The Lyoness Open 2017 Preview

The Lyoness Open 2017 Preview

Our golf scribe runs the rule over this week's PGA Tour event, the Lyoness Open.


With Erin Hills approaching next week, it is fairly understandable that yet another weakened field will grace the European Tour this week. Perhaps home favourite and former champion Bernd Wiesberger would prefer to be setting his sights on next week’s US Open, but it seems that he realises the importance of his presence for the veracity of the event. Outside of Wiesberger and former champion Joost Luiten, this is yet another week for fanciful thinking and creative speculation.


The Lyoness Open was formerly known as the Austrian Open, with Bernhard Langer winning the inaugural event in 1990. But the event went through some major teething problems and after seven editions it was relegated to the Challenge Tour. It seemed destined for termination with the event cancelled in 2000. But then along came Austrian golfing legend, Markus Brier. He single-handedly revitalised the event, winning it three times and seeing it return to the European Tour proper in 2006. It has been played at the Diamond Golf Course since 2010.

The Jeremy Pern designed course has water in play for most of the holes, and seems to reward accuracy ahead of brutality from the tee. The fairways are exposed and forgiving, with winning scores ranging from -12 to -19 over the last six years. The weather forecast seems to be fairly benign, meaning that Wiesberger should feel quietly confident that he could dominate this field. That being said, the tournament prior to a major event will always play on the mind of the runaway home favourite, who knows that a quick trip stateside awaits regardless of the result here.

The Lyoness Open | Thursday 8 June - Sunday 11 June | Diamond Golf Course, Alzenbrugg, Austria

Past Winners
2016: Ashun Wu (-13) |2015: Chris Wood (-15) | 2014: Mikael Lundberg (-12)*playoff  | 2013: Joost Luiten (-17) | 2012: Bernd Wiesberger (-19)

To Win Outright
Bernd Wiesberger 5/1 | Joost Luiten 12/1 | Gregory Bourdy 22/1 | Julian Suri 28/1 | James Morrison 33/1

Value Bets

Julian Suri - To Win 28/1 & To Place 6/1
It says something about this week’s field that Suri is so far up the betting profile, especially considering that he has plied his trade mainly on the Challenge Tour this year. But this week’s field has very much got a Challenge Tour feel to it, with smatterings of older players keen to rejuvenate the ghosts of season’s past. Suri won the D&D Czech Open and was third last week on the Challenge Tour. There was also a second in Portugal, which was a European Tour/Challenge Tour co-sanctioned event. So form seems to be with Suri and he looks to have some value amongst the top contenders.

Eduardo de la Riva - To Win 50/1 & To Place 11/1
The 34-year-old Spaniard may only be 423 in the World Rankings, but he possesses many of the attributes that will come into play this week. Course knowledge could prove critical on this slightly unusual layout, and de la Riva has three top 10 finishes here in the last four years. He finished seventh in 2013 and 2014, whilst finishing 10th last year. This will be his 155th appearance on tour without a victory, but he has shown a propensity for doing well at courses with small greens, tying for 15th at the 2013 Open Championship. His form has also improved in recent weeks, with a T14 at Shenzhen followed by a T18 at Sicily and a T36 at last week’s Nordea Masters.

Thomas Linard - To Win 100/1 & To Place 22/1
This is one of those speculative ones that seems to be operating on a few levels.  Firstly, this has been quite a good time for French golf, with Alex Levy’s win in China helping to stir emotions en route to next year’s Ryder Cup in France. The 29-year-old had a full season on the European Tour in 2016, but lost his card and has been relegated to playing on the Challenge Tour and gutter-sniping when opportunities like this present themselves. He took advantage with a sound T12 at the Open de Portugal, and continued the good form at the D&D Real Czech Challenge, finishing in a tie for fifth. The depleted field and price make him one to watch.

The Man to Beat

Bernd Wiesberger - To Win 5/1 & To Place 11/10
The decision of Chris Wood to withdraw from the event at the last hour means that Wiesberger’s 5/1 odds look better than probably could have been anticipated. Wiesberger is by far the form player in the field, with Luiten yet to register a top 10 finish since September. He drove the ball the furthest when winning in 2014, and he has also been runner-up here before. He has actually been in the top 15 in five of his six starts here. He won the Shenzhen and was fourth at the China Open. Add that to a highly respectable 12th at the Players, and you have the recipe for a successful week for the overwhelming favourite.

Written by Damien Kayat for @Hollywoodbets

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