European Tour: Golf Sixes Preview


Our golf scribe previews this week's European Tour event, the Golf Sixes, which gets underway this Saturday.

Well, you have to hand it to the leader of the European Tour, Keith Pelley. He has made a statement this year in suggesting that the tour needs to look at innovation in order to compete with the riches that exist in America. As with the World Super 6, they will be slightly disappointed with the quality of players that have entered. But as with the tournament in Perth, they will be hoping to just get the tournament on the map and generate the buzz that will bring higher quality players in next year.
Quite frankly, this leads to a difficult task trying to speculate on this event. 16 two-man teams - each representing their country - will tee it up in four groups that resemble a Champions League style round-robin format - with the top two going through to quarter-finals, etc. Furthermore, this is a new course that none of the players have experience on. Described by designer Simon Gidman as a Woodlands course, players will also be utilising the novel greensomes format this week. This means that both players will play from the tee-box, but then they will choose which ball to alternate from next.

This actually sounds quite cool and could introduce some intriguing moral dilemmas for players. It would seem to suggest that accuracy from the tee box will be a crucial factor this week. Andy Sullivan and Chris Wood are the clear favourites after their experience at Hazeltine last year in the Ryder Cup. Other stand-out sides are; the French - Gregory Bourdy and Alexander Levy; the Thai - Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Thongchai Jaidee; and the Spanish - Alejandro Canizares and Pablo Larrazabal. So we look set for an experimental weekend that will at least offer something different from the occasionally routinized joys of stroke-play.

Golf Sixes | Saturday 6 May - Sunday 7 May | Centurion Course, St Albans 

Group Betting

Group 1                                          
England: Chris Wood and Andy Sullivan 1/1 
Denmark: Thorbjorn Olesen and Lucas Bjerregaard 37/20
Netherlands: Renier Saxton and Joost Luiten 7/1 
India: SSP Chawrasia and S Chikkarangappa 7/1

Group 2
Thailand: Thongchai Jaidee and Kiradech Aphibarnrat 5/2
Spain- Pablo Larrazabal and Alejandro Canizares 5/2
Belgium- Nicolas Colsaerts and Thomas Detry 28/10
Scotland- Richie Ramsey and Marc Warren 3/1

Group 3
Australia: Sam Brazel and Scott Hend 26/10
Wales: Bradley Dredge and Jamie Donaldson 2/1
USA: Paul Peterson and David Lipsky 5/2
Portugal: Ricardo Gouveia and Jose Felipe-Lima 9/2

Group 4
South Africa: Darren Fichardt and Brandon Stone 3/1
France: Gregory Bourdy and Alexander Levy 12/10
Sweden: Johan Carlsson and Joakim Lagergren 11/2
Italy: Matteo Mannasero and Renato Paratore 3/1

Value Bets

Scotland 12/1
Both Ramsey and Warren have had unspectacular starts to the season. Warren, of course, famously won the World Cup with Colin Montgomerie in 2007. Richie Ramsey is a former US Amateur winner. So they make for a fairly formidable partnership, especially when you consider their proximity to home. Ramsey is a terrific ball-striker and could leave the three-time winner Warren in some advantageous positions.

Italy 14/1
Matteo Mannasero and Renato Paratore are two guys with plenty of talent and passion on the course. The experienced Mannasero is more measured, short and straight where the young Paratore is long and reckless. That combination could work a treat in this format. Mannasero has been building his consistency up of late and it was not too long ago that he won at the BMW. Paratore has been peaking with a top 10 and top 20 in the last few weeks. These two could go a long way, despite having the French in their group.

Wales 14/1
This one is quite tricky. Firstly, they are probably in the weakest group on paper and should progress in my opinion. Former Ryder Cup star Jamie Donaldson has been a shadow of his former self recently with a best season finish of tie for 29th. Dredge actually won the World Cup for Wales in 2005 and showed last year that he has the game to contend again, running up a few close calls. My contention is that the two veterans will find the format comforting and should be able to draw on a wealth of team experience.

The Team to Beat
France 7/1

This team just looks right. Alexander Levy is fresh off that sensational victory at the Volvo China pen last week. In the process, he became the first man to win the tournament on two occasions. While Bourdy missed the cut last week, he was third in Shenzhen two weeks ago. His driving accuracy off the tee should dovetail well with the more pyrotechnic qualities emanating from Levy. Bourdy also shone at the Seve trophy in 2013, winning 5 points from 5. The shot clock could be an inconvenience to both of these ‘deliberate’ players. Bourdy was actually penalised at the 2010 PGA Championship. But barring they keep their heads, they look good for victory.

Written by Damien Kayat for @Hollywoodbets

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