NEDBANK CHALLENGE

Nedbank Challenge
By my rankings, Allenby, Mahan, Donald and Karlsson are the four best players in the field. You can probably make a case that Rory McIlroy should be included in that lot, because of his tremendous potential and how he has played over the last few months. Goosen, Clark and Stenson are close enough for me to maybe lump them in that group. Cabrera and Fisher are okay, but not nearly as good as that group and then Sterne, despite winning twice last season, is not really that good at all.

Basically, the Top-8 should be a toss-up with Cabrera trailing slightly behind and Sterne as the big underdog. For me, it was about finding who didn’t belong.

Robert Allenby: Who knows with Robert Allenby, anymore. He has shown signs lately of breaking out of an almost decade long winless slump and over two years he has been a lot better than most people think. However, at 38, you have to think Allenby is nearing the point of his career where a decline is likely. He also has a big time case of H1NSteveMarino, where he chokes it away horrendously anytime he is in contention.

Hunter Mahan: Mahan has been a lot better this season than last, as in top-10 in the world good. Normally, this might scare me, but I think it is clear Mahan has the talent to play to that level. Also, Mahan should expect some improvement through his 20s, and 14-1 seems to be a good price even on 2008 performance alone.

Luke Donald: Donald simply should not be at 20-1. Yeah, the course is “long,” and Donald has no history here, but that has never stopped me before. If you think 4 rounds is a good enough judge of course form, then remember Donald was making his debut off injury last season when he played so poorly at Nedbank.

Match-ups:
Karlsson -110 v. Cabrera(1)
Mahan -110 v. Ross Fisher(1)
Donald -145 v. Sterne(1)
Jeev Milkha Singh +105 v. Ryo(1)*

Karlsson has appeared to have woken up from his eye problem the last few weeks. Over two years he is just much better overall than major champion Cabrera. That shouldn’t surprise anyone.

Fisher has been a target for me in the past few weeks. I don’t know why exactly, but it seems the perception of his talent caught up to and overtook the reality pretty quickly and for no reason at all.

Minus-145 is always painful, but Donald is a lot better than Sterne. Given there relative outright prices, this seems pretty reasonable.

*Not technically from Nedbank, but it fits best here. Pretty much same logic as last week, with Vijay over Ryo.

Chevron stuff up tonight.

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