Review & Betting Guide for the Volvo China Open

Danny Willett 25/1 © James Kennedy

Danny Willett 25/1 © James Kennedy

The European Tour stays east and moves from Malaysia to China for this week’s Volvo China Open, but this will be the first time the tournament is played over the Genzon Golf Club, originally known as the CITIC Green Golf Club and designed by Leung Kwok Kun.

Opened in 1994 and situated a few miles outside of Shenzhen, the CITIC Green Golf Club used to be part of a botanical garden. The course went through a major re-design that was undertaken by Canadian Neil Haworth and winds its way through a forest and makes good use of Dragon Lake.

Now a 36-hole club, with courses named imaginatively as Course A & B! The manicured greens, perfect bunkers, limited membership and 5 star hotel add to the clubs ambition of being one of the most exclusive golf clubs in China, which is a shame for the millions of people in the Shenzhen area who would love to play the game.

Nicolas Colsaerts 25/1 © Omar Rawlings

Nicolas Colsaerts 25/1 © Omar Rawlings

My tips to win:

Danny Willett 25/1 has played eight events this season and has made the Top 20 in five of those, with two Top 10 placing’s, one of those was last week’s Top 5 finish at the Malaysian Open. Danny has never done particularly well in this event – his best finish being a seventh place in 2011 – but his consistent form so far this year makes me think it won’t be long before the Englishman adds to his solitary European Tour victory.

Nicolas Colsaerts 25/1 seems to have suffered like Ross Fisher, trying to establish himself on the PGA Tour this year with only two Top 25 from nine starts. It was good to see the Belgian back to his best in Malaysia last week, and that second place finish will give Nicolas a massive confidence boost coming into an event that he has won and defended with a runners-up finish, so look for him to be in the thick of it again come Sunday.

After being attacked by a swarm of hornets and having to dive into a nearby river to take evasive action Pablo Larrazabal 28/1 done well to finish his second round with a 68 at last week’s Malaysian Open and go on to make a Top 10 place. The Spaniard has already won this year at the Abu Dhabi Championship that broke a three-year drought. I don’t think it’s going to be that long between wins this time.

Ross Fisher 33/1 © TourProGolfClubs

Ross Fisher 33/1 © TourProGolfClubs

My each-way tips:

It’s been a strange season for Ross Fisher 33/1, a Top 10 finish at the Joburg Open was quickly followed by a win at the Tshwane Open, but then a couple of weeks later Ross couldn’t break 70 in the Trophée Hassan II. After trying his hand on the PGA Tour in the early part of last year, Fisher came back to Europe and found some great form and I think we will see the Englishman challenging again this week.

We have tipped Roman Wattel 66/1 several times and it looks like the Frenchman could be coming back into form. A fifty-seventh finish on the back of two missed cuts may not look great, but remember Roman had three Top 5 finishes and an eleventh place in his next five events when he missed the cut at the back-end of last year. I have always thought Wattel will eventually make that step up and I think he will be in the thick of it here come Sunday.

My outside Tip:

I am not sure whether to stick with Richardo Santos 80/1 again this week or go for Dutchman Robert-Jan Derksen 100/1 who seems to enjoy playing in this event and had a Top 5 finish last year, although it’s over a different track this year. I think I will leave the choice up to you, but at these odds, why not just go 50p each-way on both, I think that is what I am going to do!

For updated betting odds during the tournament go to

TOPICS: Golf, Golf on the Web, Lifestyle, Off course, Tournament reviews and betting guides

ABOUT: James Mason

James Mason is a contributing writer for Golf Monthly magazine, producing destination reviews, technical and equipment reviews and blogs. He was also part of the judging panel for the 2010 Top 100 courses in Great Britain and Ireland. James has written equipment reviews and technical features for Greenside magazine, destination features for Golf World and Going for Golf magazines and interviews for Middle East Golfer.

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