MY one selection for last week's HANDA World Super 6 won at 25-1 and Kiradech Aphibarnrat’s display was remarkable as he only decided to take part a week before the evens and hadn’t played a practice round.
He alsohad to play up the 18th in a play-off four times to make the last 24 and then five matchplay rounds and 35 holes on the Sunday.
This week the European Tour moves to the sultanate of Oman for the first time, the 44th different country to have held a European Tour tournament. Opened in 2012, the Al Mouj Golf stretches across 6k of coastline flanking the Indian Ocean.
The Muscat course was designed by Greg Norman and is Oman’s first links. Plenty of water hazards, natural dunes and lush grass makes this a stunning location. Although it’s not a true links those skills will come in handy in the Oman Open.
- Al Mouj Golf, Championship Course: 7342 yards, Par 72
Although I said earlier the course was linksy you also have to consider form in the Middle East. Richie Ramsay has a good record on links courses, with two top-fours at the Alfred Dunhill Links and a second last year at the Irish Open.
He also had top sixes at Castle Stuart (2016) and La National in France (2011) which has a close resemblance to a links course. His GIR stats are good, in fact it is probably the strongest part of his game so this will suit him. He has mentioned on twitter his game is in a strong place so hopefully will go well.
- GIR: 77.8% (7th). Putts per GIR: 1.774 (138th).
At the beginning of the month I tipped Alexander Levy for the Maybank Championship after good displays in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Unfortunately it didn’t come off for him as he finished down the board.
However, he has had good results around the Middle East including that T6 in the Dubai Desert Classic in January and has done well in the Scottish Open, Irish Open and Paul Lawrie’s Match Play, normally played on links courses.
He will be driven on by the desire to get into the Ryder Cup team this year as it is played in Paris. I think there’s a lot to come from the Frenchman and this could be a good year for him
- GIR: 77.3% (14th). Putts per GIR: 1.677 (12th).