• Betting Bunker

Poulter primed to strike in Korea

Alex Livie April 25, 2012
Ian Poulter finished in the top ten at Augusta recently © Getty Images

Click here to bet on the Ballantine's Championship at bet365

Korea is the next port of call on the European Tour, as Blackstone Golf Club plays host to the Ballantine's Championship.

A clutch of golf's big guns are keeping their powder dry ahead of the World Match Play at Finca Cortesin next month, but that hands a chance to those looking to play their way into the event.

Adam Scott is the highest-ranked player in the event at nine in the world and the Australian is comfortable playing his golf in Asia - with four of his eight European Tour wins coming there.

Betting bullets

  • Ian Poulter E/W - 14/1 at bet365
    YE Yang E/W - 25/1 at bet365

Scott's form has been patchy this year, the normally reliable long putter has been a shade off key, but he claimed a tie for sixth in China last week. It would come as no surprise were Scott to put it all together this week, but at 8/1 he is not big enough to tempt us.

The Bunker had its fingers burnt last week by rowing in on Ian Poulter. The Englishman had three days of toil at the China Open before blitzing his way to a 66 on the final day. That closing effort was enough to persuade us that Poulter is worth persevering with. Had he putted a little better it could have been a 62 or 63 and that is a clear indication that Poulter is finding form.

He posted an impressive top-10 finish at The Masters and is hitting form after a torrid 18 months. The incentives are all there for Poulter as he is now outside the world's top 25, while he must start showing some consistent form if he is to play his way into the Ryder Cup team.

What has been impressive about Poulter this year is the way he has driven the ball. If he carries that into Korea, he will be well placed to contend as there are a number of challenging driving holes where risk and reward is in play.

There are few harder workers on tour than Poulter and with the signs suggesting that his game is getting back in shape, the 14/1 on offer at bet365 is tempting enough for us to go in again.

The local players on the outskirts of Seoul will have excellent support and it would be no surprise were a home favourite to be in contention down the stretch on Sunday. There are a raft of top-class Koreans and we feel the proven big-occasion play of 2009 US PGA Champion YE Yang is the one to follow. His form has been disappointing this year but he has been working hard on his game since The Masters and he offers each-way value at 25/1.

Please note that odds are correct at time of publication and are subject to change.

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Alex Livie Close
Alex Livie was editor of ESPN.co.uk