a T15 in Australia where he was leading after the first round.
Back in Spain, he's finished runner-up courtesy of a playoff in on one Olazabal design (Pula) and 2nd and 3rd on another (Seville) so maybe that'll bode well for his chances around this track. His only ET win came at the Trophee Hassan II where the wind can blow while top-10s in Germany, France and South Africa provide further encouragement.
Qatar Masters – George Coetzee (28/1 Betfair
Qatar Masters – Connor Syme (80/1 Betfair
Qatar Masters – Marcus Kinhult (50/1 Betway
Qatar Masters – Guido Migliozzi (50/1 Betway
Qatar Masters – Connor Syme (80/1 Betfair
Qatar Masters – Alejandro Canizares (80/1 Betfair