Molinari the Man of the Match

  • By: Ben Coley
  • Last Updated: November 20 2012, 10:16 GMT

Francesco Molinari looks prime match bet material

3pts Francesco Molinari to beat Charl Schwartzel at 10/11 (General).

2pts Francesco Molinari to beat Justin Rose at 5/4 (BetVictor).

It's well over a year since Francesco Molinari missed a cut on the European Tour and while there isn't one this week, it's that sort of consistency which makes him prime match bet material.

He's priced up at 10/11 in a so-called pick 'em against Charl Schwartzel, and to me that's the best of the 72-hole matches in the DP World Tour Championship.

Schwartzel's troubles this season have been well documented, with last week's top-five in the SA Open Championship his first since March, and I'm not convinced it's a sign that his game is back.

After all, a non-contending fifth in an event played on home soil and loaded with run-of-the-mill Sunshine Tour players and struggling European Tour pros is probably the least we should expect of the 2011 Masters champion.

Three double-bogeys during the course of the week suggest that - despite ranking fifth for greens hit - his misses remain severe, and as far as I'm concerned he's not putted well for over six months now.

All of this together makes him opposable despite a fifth-placed finish here at the Earth Course last year.

That was only one place ahead of Molinari, who finished comfortably ahead of Schwartzel in both 2009 and 2010, and the Italian's tie for fifth in the Barclays Singapore Open last time is stronger form than anything shown by the South African since the spring.

I'm also prepared to go in again on Molinari and back him to beat Justin Rose at 5/4.

Rose has of course enjoyed a fantastic year, playing a massive part in Europe's Ryder Cup success and bagging a first World Golf Championship title.

However, aside from an exhibition victory in Turkey he's only played one event since the Ryder Cup and a modest share of 24th in the HSBC Champions suggested he's not quite at his best, particularly on and around the greens.

It would be unfair to read too much into his sole start here, which resulted in a share of 50th, as three years on he's a vastly improved player. However, lack of course knowledge could certainly count against him and in Molinari we have a man who has two top six finishes in three starts here.

If Molinari can get inside the top 20 or so again that could be enough to see off Rose and 5/4 is a decent price - for me this is a 10/11 each-of-two job.

  • Preview posted at 1015 GMT on 20/11/2012.