Volvo World Match Play Golf Championship 2014

Volvo World Match Play

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Published: 14/10/2014

The Volvo World Matchplay Championship takes centre stage in the golfing world this week, with the event returning to England, although not the place where it all started, Wentworth. This year the event is being held at the International Course, London Golf Club in Kent, having been staged around different countries in Europe, including Bulgaria and Spain. This year, the course will have a links style feel to it but with plenty of short holes surrounded by water.

The field consists of 16 players in total and they have been split in to four groups of four, with each player facing off against the other three within their group. The top two players in each group then progress to the quarter-finals which are played on Saturday, with the semi-finals and final to be played on Sunday.

With the weather forecast not looking great for the first few days, it`s difficult to see past the players who have the proven match play pedigree and the ability to play in bad conditions. Therefore, defending champion Graeme McDowell has a great chance to retain the title he won in Bulgaria last year. The Northern Irishman went through the whole event undefeated, was a part of the successful European Ryder Cup team recently at Gleneagles and has a very strong match play record, with 29 wins and just 12 defeats in his career. McDowell is 13/2 with betfred to retain his World Matchplay title.

In contrast to McDowell, Swede Henrik Stenson, despite having a good Ryder Cup, has not enjoyed great form in the match play format over the last 12 months and has yet to win a tournament in 2014. The world number five lost two matches in this event last time out and has won just one match in the WGC World Match Play since making it to the semi-finals in 2008. However, Stenson is still the favourite for the tournament at 11/2 with SkyBet and there may be better value elsewhere.

Fellow Ryder Cup winner Victor Dubuisson is also one of the leading contenders with the bookmakers at 9/1 with stanjames despite still being a relative newcomer to this format of golf. Having said that, Dubuisson will be in confident mood ahead of the event, having reached the final of WGC World Match Play this year and also performing well in the Ryder Cup. The Frenchman missed the cut at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship last week but following his exertions at Gleneagles this can be put down to a one off and he should put up a much stronger challenge this week.

Looking further down the list for an each way bet and two names jump out, Jamie Donaldson and Francesco Molinari. The Welshman enjoyed a fantastic experience at the Ryder Cup and should be chomping at the bit to get back on the course for some match play action. Donaldson will be eager to show that what he produced at Gleneagles was not a one off and he is 10/1 with ladbrokes to win this event. Donaldson has also played at the venue in the past and done well which can only help to increase confidence going in to the event. Italian Francesco Molinari has enjoyed a decent year, nothing spectacular but generally solid throughout and is 18/1 with bet365 to succeed in Kent. Molinari hit some good form during the autumn months last year and will want to improve on his best finish in 2014 of 4th which came at the Volvo China Open in April.

One thing to keep in mind is not to over react after the first round of matches. A player can lose his first match but still go on to qualify for the knock-out stages and win the event. In fact, look out for players who have lost their opening match as there can be some great value to be found. Likewise, do not immediately back the players who won their opening games purely based on that alone, there is still plenty of time for things to change, as has been the case in previous World Matchplay Championships.

Any odds displayed within this article were correct at the time of publishing (14/10/2014) but are subject to change.

14/10/2014     © Frixo 2017

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