Piercey to hit the jackpot in Vegas

Perth International

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Published: 17/10/2013

The final event of the regular season in the European Tour gets underway this week (Wednesday, 23:00) from Australia with the Perth International.

This is just the second time the European Tour and the PGA Australian Tour have combined for an event and for some players represents their last chance to save their European Tour card or qualify for the inaugural Race to Dubai final series . The venue is the Lake Karrinyup Country Club that held the event last year as well as the Johnnie Walker Championship in 2002 and 2003. Dustin Johnson is the strong favourite at 15/2 (GENERAL) and the American is the highest ranked player in the field. Johnson though has not had a great year on the PGA Tour and he could be worth taking on at such a short price.

Paul Casey at 11/1 (STAN JAMES) and Ross Fisher at 14/1 (GENERAL) are next and the Englishmen should have the game too suit the course though form is a concern with both.

Defending champion Bo van Pelt is available at 16/1 (GENERAL). Bo is another with good history playing in Australia and Asia though again his current form is not the greatest.

I like Brett Rumford at 25/1 (GENERAL) which looks good odds on a player who is a Perth native so will know the course better than most. Rumford has three top 15 finishes from his last four starts and two runners-up finishes on the European Tour this season. Marcus Fraser is available at 33/1 (bet365/CORAL) which looks generous on a player with two runners-up slots from his last three appearances in Australia. Fraser needs a result to secure a top sixty finish for the season so look for a performance here.

The Shriners Hospitals for Children Open from TPC Sawerlin is the event on the PGA Tour. The Las Vegas, Nevada course is the host, as it has been since 2008, and it is a course that lends itself to birdies with each of the last five winners scoring better than 18 under. Zach Johnson is the bookmakers favourite for the event at 12/1 (GENERAL). Johnson is in good form with an excellent performance in the Presidents Cup to go along with seven top tens from his last eight starts. The downside is that the American has played the event just once before and this is a course in which experience counts especially as it as at altitude.

If you look at the list of previous winners then some form of course knowledge or altitude experience is key. Last year Nevada, Las Vegas University graduate Ryan Moore won this event, local resident Kevin Na was the winner in 2011 while in 2009 altitude expert Martin Laird (a former student at Colarado) saw off local Chad Campbell in a play-off.

My selection is Scott Piercey who was born, raised and now resides in Las Vegas. Piercey is 30/1 (888 SPORT/unibet) though I will take a few points less at 28/1 (paddy Power) who will pay out the top six each-way rather than the top five. In his last three tournaments in the state of Nevada Piercey has a tenth, a sixth and a victory and has been in good form in the last half of the year.

The other two names at bigger prices who have local experience are Andres Gonzales who is a 200/1 (888 SPORT/unibet) chance to win it or 14/1 (GENERAL) a top ten finish which is good odds on a player who went to University in Nevada. Michael Putnam is another local resident and he is 175/1 (888 SPORT/unibet) to win this or 16/1 (SPREADEX) to finish in the top ten..

BEST OF THE BETS

GOLD: Scott Piercey EW in the Shriners open, 28/1 (paddy Power), top six
SILVER: Brett Rumford EW in the Perth International, 25/1 (GENERAL)
BRONZE: Marcus Fraser EW in the Perth International, 33/1 (bet365/CORAL)

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