Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: European Tour 2020: ISPS Handa Vic Open Preview

European Tour 2020: ISPS Handa Vic Open Preview

Golfer reacts to missed putt

The tour moves from the riches of Saudi Arabia to the more rugged plains of Port Phillip Bay. But this is more than just your nominal third-tier European Tour event. It represents an attempt at equality, with the Women’s Victorian Open played concurrently with the men’s event.  

Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports
The European Tour 2020 | ISPS Handa Vic Open
13th Beech Links | Beach Course and Creek Course | Geelong, Victoria
Thursday 6 February - Sunday 9 February

Perhaps of more consequence is that they play for equal prize money. If only one of the more prestigious events could follow this example. It would be disrespectful for me to attempt to cover a women’s event I have little knowledge of, but the only way for real progress to be made in this regard is for a Rolex Series event to implement the same format, offering more exposure to female golfers.

As it says in the title, the two courses at 13 Beech Links are fairly typical links affairs. They are small and firm, and players with superior accuracy and links pedigree should thrive this week. Driving distance may prove less critical this week than any other event all season. Last year’s winner - David Law- was a rookie Scottish player with some form in junior and amateur links. It ran contrary to a general Aussie trend that seems to heavily favour the market leaders. The Creek Course was designed by Nick Faldo while the Beach Course was opened in 2001.

Brad Kennedy has been in solid form and leads the markets this week. I tend to think it’s slightly deceiving given the talent laying just below him. The mercurial Haotong Li has competed in elite fields while Jason Scrivener is fast emerging as a regular European Tour contender. Then you have to consider Lucas Herbert, who just recently claimed that magnificent victory in Dubai. This may not be a vintage event, but it could prove slightly less annoying than the first three days of the American Pro-Am.

Past Winners
2019: David Law (-18)
2018: Simon Hawkes (-14)*playoff
2017: Dimitri Papadonlus (-16)*playoff
2016: Michael Long (-13)*playoff
2015: Richard Green (-16)*playoff

Outright Betting (To Win)
Brad Kennedy (12/1)
Lucas Herbert (14/1)
Haotong Li (14/1)
Jason Scrivener (16/1)
Min Woo Lee (18/1)

Value Bets

Min Woo Lee
To Win (18/1), To Place (39/10)

Alongside Lucas Herbert and Jason Scrivener, Min Woo Lee stands as one of Australia’s hottest young golf prospects. He hits the ball a mile and finished 3rd during his last start at home, during the Australian PGA Championship. He missed the cut by a shot in Saudi Arabia last week, though there were enough bursts of brilliance to convince me he could compete this week, especially in such a weak field. Lee finished 6th in this event on his tournament debut in 2017. His sister Minjee Lee is one of the premier players in women’s golf and actually won the women’s Victoria Open in 2018.

Alejandro Canizares
To Win (110/1), To Place (24/1)

Alejandro Canizares was once one of the brighter prospects in Spanish golf. He romped home to victory at the 2014 Trophee Hassan, firmly cementing him inside the world’s top 100 players. But since then it has been a nosedive for the Spaniard. He has actually benefitted immeasurably from having European Qualifying School in his home country. He won the six-round shootout in 2018 and finished 3rd in last year’s Q School. Canizares should be suited to this challenge. He is an accuracy-based player who is sharp around the greens. He also has some decent Aussie form, sitting in 7th after 54 holes of the Aussie PGA Championships. 

The Man to Beat

Jason Scrivener
To Win (16/1), To Place (7/2)

Scrivener has to be the man to beat this week. He has decent course form, having finished inside the top 11 in the last two renewals. But it was emergence towards the end of last year that catches the eye. The Aussie had a slew of top 10’s in stellar European fields. That included 10’s in Spain and Italy. He closed out the season in quite sterling fashion, picking up top 10’s in consecutive Rolex Series events: the Nedbank Golf Challenge and DP World Tour Championship. Scrivener looks like a class act and has been more consistent than Haotong Li.  

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