The 2018-19 Australian Golfing Summer continues this weekend with the bi-annual World Cup of Golf set to kick off from the Metropolitan Golf Course in Melbourne This Thursday. Aussie duo Marc Leishman and Cameron Smith will start as red hot favourites for the tournament, which we preview in full and give our betting tips for below.
The Metropolitan Golf Club is one of the renowned Sandbelt courses of Melbourne and Australia. The Melbourne Sandbelt refers to a range of courses in the southeast of Melbourne which are well-known for their sandy soil. The Metropolitan is widely referred to as the best and most prestigious of all of the Sandbelt courses and plays as a relatively regulation 7,170-yard par 72.
2018 will be the first time that the Metropolitan GC has hosted the World Cup of golf, with the four previous Australian hosted tournaments being played at Royal Melbourne and Kingston Heath. Metropolitan has a reputation of being the best maintained golf course in Australia and Aussie Champion Greg Norman described the fairways as the best he had played on anywhere in the world.
There is a total of 103 bunkers on the course and every hole is flanked by huge native Australian trees. Accuracy off the tee will be paramount for us this weekend as playing from the gloriously maintained fairways will be a massive advantage.
The tournament is a 72-hole stroke play team event with each team comprised of two players. The first and third days are fourball (best ball) play and the second and final days are foursomes (alternate shot) play. The World Cup of Golf will feature two-players from the top 28 nations on the world golf rankings. The 59th staging of the event will see the 56-player field vie for the largest prizemoney purse in Australian golf, with $US7 million on offer.
Australians Marc Leishman and Cameron Smith come into the tournament as favourites, garnering the highest seeding while the English have sent out an extremely talented team in Ryder Cup combatants Tyrrell Hatton and Ian Poulter. Kyle Stanley and Matt Kuchar will represent the United States, with many thinking that the winner will come from those three nations.
Going to opt for a ‘stay away’ pick to start with in the United States. They come into the tournament as third favourites but both Kuchar and Stanley have not been in fantastic form of late. Stanley has played just three tournaments in the 2019 PGA season so far, finishing tied for 13th at the CIMB Classic followed by a 66th place finish at the CJ Cup and a tied for 22nd finish at the WGC-HSBC.
Kuchar has a win in the 2019 PGA Season already, claiming the Mayakobo Classic a few weeks ago, however, he was disappointing in the Australian Open on the weekend, coming in as one of the hot favourites and finishing tied for 23rd. I'll be looking elsewhere for value this weekend.
A bet on either Australia or England to win this weekend seems like the obvious choice. Of the two, we are leaning slighty towards the English tandem. Tyrrell Hatton has had two strong performances in the PGA Tour this season, finishing tied for 14th at the CJ Cup in October before finishing T22nd at the WGC-HSBC. Poulter has T10 and 21st finishes at the same two tournaments, and there’s no doubting his play any time he is representing his country or his continent.
For value this weekend, we love the look of the Korean tandem which features the No.50 ranked player in the world, An Byeong-hun paired up with another strong player in 57th ranked Kim Si-woo. Apart from the big three nations, the pair combine for the lowest combined world ranking and both have been in some solid form of late.
Byeong-hun is coming off a great T10 finish at the Australian Open on the weekend which included a hole in one and already has a top 15 finish in the PGA Tour this season. Kim Si-woo has played in four PGA Tour events already this season and is yet to finish lower than T26, a remarkable start to the season for the World No.57.
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