The Porsche European Open Preview

Hollywoodbets' betting preview for the Italian Open

Our golf writer takes a look at the betting for the 2016 Porsche European Open which gets underway this coming Thursday.

Alejandro Canizares just couldn’t keep up the momentum for me last weekend. I really thought I had a chance for two in a row there, but golf can be a treacherous mistress. This week’s Porsche European Open has a slightly diminished field, with many of the Ryder Cup heroes casting one eye on that Journey to Hazeltine next week. This does present the savvy punter with an opportunity to find a diamond in the rough - so to speak. Let’s hope that the opportunities are slightly better than my generic golfing metaphors.

The Porsche European Open took a sabbatical from 2010-2014, indicative of the European tour’s struggles to compete financially with the outrageously lucrative and perfectly packaged US PGA tour. It did return to some fanfare last year, with Thongchai Jaidee becoming the oldest ever winner, aged 46years and 323 days. He returns to defend his title, perhaps feeling quietly confident giving this year’s diminished line-up. I do think it will be quite difficult for the former paratrooper to repeat last year’s record-setting achievement.

Martin Kaymer and Thomas Pieters will be hoping to generate some good juju ahead of Hazeltine. Bernd Weisberger will be hoping to go one better than he did at the KLM while Scott Hend and Canizares are amongst the other favourites. Aficionados of the European Tour will be delighted to see the return of the ‘Big Easy’- Ernie Els. He is playing in his first event since the Dubai Desert Classic and will be hoping that fortune can shine on him again in Germany; his last victory in Europe came at the BMW International Open in Germany.

Porsche European Open | Thursday 22 September - Sunday 25 September | Golf Resort Bad Griesbach

Past Winners
2015: Thongchai Jaidee (-17) | 2010-2014: No Tournament | 2009: Christian Cevaer (-7) | 2008: Ross Fisher (-20) | 2007: Colin Montgomerie (-11) | 2006: Stephen Dodd (-9)

Betting Favourites
Martin Kaymer (10/1), Thomas Pieters (10/1), Bernd Weisberger (12/1), Scott Hend (28/1), Alejandro Canizares (28/1) 

Value Bets
Anirbar Lahiri (50/1 Win & 11/1 Place)
Lahiri has done quite a bit for the profile of Indian golf in the last year, proving that Jeev Milka Singh wasn’t a pure anomaly. He finished in a tie for 2nd in the Indian Open before turning his attention stateside. While not exactly trailblazing in any way, Lahiri carved himself a decent little season. He finished in a tie for 6th at the Dean and Deluca invitational and, more interestingly, has finished in the top thirty-five in three WGC events. It’s widely recognised that the WGC events are amongst the most fiercely competitive fields in golf. Giving the fact that this week’s field looks slightly truncated, Lahiri may be a sensible pick for a place at 11/1.  

Thongchai Jaidee (40/1 Win & 19/2 Place)
I may have doubted my man Jaidee in the prologue, but at 40/1 to win, the defending champion caught my eye again. Looking at the relative weakness of the field and Jaidee’s consistency, I’m slightly surprised by how long his odds are. Especially considering that he was 25/1 to win only two weeks ago at the KLM Open- a tournament that he didn’t happen to win last year. Jaidee should stand a reasonable chance of mounting a decent defence of his history-making European Open title. His metronomic style and expert conditioning definitely does render his age relative.   

Oliver Fisher (160/1 Win & 35/1 Place)
I’ve grown fond of one crazy piece of speculation in my European preamble. Oliver Fisher has hardly had what you would call the most productive season. The Englishman has failed to realize his potential in a booming era for young gun English talent.  But there have been tentative signs of an upward swing in momentum. This call is based purely on momentum. After a 4th place finish at the Aberdeen Match-Play, Fisher has surreptitiously moved up the money-list. He finished in a tie for 12th at the Omega Masters, following that up with a respectable tie for 28th at The Dutch in the KLM Open. At 35/1 to place, you could do far worse things with your money this weekend. Manchester United, anyone?

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The Man to Beat

Scott Hend (28/1 Win & 13/2 Place)
The journeyman Hend actually missed the cut at the Italian Open, but I wouldn’t read too much into that.  After his final round capitulation at The Dutch, I expected him to perhaps be somewhat revitalized. The Aussie, possessing a positively booming drive, probably benefitted from being cut. It has possibly afforded him the time to refocus his game for Germany this weekend. His 4th place finish at the KLM was preceded by a 2nd place finish at the Olmega Masters. If you take a look at the spread, there is a huge gap between the top three- Kaymer, Weisberger and Pieters- and the rest. Though Hend is still amongst the favourites, the 28/1 starts to look far more appealing when it’s only bettered by three individuals. Hend surely has the game to win; it’s all a matter of temperament for the combustible Aussie.

Written by Damien Kayat @Hollywoodbets

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