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Garcia to surge in Malaysia

Alex Livie December 12, 2012
Sergio Garcia looks primed to end the season on a high © Getty Images
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Click here to bet on the Iskandar Johor Open at bet365

The Betting Bunker is not one for tipping favourites, but we feel Sergio Garcia just has to be backed at this week's Iskandar Johor Open.

Value is what we look to seek out and even at 5/1 favourite, the Spaniard looks good value.

It's not the highest-class of field in Malaysia, with Garcia and Ernie Els the class performers on show. That Kevin Na is third favourite at 16/1 speaks volumes for the quality on show.

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  • Sergio Garcia - 5/1 at bet365

Since the Ryder Cup, Garcia has played just two tournaments on account of undergoing laser eye surgery. Those displays, though, have been extremely positive - a ninth place at the DP World Tour Championship and a fourth place at the Thailand Golf Championship.

Garcia has on occasions looked totally out of love with the game, but he has looked a far more settled player this year and it has filtered into his results - which include a win at the Wyndham Championship in August.

It is Garcia's first visit to Malaysia but that should not hinder him as he will do his homework in the days before the event at the Horizon Hills Golf and Country Club.

He is certainly brimming with confidence, as he said: "This will be my first time playing in Malaysia, so I am very excited about it. I know golfers who have played in the tournament before, like Retief Goosen, so I have been told great things about it.

"I am excited to see the golf course and enjoy my week there. It should be a great way to end the year for me.

"The goals are simple, I am going to go there and hopefully I am feeling good that week and I can fight for a win."

A look at Garcia's win record gives us confidence that he can get the job done in the Johor. Of his ten wins on the European Tour (this is an Asian Tour event), eight have taken place in September or beyond. This is a clear indication that he has no problems playing well towards the end of the season, when many others are winding down.

Garcia will be pushed hard by Els who has held his form well since his brilliant win at the Open. However, he is just a shade higher than Garcia in the betting at 11/2 and we feel the Spaniard is the stronger of the two.

There is an interesting subplot at the Johor, with the Asian Tour Order of Merit up for grabs. Thaworn Wiratchant holds a narrow lead in the race and we feel he will do enough told hold off the likes of Marcus Fraser. If he can get his driver back in working order, after it let him down in Thailiand last week, he could challenge at 20/1.

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