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The feeling that golf never stops always comes into focus at this time of year.
Just a week after Rory McIlroy was crowned European No.1 again, the new DP World Tour season tees off simultaneously on two continents.
Matt Cooper is covering the Joburg Open while my focus is on Brisbane, an Australian city over 7,000 miles from South Africa.
The good news is that plenty of top names have decided that the long flight Down Under is worth it.
There’s a strong home contingent in the shape of Open champion Cam Smith along with his fellow LIV defector Marc Leishman.
Adam Scott and Lucas Herbert also head back to their homeland while New Zealander Ryan Fox makes the trip and Danish twins Rasmus and Nicolai Hojgaard add European flavor.
Royal Queensland Golf Club makes its debut as a DP World Tour venue as this event returns to the calendar for the first time since 2019.
While the club opened over 100 years ago, the course in play this week has only been in use for 15 years.
The Mike Clayton design is a parkland track with wide fairways and little rough and measures 7,134 yards (the locals measure it in meters: 6,524).
It’s a par 71 with the long holes coming at 7, 9, and 15 while the 17th is a short 137-yard par 3 and the 18th a tough 470-yard par 4.
The course also hosted this event in January 2022 although that was a local affair on the Australasian PGA Tour.
This really is a home game for Adam Scott.
Not only is he Australian, Scott is a Brisbane local and a member of this week’s course.
The Queenslander hasn’t played at home for three years due to the pandemic so he’ll have even more fire in his belly than usual to put on a show in front of the locals.
Scott took victory in this event on his last start in Australia in December 2019 while he took fifth place on this very course when it staged the Aussie PGA way back in 2000.
More recently in the United States, he posted a pair of top-five finishes - St Jude Championship and BMW Championship - in his final three events of the PGA Tour season.
Even more recently than that, Scott won two points in the Presidents Cup while a couple of weeks ago he traveled to the Far East for the Japan Open and finished sixth.
Looking at his stats in Japan, the 2013 Masters champion ranked 1st for Greens In Regulation so his iron play is sharp.
Finally, peering through a wider lens to see how he performs at home shows that Scott has won four of the last 16 events he’s contested in Australia while also posting four-second places in that time.
On those numbers, he’s worth a punt at +9000 for the win with Caesars Sportsbook.
I’m also going to play on the idea of home advantage counting for plenty in this week’s 72-hole match bet by taking Cameron Davis to beat Rasmus Hojgaard.
Both have been in fine form in recent times.
Davis made it to the penultimate event of the FedExCup playoffs and got a call-up to the Presidents Cup, scoring two points.
On his latest start at the end of October he opened with a pair of 66s at the CJ Cup before finishing in a tie for 13th.
Hojgaard ended the DP World Tour season with a pair of seventh places while he also went mighty close to victory in the Open de France.
But location is the key here and Denmark’s Hojgaard is playing his first pro event in Australia.
Davis gave his career a jolt by winning the 2017 Australian Open in a field that included Jordan Spieth and Jason Day while he was third on this track when it was last used on the DP World Tour in 2019.
Back Davis to put that local knowledge to good use by outscoring Hojgaard at -125 with bet365.
I’ll stick to the theme running through this preview and make Jake McLeod my pick for a Top 20.
McLeod is a local Queenslander and showed his liking for this venue back in January when placing sixth in the 2022 PGA Championship.
His recent form has been mixed but five starts ago he was also sixth in the DP World Tour’s Czech Masters and before that he ranked 1st for GIR when making the top 25 in the ISPS Handa World Invitational in Northern Ireland.
Clearly, McLeod has some ability so let’s back the Queensland native for a Top 20 at decent odds of +500 with bet365.
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Dave Tindall is former golf editor at SkySports.com and Golf365.com and has been writing betting previews for the PGA Tour and European Tour since 1997. He has also written for a range of betting companies, including William Hill and Betfair, as well as being a regular columnist for Rotoworld, The Guardian, Sporting Life and Planet Sport. His other area of speciality is football while he's also covered cricket and tennis.
Email: [email protected]More info on Dave Tindall
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