The European Tour moves even further east this week, landing in New Delhi, India for the third edition of the Avantha Masters at the DLF Golf and Country Club.
It's a wide-open betting heat with most bookmakers going 16/1 'the field' - Dutchman Joost Luiten is the universal favourite at that price. Snapping at his heels are Frenchman Gregory Havret (20/1 Ladbrokes), who finished third here 12 months ago, and Welshman Jamie Donaldson (20/1 bet365), who had a string of high finishes last season but has yet to get his head in front. Jeev Milkha Singh at 30/1 (bet365) heads a strong contingent of golfers from this part of the world.
This week's Arnold Palmer-designed track is a relatively short par-72 measuring 7,156 yards. That said, there are three par-4s approaching 500 yards, and the shortest of the four par-5s is the 537-yard closing hole, so length off the tee is a factor. After a dry and cold winter, the rough is less severe than it was 12 months ago and, while there is plenty of water to catch the errant shot, I'd expect the 15 under par total set by last year's winner, S.S.P Chowrasia, to be bettered.
My Three Against the Field:-
Gareth Maybin @ 50/1 Bodog (1/4 odds, six places)
Luiten was 16th here last year and having got a big monkey off his back by winning in Malaysia last backend, he looks a worthy favourite. Havret will have his backers too, although he's never been the strongest when in contention and the 20/1 on offer isn't big enough to compensate. Instead, let's go for some value starting with Maybin, who is a tasty 50/1 with Bodog, which is even better value when you consider their place terms of one quarter the odds the first six places. The Northern Irishman struggled to make much impact last season with just a couple of top-10s, which was disappointing after some eye-catching performances in 2009 (his first full season on Tour) and 2010, but he has shown enough in three starts this season - 14th in Abu Dhabi and 28th last week - to suggest he's on his way back. Given some of his best performances have come in Asia and the quality of the opposition (or lack of more like), he ought to give us a good run for our money.
Bernd Wiesberger @ 55/1 Sportingbet
The young Austrian played some solid golf last week on his way to 24th spot and could do even better now dropped in class. A dual winner on the Challenge Tour in 2010, it took him a while to find his feet on the main Tour last year, but he sparked into life at the prestigious Irish Open in late July, finishing fourth there, and later added three other top-five finishes, including seconds at the Johnnie Walker Championship and South African Open. On that sort of form, he should be amongst the market leaders this week and he has the game to go well here, with his power hitting (ranked 20th on Tour for driving distance in 2011) a huge asset on the long par-4s and par-5s.
John Daly @ 66/1 Bodog (1/4 odds, six places)
I never thought I'd be tipping up Daly again but he's got to be worth a speculative quid or two each-way based on his play in Qatar, where he finished fourth to Paul Lawrie in much better company than this. Consistency has never been his forte but he did string three good rounds together (including a brace of 67s) that week, and we all know he has the game to murder this week's long holes. If things don't go his way, he's just as likely to walk off the course (as he did in Australia just before Christmas), but Bodog's 66/1 and six places make it a risk worth taking.
Gareth Maybin 1pt each-way @ 50/1 Bodog (1/4 odds, six places)
Bernd Wiesberger 1pt each-way @ 55/1 Sportingbet
John Daly 1pt each-way @ 66/1 Bodog (1/4 odds, six places)