Predicting a winner gets harder than ever on the European Tour this week with the second staging of the ISPS Handa World Super 6 in Perth, writes Phil Casey.
The tournament combines 54 holes of traditional stroke play across the first three days with a knockout match-play format for the fourth and final round.
A regular cut will fall after 36 holes before the field is then further reduced to the top 24 players after round three, with any ties for 24th place being decided by a play-off.
Those remaining players will then earn their places in the six-hole shootout, with the top eight qualifiers earning a bye in the first round.
Any matches tied after the six holes will be decided in a hole-by-hole play-off. The shootout hole is around 90 yards long.
Clear as mud? Whatever you think of the format in general, it does provide problems for those having a wager.
Picking a match-play expert might be pointless if he fails to make the halfway or 54-hole cut, while finishing top of the leaderboard after three days could still see you sent packing after four holes on Sunday.
Having said that, Perth native Brett Rumford finished five shots clear of the pack after 54 holes of strokeplay and went on to lift the title, while five of the last 16 had finished inside the top six in the previous week’s event in Australia, so local knowledge and form still count for something.
Perhaps the best approach is to concentrate on the 54-hole each-way market and then re-assess once the qualifiers for the match-play stage are known, which leads us to a first selection of Australian Steven Jeffress.
Jeffress lost to Jason Scrivener in the quarter-finals last year and was fifth in the Oates Vic Open last week, even though it was his first competitive start since November. He can be backed at 100/1.
Somewhat surprisingly, last week’s winner is available at a bigger price, with Simon Hawkes 125/1 to continue his meteoric rise from 1928th in the world rankings to 439rd. How he reacts to a career-changing win remains to be seen, but Chris Paisley remained on the crest of a wave for several weeks following his SA Open win and Hawkes is worth chancing here.
And finally, India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar could carry on where his compatriot Shubhankar Sharma left off in Malaysia last week with a first European Tour title to add to his nine victories on other circuits.
Bhullar narrowly missed out on a place in the top 24 last year and has started this season in solid form with two top-30 finishes and a tie for 10th in Myanmar. He can be backed at 66/1.
ISPS Handa World Super 6 betting tips
Steven Jeffress @ 100/1
Simon Hawkes 125/1
Gaganjeet Bhullar @ 66/1
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