David August's Ballantine's Championship Tips:
George Coetzee 1pt ew @ 28-1
Marcus Fraser 1pt ew @ 40-1
Victor Dubuisson 1pt ew @ 50-1
Hennie Otto 1pt ew @ 80-1
WHERE: Blackstone GC, Icheon, Seoul, South Korea.
NOTES ABOUT THE TOURNAMENT: The presence of Adam Scott raises the profile of the event, although he's one of just five players from the top-50 in the world rankings. There are also two former champions in the field.
COURSE CHARACTERISTICS: The track proved a tough test last year as illustrated by the fact that only 34 players broke par despite favourable conditions. The venue is tree-lined with undulating fairways and is likely to suit players who are accurate off the tee. Finding a good position on the tiered greens could also be a crucial factor.
THE MAIN MEN
ADAM SCOTT (8-1): Must be a leading contender as he arrives in Seoul after closing with a 66 to secure a share of eighth at Augusta in the US Masters and he's played well in this region of the world before. IAN POULTER (14-1): Prior to a 29th place finish in China last week he had been shaping as though a return to the winner's enclosure was imminent following a third at Bay Hill and a seventh in the US Masters.SANG-MOON BAE (22-1): Worth considering on the form shown when second in the Transitions Championship in March and fifth in the World Match Play.MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ (25-1): Led going into the final round of the 2011 edition of the Ballantine's but slipped back to second after a 71. Decent chance again after a seventh in Andalucia.GEORGE COETZEE (28-1): Had a brilliant year on the European tour in 2011 and has continued along the same lines this term. Picked up three top fives so far including a fourth last Sunday in China.JAMIE DONALDSON (40-1): Finished 13th and sixth in the last two editions of the Ballantine's Championship and threatened to win for the first time on the tour before eventually finishing third in Morocco.MARCUS FRASER (40-1): Landed this title two years ago and could be in with a shout again following a return to form in the China Open last week where he ranked third in both putting categories on his way to sixth.SOREN KJELDSEN (40-1): Second at the halfway stage of the 2011 Ballantine's Championship before eventually finishing 13th. Has to be respected on that form and the two top fives recorded this term.JBE KRUGER (40-1): Captured his first European title in India in February and produced two solid efforts recently, an 11th in Malaysia and an 18th last week in China. Also seventh in this event in 2011.THORBJORN OLESEN (40-1): Outstanding effort when landing his maiden title at the start of this month in the Sicilian Open and more success is sure to follow for the young Danish golfer.VICTOR DUBUISSON (50-1): Shared top spot in the GIR rankings in China last week when posting a fourth place finish and that followed a decent effort in Malaysia. Worth considering.SHANE LOWRY (50-1): In the top-10 for putting at Blackstone last season when posting a 13th and prior to disappointing in China last week he had been sixth in Sicily and seventh in Andalucia.JACO VAN ZYL (66-1): Started 2012 in good form with a third and fourth in the Joburg and Africa Opens respectively. Form dipped a little but found it again to claim a share of seventh in Andalucia.RICHIE RAMSAY (66-1): Moved into contention at the end of the third round last year, beginning the final day in fifth until a round of 74 derailed his chances and ended up in 13th. Decent effort nevertheless.HENNIE OTTO (80-1): Prior to last week's China Open the South African golfer had logged three successive top-10s with a fifth in the Open de Andalucia being the highlight. Worth sticking with.SCOTT JAMIESON (100-1): Only missed two cuts in nine starts this year and registered a fifth in Dubai while he's posted two top-25s in his three most recent appearances.JEEV MILKHA SINGH (100-1): Missed the cut last year but did register a runner-up finish in 2008. Could be inspired to find his form as he showed up well in Malaysia a couple of weeks ago.KYUNG-TAE KIM (200-1): A closing round of 70 12 months ago was good enough to secure a share of 10th and a return to Blackstone could spark a revival in his fortunes.