The Iskandar Johor Open is a new tournament added to this years European Tour schedule and with the success of the Maybank Malaysian Open back in April won by Matteo Manassero, Malaysia looks set to play a bigger part in the tours future.
The Australian Ross Watson, designer of Horizon Hills G&CC is to host the new event and has applied the “Risk Reward” design principle to this track. Watson has preserved the natural terrain of the land, with lots of waterways and many holes that feature dramatic changes in elevation from tee to green. For the long hitters competing here this week, there will be plenty of temptation to go for the greens on the par 4s at the 4th and 16th holes.
The 17th features an Island Green, while the 18th is a very dramatic finishing hole, which you can play in one of two ways. For the long accurate hitters, the temptation will be to go for the island fairway and try to make this par 5, 519 yard in two. I wonder how many will just play this as a three shooter and not bother with the island fairway.
My tips to win:
Louis Oosthuizen 7/1 and Anthony Kim 7/1 are made joint favorites and you can see why with both coming into this tournament in good form. They just missed out at the Singapore Open by a shot, Kim shooting a final round 64, while Louis shot a final round 65.
Joost Luiten 20/1 is another player who just missed out in Singapore and finished with a final round 67 to finish two shots off the lead.
My each-way tips:
It’s taken a bit of time for Jamie Donaldson 40/1 to settle back into the rhythm of the tour after his two-week break. After finishing in the Top 10 in his three outings before his break, he has just broke in to the Top 50 in the last two weeks, but I think he will get back in the groove this week.
After a couple of weeks off Rafael Cabrera Bello 40/1 is back and looking to build on what has been a very good year so far, finishing in the Top 25 ten times this season, winning just under 800k Euros.
It has been a very strange couple of months for Jeev Milkha Singh 50/1, last week he shot an opening round 66, then followed it up with a 75 to miss the cut. The week before he made the Top 25 and the week before that he missed the cut again. Three weeks before that he was in the Top 25 every week, starting with a 6th place finish at the Nordea Masters, so look for him to keep that sequence going and do well this week.