• Betting Bunker

King Louis to rule in Shanghai

Alex Livie October 24, 2012
Big player: Louis Oosthuizen has had a fine year and is looking for more glory © Getty Images
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Click here to bet on the BMW Masters at bet365

Ryder Cup team-mates aplenty roll into Shanghai this week, but there will be no room for sentiment as they bid for the big pot at the BMW Masters.

While Tiger Woods is in Malaysia for the CIMB Classic, along with his USA team-mate Jason Dufner, the European focus will be on the Lake Malaren Golf Club.

No less than 11 of the 12 European players will be in the field, with only Sergio Garcia opting out, while they will be joined in the field by team captain Jose Maria Olazabal.

Throw in the South African stars Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel, Branden Grace and George Coetzee and the Shanghai event hosts have a mouth-watering mix.

Betting bullets

  • Louis Oosthuizen E/W - 20/1 at bet365
    Branden Grace E/W 30/1

World No. 1 Rory McIlroy spearheads the field and, understandably, heads the market. Bet365 are taking no chances as they make the Ulsterman their 9/2 jolly. His record in Asia is excellent and even though this is the inaugural renewal of the BMW Masters, McIlroy has winning form on the track - having scooped the Lake Malaren Shanghai Masters last year - and he is talking a good game.

"It would be very special," he said. "Obviously it's been a great couple of months for me with the PGA and the two FedExCup wins and being part of that unbelievable Ryder Cup, as well. So it would be nice. I've got great memories of Lake Malaren from last year, getting my first win in Asia."

What counts against McIlroy, aside from the skinny price, is the recent memory of him hacking his way round the Antalya Golf Club in the World Golf Final. Yes it was a glorified exhibition event and he had his girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki in tow, so taking it at face value would be unwise, but the impression his display left is one that he needs a break. We've seen this before and he has bounced back in style, this year's PGA Championship win is a prime example, but at the price on offer we'd prefer to look elsewhere.

Ryder Cup talisman Ian Poulter steps back into action for the first time since his heroics and he is sure to attract some interest at 25/1, but it's been almost two years since he won a strokeplay event and we'd like to see if he can cut it over four rounds before stepping in. With Lee Westwood proving a little inconsistent at present, likewise Luke Donald, the idea of the winner comes from that band of South Africans.

The first man to catch our eye is Louis Oosthuizen at a tempting 20/1. After winning the Open in 2010, Oosthuizen fell off the radar - albeit not helped by injuring his leg while on safari - but he has bounced back this year with wins in the Africa Open and Maybank Malaysian Open. He has also shown up well at the majors, particularly at the Masters, and with one eye on the Race to Dubai prize, he can make a dent in McIlroy's lead with a bold show.

Oosthuizen's fellow countryman Branden Grace is our second dart at the board, at 30/1. He was a brilliant winner of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, after which he too talked about claiming the Race to Dubai title. He's taken a couple of weeks off following his brilliant display in Scotland and we believe he will prove he belongs among the world's elite.

Please note that odds are correct at time of publication and are subject to change.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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Alex Livie was editor of ESPN.co.uk