Singapore Classic 2024 Tips: 200/1 shot one of six for DPWT

 | March 19 | 

16 mins read

Jamie DP World

After a short break, The DP World Tour returns in Singapore and, as always, our ace Golf tipster Jamie Worlsey is back with a full preview and his Singapore Classic Predictions. 

Singapore Classic Betting Tips

  • 1.25 pts Bernd Wiesberger each-way (1/5 - 6 places) - 45/1 
  • 1.25 pts Alex Fitzpatrick each way (1/5 - 8 places) - 45/1
  • 1 pt Frederic LaCroix each way (1/5 - 6 places) - 55/1 
  • 1 pt Sean Crocker each way (1/5 - 8 places) - 60/1
  • 1 pt Haotong Li each way (1/5 - 8 places) - 100/1
  • 1 pt Andrea Pavan each way (1/5 - 8 places) - 200/1

The DP World Tour resumes service in Singapore this week, as the five-event Asian Swing begins with the Singapore Classic at Laguna National Golf Resort’s Classic Course.

TOURNAMENT HISTORY

The Singapore Classic debuted on the DPWT last year, representing the first time the tour had visited the country since the 2014 Championship at Laguna National. Which took place at the resort’s other course, the Masters.

In that inaugural edition we witnessed a superb final-round display from Ockie Strydom, as he shot a closing 63 – the best round of the week – to finish one shot ahead of Sami Valimaki, for what was his second DPWT success in a little over two months.

The South African returns to defend this week in a field carrying a little more star power than last year’s renewal.

THE COURSE

Laguna National’s Classic Course first opened in 1993 but went through a complete redesign at the hands of Andy Dye – nephew of renowned architect Pete Dye – which was finished in 2013. It underwent further renovations in 2017, with the aim of making this dramatic and striking layout more agreeable to the average golfer.

Nicknamed “The Beast” and said to be the toughest test in East Asia, the Classic Course didn’t quite live up to this reputation last year, as Ockie Strydom fired a birdie-laden -19 to win the event.

Having said that, scoring obviously wasn’t as easy for the rest, and I felt the course provided players with a solid and fair test of golf that examined most areas of the game. Golf your ball well and you can make a score but there are enough challenges to keep players honest.

This par 72 will again play to 7420 yards. It possesses 10x par 4s (382-496 yards), 4x par 5s (534-616 yards) and 4x par 3s (147-231 yards).

The largely exposed Classic Course features extremely generous and dramatically undulating fairways, which ranked as the second-easiest to find on tour last season. Huge waste bunkers frame many of the holes and provide protection for the fairways, along with over 140 additional bunkers around the course in total; whilst there is water in-play on twelve holes, several of which come into play off-the-tee.

The severely contoured and multi-tiered paspalum greens are challenging and ranked around average in greens-in-regulation percentage in 2023. They start off quite small on the front nine but increase significantly in size as players make their way around the course. Most are narrow or shallow in shape and with many positioned at an angle in relation to the fairway, they do require a good level of precision on approach.

Again, swathes of sand and water offer protection, whilst there are some harsh run-offs that need to be avoided; with it proving difficult to get up-and-down around here last year.

The course needs wind and firm conditions for it to live up to its brutish reputation, as without it there are enough accessible scoring opportunities. The par 5s are all gettable and you can orchestrate chances on the par 4s with solid ball-striking.

There is danger on the par 3s, including the 184-yard 17th island hole - designed with TPC Sawgrass in mind. However, all of the putting surfaces on these holes are sizeable and with conditions looking largely favourable, they shouldn’t pose too much trouble if the long game is on point.

THE WEATHER

There are thunderstorms predicted leading up to the event and continuing into Thursday, which should soften the course up for the rest of the week. Though it looks clear and hot from Friday onwards.

With a mild 10mph breeze, there is not currently forecast to be enough wind to test the players and if indeed receptive, we should expect the scoring to be reasonably good again.

KEY STATS

  • SG: Approach

With those likely receptive conditions this week, I expect quality approach play into these tricky, tiered putting surfaces to be of most importance.

This is exactly what transpired last year, as winner, Ockie Strydom ranked 2nd in approach on his way to victory and his nearest challenger, Sami Valimaki ranked 8th.

  • Driving Distance

These wide fairways will tempt the bombers to take driver out of the bag on all of the par 4s/5s and it’s no coincidence to see many big-hitting types near the top of the leaderboard in 2023.

Alejandro Del Rey finished 3rd and ranked 1st in driving distance, whilst Valimaki in 2nd was 9th. There is further proof of this course’s suitability to big-hitters on offer, with Zander Lombard, Matthieu Pavon, Grant Forrest, Antoine Rozner and Richard Mansell all finishing inside the top 10 last year.

  • SG: Putting (paspalum)
  • Par 5 Scoring

We’ve had several events take place on paspalum at the start of this year – namely the Qatar Masters, Ras Al Khaimah Championship and Bahrain Championship - which should give us clues as to who is most likely to putt well this week.

In addition, with three of those four par 5s coming up on the back nine, and all there to be got at, taking your chances on these holes is bound to be important.

CORRELATING EVENTS

Last year I felt it would be beneficial to side with players who have performed well on exposed, driver-friendly courses and this certainly proved to be the case.

Whilst form-ties obviously aren’t abundant, due to just one previous staging of the Singapore Classic, there are six events below which share the above characteristics and produced some crossover form last year.

Alfred Dunhill Links Championship

Sami Valimaki:

Singapore (2nd) / Dunhill Links (6th)

Jeunghun Wang:

Singapore (3rd) / Dunhill Links (5th)

Paul Waring:

Singapore (6th) / Dunhill Links (3rd)

Antoine Rozner:

Singapore (6th) / Dunhill Links (4th)

Matthieu Pavon:

Singapore (6th) / Dunhill Links (6th)

Richard Mansell:

Singapore (6th) / Dunhill Links (7th)

 

Portugal Masters (Dom Pedro Victoria Course)

Jeunghun Wang:

Singapore (3rd) / Portugal (6th)

Marcel Schneider:

Singapore (3rd) / Portugal (8th)

Matthieu Pavon:

Singapore (6th) / Portugal (2nd)

Paul Waring:

Singapore (6th) / Portugal (3rd)

Antoine Rozner:

Singapore (6th) / Portugal (8th)

 

Czech Masters (Albatross Golf Resort)

Sami Valimaki:

Singapore (2nd) / Czech (4th)

Marcel Schneider:

Singapore (3rd) / Czech (6th)

Zander Lombard:

Singapore (6th) / Czech (5th)

 

European Open (Green Eagles Resort)

Marcel Schneider:

Singapore (3rd) / European Open (5th, 7th)

Richard Mansell:

Singapore (6th) / European Open (3rd)

Zander Lombard:

Singapore (6th) / European Open (5th)

 

Steyn City Championship/2023 Jonsson Workwear Open (Club at Steyn City)

Ockie Strydom:

Singapore (1st) / Steyn City (4th)

Zander Lombard:

Singapore (6th) / Stern City (2nd)

 

Bahrain Championship (Royal Golf Club)

Ockie Strydom:

Singapore (1st) / Bahrain (4th)

Zander Lombard:

Singapore (6th) / Bahrain (2nd)

 

THE FIELD

Matthieu Pavon returns to DPWT action this week as the top-ranked player in the field at #27, following his impressive exploits on the PGA Tour this year.

#34, Shane Lowry makes his first start on the tour this year and is joined by a further four from inside the top 100, in the shape of #76 Rasmus Hojgaard, #82 Thriston Lawrence, #86 Rikuya Hoshino and #88 Jordan Smith.

Paul Casey has been in good form on LIV and makes his first DPWT start since the 2022 Dubai Desert Classic this week.

There are also two new names taking advantage of that special PGA Tour membership, with 2018 RBC Heritage winner, Satoshi Kodaira and American, Max McGreevy making their first appearances in a DPWT-sanctioned event.

With proven DPWT performers, Bernd Wiesberger, Yannik Paul and Sebastian Soderberg returning following absences of over a month, there’s a reasonable level of depth in this week’s Singapore Classic field.

SELECTIONS

Market leaders: Shane Lowry 10/1, Paul Casey 12/1, Matthieu Pavon 14/1, Rasmus Hojgaard 14/1, Tom McKibbin 22/1, Thriston Lawrence 25/1

Whilst there are many players near the top of the betting with appealing credentials for the test that awaits at Laguna National, I felt the value lay away from these market leaders this week.

Tom McKibbin is in great form and went well in this last year, though looks plenty short enough, with similar thoughts applied to Richard Mansell and Jordan Smith, who are well suited to this challenge but don’t convince enough when in contention to have me firing off at their respective prices.

Move your eye a little further down the betting and there is a player whose DPWT record dwarfs that of many priced much shorter than him this week, and after making a promising start upon his return to the tour following a stint on LIV, Bernd Wiesberger looks well worth chancing in Singapore.

1.25 pts Bernd Wiesberger each-way (1/5 - 6 places) - 45/1 

The Austrian’s return to the DPWT came about following a poor season on the LIV circuit in 2023 - where he failed to record a single top 10 - resulting in him losing his place in those lucrative limited-field events.

It hasn’t taken him long in looking more comfortable in the familiar surrounds of the DPWT. He’s teed it up three times so far this year, finishing 21st in the Dubai Desert Classic, 37th in the Ras Al Khaimah Championship and when we last saw him, he recorded a 16th-place finish in Bahrain. Much more like it for a player who recorded an eighth tour victory in Denmark in his last full season on the tour, along with multiple other top-5 performances.

He has looked typically sharp around the greens and his standout quality in approach looked to be coming over his last two starts, gaining strokes with the irons in Ras Al Khaimah and Bahrain. The driver has been a little subpar but nothing to seriously worry about, he may not be as long as he once was but he can still let it fly on a suitable course and he should enjoy these generous fairways this week.

Though he’s not played here, Wiesberger will have very fond memories of this part of the world. He won his first DPWT title in the Ballantine’s Championship in South Korea in 2012 and recorded the fourth of his tour victories in the 2017 Shenzhen International in China. Top 5s in the Dunhill Links, Portugal Masters and European Open should also serve him well for this challenge.

1.25 pts Alex Fitzpatrick each way (1/5 - 8 places) - 45/1

We’re back in on Alex Fitzpatrick this week, at a place where he should get a little more joy from his occasionally erratic driving.

I’ve favoured Fitzpatrick regularly since he made the step up to the DPWT and whilst he’s yet to pay, he’s rarely disappointed. He looks a player destined to become one of the top guys on this tour and ultimately, I suspect, will see him eventually making his way in the game in the U.S.

If we go back to the Australian double-header at the end of last year, the Englishman has missed just one cut in his last seven starts and turned five of those appearances into top 20 finishes; going best when 8th in the Australian Open and when we last saw him he finished 19th in the Kenya Open, after a strong weekend finish.

He’s shown us a bit of everything since turning pro; some quality approach play initially, which has died down now and made way for that short game to take all the plaudits, ranking 8th around-the-greens and 23rd in putting this year.

Whilst his driving numbers are better this year overall, he is neither especially accurate or long (nor is he short), and it’s no surprise to see his poorer rounds generally coming as a result of deficiencies with this club. This should be less of a concern at a course where hitting fairways is as easy as any course they’ll play this year and as a top-5 par 5 scorer this season, he has the ability to score well at Laguna National.

He didn’t play here last year, though his limited correlating form has seen him record encouraging top-15 finishes on similar driving courses, in the Portugal and Czech Masters.

After Matt showed a return to form with a 5th-place finish in last week’s PLAYERS Championship, I’m hoping the younger Fitzpatrick will be inspired to produce his best finish of the year this week.

1 pt Frederic LaCroix each way (1/5 - 6 places) - 55/1 

Frederic LaCroix has been somewhat of a revelation this season. I’m taking the former top-50 amateur’s excellent ball-striking game to drag him to a first DPWT success in Singapore.

LaCroix got his first stab at the DPWT in 2022 after a strong season on the Challenge Tour in 2021. Whilst he showed glimpses of his potential there he didn’t quite do enough to retain full playing privileges and it was back to mixing his time between the first and second tiers last year.

He booked his full return to the DPWT this year by finishing  13th on last season’s Challenge Tour rankings and he’s wasted little time getting up to speed this time around.

LaCroix started the 2023/24 season with back-to-back top 20s in South Africa at the end of last year, finishing 17th in the Joburg Open and 5th in the South African Open.

The Frenchman continued that strong level of form into his first two events this year, finishing 3rd in Ras Al Khaimah and 4th in Bahrain. Although he’s been slightly less impressive in his last two starts, missing the cut in Qatar and finishing 50th in Kenya, he should enjoy this week’s challenge.

There are few players hitting the ball as well as him this season. He ranks 10th in approach and 14th OTT, where he is both long (ranking 11th in driving distance) and accurate. The putter is inconsistent though such is the quality of his ball-striking, he has merely only needed to putt averagely to hit the top of the leaderboard this year.

LaCroix’s 4th-place finish in Bahrain gives me confidence he can perform on this similar setup on debut this week, whilst a 5th in last year’s European Open gives us added encouragement; as does a finish of 12th on his one-and-only try at the Portugal Masters.

1 pt Sean Crocker each way (1/5 - 8 places) - 60/1

Sean Crocker’s high-level approach play and long driving should make him a good fit for this test, and if able to maintain the confidence he showed with the putter on his last start in Qatar he’d be a serious contender this week.

Crocker made an extremely encouraging start to the season, as a top-class ball-striking display – ranking 5th OTT and 6th in approach – engineered a 6th-place finish in the Dubai Invitational.

His only missed cut in the four following starts came in the Dubai Desert Classic – a course that he vocally stated frustrates him no end – and he’s responded to that by making his next three, finishing 63rd in the Ras Al Khaimah Championship, 16th in the Bahrain Championship and he was 33rd in the Qatar Masters when we last saw him over one month ago.

Crocker is a player of whom you know exactly what to expect. He’s liable to hit the ball just about as well as anybody on any given week but may well undo his good ball-striking work on/around-the-greens.

However, the potentially wet conditions would play into his hands here and with a 2nd-place finish in the Czech Masters indicative of what he can do on similar setups, he looked a very appealing candidate in Singapore.

1 pt Haotong Li each way (1/5 - 8 places) - 100/1

Despite missing the cut here last year, Haotong Li looks an ideal fit for this challenge and can make this three-figure price look far too big come Sunday.

Li’s unforeseen return to form was one of the stories of the early part of the DPWT season. He finished 14th in the season-opening Dubai Invitational and removed any hint of that being a one-off by finishing 7th in the Dubai Desert Classic the following week.

A 63rd-place finish in Ras Al Khaimah was immediately followed by a 16th-place finish in Qatar and he should be all the sharper for his return from a month-long break in Macau on the Asian Tour last week, where he opened with a 7-under 63 to take the first-round lead but faded to 60th by the end of the weekend.

He looks to have returned to the player of old, with his ball-striking looking strong, ranking 8th in approach and 35th OTT (as well as being top 35 in driving distance). This is complemented by an excellent 11th in putting and contributes to him being a top-20 par 5 scorer this year.

Li was in no kind of form when missing the cut last year, though did show some guts to bounce back from a 7-over 79 in round one with a 2-under 70 in round two. His good record in the Alfred Dunhill Links - where he’s recorded several top 20s including a 6th in 2018 – should act as a good indicator that now he’s back playing at something closer to the level that took him to three DPWT titles, he can be a serious player at Laguna National.

1 pt Andrea Pavan each way (1/5 - 8 places) - 200/1

Finally, I’m hoping the positivity of Matteo Manassero’s return to the DPWT winner’s circle two weeks ago at Glendower GC in the Jonsson Workwear Open can inspire a fellow big-priced Italian, Andrea Pavan, to complete his own comeback this week.

Pavan predominantly teed it up on the Challenge Tour last season, the first time he had needed to do so since 2017. This was the result of a loss of form from 2020-2022, where his long game completely deserted him.

He changed coach in August 2022 and whilst improvements weren’t immediate, they did arrive back on the Challenge Tour in 2023. He finished 4th in the first event of the year in South Africa and following a few months of inconsistency, he won his fifth Challenge Tour title in June’s Czech Challenge.

That win obviously gave his confidence a huge jolt as he discovered a fabulous level of consistency at the end of the season; finishing in the top 20 on his last eight starts and recording three further top-5 finishes. This resulted in him finishing 8th on the season’s rankings there and earned him a prompt return to the DPWT.

Pavan maintained that level of consistency at the start of the new DPWT season last year, recording three top 20s across four starts in Africa. He was initially slow to get going in 2024, with a 48th-place finish in Bahrain his only made cut of the year in six starts, though he improved drastically to finish 11th behind compatriot, Manassero at Glendower.

Though he still isn’t driving it particularly well, he certainly isn’t as wild OTT as he was from 2020-2022, and he should appreciate the generous fairways here. His iron play, however, is hugely improved and he currently ranks 14th on tour in approach this season.

Pavan has won twice on the DPWT, the first of which came in the correlating Czech Masters in 2018. He subsequently finished 3rd again there in 2019 and with two top 10s in the Dunhill Links to his name – including a 5th-place finish in 2018 – I’m confident he’ll enjoy his surrounds in Singapore.

You can find all Jamie's latest Golf Betting Tips over on our dedicated golf Insights hub.

Share Article

(Visited 1,423 times, 1 visits today)