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GOLF: Aussie Open, Africa Open & Casio World Open

Hopefully some of you got on the Shane Lowry E/W tip in the DP World Champ last week, where he managed to grab sole 5th spot for a 15/1 return. One thing that has taught me is if you feel strongly about a player don't give up on them if they don't payout on the first time of backing them. I'd backed Shane the previous week in Turkey and he crumbled on the final day but I stuck with him in the DP. And that's the feature of this weeks betting - I'm sticking with a few I've backed previously - and let's hope it pays off. One other thing on Shane Lowry - I think he is going to be a prolific winner next year so definitely one to keep an eye on.

**The Emirates Australian Open – The Australian Golf Club – New South Wales.**

The Australian Golf Club is hosting this years Aussie Open where the players will try to win the Stonehaven Cup. The last two winners of the Stonehaven Cup when last played at this course have been Craig Parry (2007) & Peter Lonard (2004) both could be viewed as shortish hitters. Much has changed since then, not least at the course, which has undergone alterations under the supervision of 18-time major winner Jack Nicklaus. And on a recent visit to the course Craig Parry noted that the golf course is longer the bunkers are deeper and the greens have changed quite a bit ...of course the length change will play into Mcilroy and Scotts hands but it is still tight and the fickle wind plays its part so players that have played the course before have a little head start. if you look below the top 2 players there is still some great E/W value to be had.

James Nitties finished 5th in 2007 , he finished 2nd last week and 3rd the week before that and he’s still available at 60/1 on Betfair! 40/1 ealsewhere. It’s the wrong price.

Greg Chalmers threw me a curve ball last week by missing the cut – but my reason for backing him was based on how I thought his game would suit the course – whereas this week I have the comfort knowing that he has played this course before in 2007 and 2004, finishing 7th and 15th respectfully. So he’ll feel back at home and having played well in Mexico a few weeks back he can’t be too far off form.

*James Nitties E/W @ 40/1 (1/4 odds top 5) (best price to win 60/1 on BF)

*Greg Chalmers E/W @ 80/1 (1/4 odds top 5)

**Lion Of Africa Open - Royal Cape Golf Club - Cape Town, South Africa**

Royal Cape GC is a grand old club, it boasts being the first golf club in South Africa and has held many top events in its time. It previously hosted the Vodacom Players champ which saw quality players like Ernie Els, Trevor Immelman and Mark Mcnulty claim a win. This is the 3rd year of hosting this event. Its tree lined with narrow fairways and subtle USGA spec built bent grass greens, Royal presents a traditional test of golf, with numerous ponds along the way.

Thomas Aiken is hitting the ball amazing! Last week in Dubai, for each of the 4 days in fairways hit he went 2nd,1st, 1st,1st. In greens hit he went 1st, 1st, 1st, 2nd and that’s amongst the top 60 players on the European tour! However.. he came last in putting on all 4 days, that included a sad 38 putts (Lowry had 25) on the Thursday!! So if he can’t hole a thing why would I even bother looking at him in this preview – well, he is heading back to his home country where the greens and very, very different. He always seems to be at the top of the leaderboard in RSA – so if he’s going to regain his feel it’s likely to be on home turf.. if he can find just a little bit of a clue on these greens we could be quid’s in!

Jean Hugo has had a good year with a win 5 months back. He’s made every cut, with 3 top ten’s in his last 5 events. He played this event last year – finished 20th, so no embarrassment. I think he’s worth a go.

Going with JB Kruger AGAIN! 13th here last year, 9th last week and 7th the week before. If he could just make his bad round of the week not quite so bad he might get that win, and back in his home country with all his family and friends he should be relaxed enough to take whatever pressure off thats been holding him back.

*Thomas Aiken E/W @ 19/1 (1/4 odds top 5)

*JB Kruger E/W @ 18/1 (1/4 odds top 5)

*Jean Hugo E/W @ 45/1 (1/4 odds top 5)

**Casio World Open - Kochi Kuroshio Country Club - Japan**

I must admit I'm not familiar with the course or the tournament but one particular players price compared to his form stuck out for me. Yoshinori Fojimoto has had 7 top 15 finishes in his last 11 events and although he missed the cut here last year he finished 3rd in 2012. At 33/1 I think he's decent value.

*Yoshinori Fojimoto E/W @ 33/1 (1/4 odds top 5)

I was close to a E/W double last week, and it's worth putting a few penny's on all double/treble combinations.

All the best,

Sharpie

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