Tue, Nov 29, 12:47pm by Senior Writer
Adam Scott may have had a frustrating few weeks back home in Australia, but the world No.7 is still a clear favourite with bookmakers for this week’s Australian PGA Championship at Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast.
Scott is $4.50 with Sportsbet to reclaim the title he won at the same course in 2013, despite starting at around those odds in both the Australian Open two weeks ago, where he finished in a tie for 14th, and – together with Marc Leishman – in the World Cup of Golf, where the Aussies finished in a tie for ninth.
But punters clearly think Scott will appreciate getting back to his home state in the $1.5 million tournament, which is co-sanctioned with the European Tour.
His record at this course is very strong. He won by four strokes in 2013, while 12 months later he was beaten into second by a red-hot Greg Chalmers.
Last year he chose to play in the Bahamas instead, with Nathan Holman capturing the biggest win of his career. Holman has endured a difficult season on the European Tour, with just one top ten finish in 22 starts, and as a result is $51 outsider.
His odds are also longer because this is a much stronger tournament with established players such as Leishman, Ian Poulter, John Senden, Scott Hend and Rod Pampling, as well as young star Cameron Smith in the field.
Smith has had a heavy groundswell of punting support with Sportsbet to sit equal second favourite with Leishman at $15.
“Cameron Smith gained a lot of fans when he was beaten by Jordan Spieth in a play-off for the Australian Open. Those fans obviously think he can carry on from there and Smith holds the most individual bets, but Adam Scott is the best backed,” Christian Jantzen from Sportsbet said.
At just 23, Smith is the rising star of the sport in this country highlighted by his final round 66 at Royal Sydney which got him into the playoff.
Leishman’s best effort in this tournament was fourth in 2009 when it was played at Coolum, as he searches for his first win on the Australasian Tour
Kiwi Ryan Fox is at $23 off the back of his fourth in the Australian Open, the same price as compatriot Danny Lee, the current world No.64 who was third in this year’s Scottish Open.
Hend, the world No.60, returns home after a consistent year which included two wins in Asia, is also $23 along with Pampling, who in his past two starts has won in the US and finished fourth at Royal Sydney.
Senden has had a poor year by his standards with just one top ten finish in 29 events, but is still in the market at $26, while Rhein Gibson’s performances on the Web.com Tour this year see him at $29 along with Brad Kennedy.
Poulter, who has a win in Australia in the 2011 Masters, is $34 having spent a long time on the sidelines in 2016 with a foot injury.
He has played just five tournaments since his comeback, with his best effort a tie for 17th in the CIMB Classic in October.
Suggested Bet: Back Cameron Smith each way at $15
Australian PGA Championship – Market – Sportsbet
$4.50: Adam Scott
$15: Mark Leishman
$15: Cameron Smith
$23: Ryan Fox
$23: Scott Hend
$23: Danny Lee
$23: Rod Pampling
$26: John Senden
$29: Rhein Gibson
$29: Brad Kennedy
$34: Greg Chalmers
$34: Marcus Fraser
$34: Ian Poulter
$34: Harold Varner
$41: Curtis Luck
$41: Jason Scrivener
$41: Jaco Van Zyl
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