Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: European Tour 2020: Austrian Open

European Tour 2020: Austrian Open

Damien Kayat previews the Austrian Open taking place at the Diamond Gold Club, Atzenbrugg, Austria.

Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports

The European Tour 2020 | Austrian Open
Diamond Gold Club, Atzenbrugg, Austria
Thursday 09 July - Sunday 12 July

The European Tour returns from a four-month absence this week, minus all the fanfare that awaited the PGA Tour players: this event isn’t even scheduled for television.  The European Tour has decided to take a more pragmatic approach to reopening- clearly hoping to avoid the raft of infections that have plagued the US PGA Tour. This more subdued affair will actually be co-sanctioned by the European Tour and Challenge Tour (along with next week’s Euram Bank Open). The Austrian Open was first staged in 1990, with Bernhard Langer conquering Lanny Wadkins in a heavyweight playoff.  The event has since struggled to retain relevance: in 2018 it was reimagined as the Shot Clock Masters (a slightly desperate attempt to generate newfound enthusiasm). It was absent altogether last season and returns as the Pandemic momentarily loosens its grip on the European continent.

This event has been staged at the Diamond Country Club since 2010.  The Jeremy Pern design was opened in 2002 and is located about an hour outside of Vienna.  The exposed fairways are quite flat while the exposed greens run at about 11/5 on the stimp.  The course is quite a monster by European standards, measuring a touch under 7500 yards.  It also has fairly penal rough, with a middle-section that can prove quite brutal (provided there haven’t been extensive changes since 2018’s Shot Clock Masters).  You will probably have to fancy someone with a strong tee-to-green game this week.  A combination of power and accuracy off the tee will be ideal, though I would probably favour accuracy due to the amount of water in play this week. 

One look at the field this week and you can understand why this event hasn’t been televised.  Joost Luiten isn’t exactly a primetime draw, though he does have extremely strong course credentials to contend with.  Thomas Detry is one of the European Tour’s most promising young players while Adri Arnaus has shown the capacity to go ultra-low.  I was slightly surprised not to see Thorbjorn Olesen in contention this week.  The European Tour has lifted its suspension on the Dane, with his sexual assault trial delayed till December 2021 due to the pandemic.  This would have been an ideal, low-key return for the troubled Dane. 

Past Winners
2019: no event
2018: Mikko Korhonen (-16)*played as Shot Clock Masters
2017: Dylan Fritelli (-12)
2016: Ashun Wu (-13)
2015: Chris Wood (-15)

Outright Betting (To Win)
Joost Luiten (6/1)
Thomas Detry (7/1)
Adri Arnaus (14/1)
Renato Paratore (20/1)
Nicolas Colsaerts (22/1)

Value Bets

Antoine Rozner
To Win (40/1), To Place (17/2)

Rozner was one of the stars on last year’s Challenge Tour, winning back-to-back tournaments.  He almost closed out his maiden European Tour title in Mauritius earlier this season, disappointingly failing to birdie the closing par 5.  He has made six cuts out of six since acquiring his card, all spearheaded by a powerful driver.  He also won a 54-hole event in France during the lockdown, beating Gregory Havret in a playoff.  He ranked inside the top 25 for both driving categories prior to the lockdown and should be great value this week at 40/1.

Oscar Lengden
To Win (66/1), To Place (14/1)

It’s going to take a little soothsaying when looking further down the betting market, especially after such a lengthy break.  Oscar Lengden has the obvious advantage of golf under his belt.  Last week he finished in 5th place in the Katrineholm Open, a Nordic Golf League event.  The 28 year-old Swede has won twice on that circuit as well as twice on the Challenge Tour.  He should be able to thrive in familiar territory, having finished in a respectable 23rd place in the 2018 Shot Clock Masters. 

The Man to Beat

Joost Luiten
To Win (6/1), To Place (13/10)

I know this choice displays a distinct lack of imagination.  Luiten is pretty much the universal favourite for this event and looks painfully short at 6/1.  But with course-form figures of 3-1-3-6-7, it’s hard to look beyond the heavily favoured Dutchman (especially looking at the field this week).  Prior to the break he ranked 16th in driving distance and 33rd in driving accuracy on the European Tour.  Those figures offer a glimpse into why he has been so successful around Diamond Golf Club.  The six-time European Tour winner looks like he could outclass the field.  

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