Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: European Tour 2020: Celtic Classic

European Tour 2020: Celtic Classic

A new week, a new Major Champion. Colin Morikawa’s victory in San Francisco capped what has been a meteoric rise to fame for the young American. While I may have come somewhat a cropper with my PGA Championship predictions, Andy Sullivan delivered a resounding European win for yours truly. I almost felt sorry for Hanbury Manor last week, as it utterly capitulated under the pressure of the pros. Much like last week’s English Championship, this is designed to be a one-off event that merely pads this UK Swing. In similar fashion to the Memorial at Muirfield Village, the tour will remain at Celtic Manor ahead of next week’s ISPS Wales Open. Host of the 2010 Ryder Cup, the Twenty Ten Course at Celtic Manor also hosted the Wales Open between 2008 and 2014.  

Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

English Championship
Celtic Classic
Thursday 13 - Sunday 16 August

This week’s event is slightly different to recent affairs, with at least of modicum of course form available to choose from. This course is an amalgamation of the old Wentworth Hills (a Robert Trent Jones II design) and Ross McMurray’s new nine. This course is quite long by European standards.  It’s a tough all-round test, with previous winners of the Wales Open regularly recording single digit scores under par. Despite the length, scrambling and putting seem to be the most consistent keys to success around here. Having said that, heavy rains are scheduled to batter the course over the week.  This will soften conditions and should favour the more prodigious hitters.

Joost Luiten is a course magician and rightfully leads the markets this week. How much of an impact will the long flight from San Francisco have on the Dutchman? Last week’s imperious champion Andy Sullivan will be feeling extremely confident this week. Rasmus Hojgaard has been in the mix this entire UK Swing- a clear portent of the future for this ridiculously talented teenager. Thomas Pieters adds some star power to proceedings while the likes of Sam Horsfield and Thomas Detry look to capitalize on their power advantage. This should prove a nice relaxing tonic in the aftermath of the year’s first Major Championship.

Past Winners 
2015-2019: no event
2014: Joost Luiten (-14)
2013: Gregory Bourdy (-8)
2012: Thongchai Jaidee (-6)
2011: Alex Noren (-9)
2010: Graeme McDowell (-15)

Outright Betting (To Win)
Joost Luiten (10/1)
Rasmus Hojgaard (12/1)
Andy Sullivan (12/1)
Thomas Detry (18/1)
Kurt Kitayama 20/1)

Value Bets

Nicolas Colsaerts
To Win (55/1), To Place (12/1)

The big-hitting Belgian is one of the more mercurial talents on the European Tour. The three-time European Tour winner won in October, picking up the title in France off the back of little to no form.  Colsaerts in coming off a confidence-building top 10 finish at Hanbury Manor. I’m using that as the springboard for my selection. He is extremely long off the tee and relatively accurate. That could make him a possible dark horse this week.

Richie Ramsey
To Win (60/1), To Place (13/1)

Richie Ramsey could have what it takes to take on this challenging test. Water in in play on nine holes while two of the par 5’s can stretch to over 600 yards. Five tricky par 3’s sum up the difficulty of the test. Ramsey leads this field on the European Tour for bogey avoidance. This could prove crucial at a course that will not yield birdies for free. Ramsey is also highly adept on links layouts: aspects of Twenty Ten Course have a strong links feel. Rounds of 66 and 68 saw him in the top 25 at Hanbury Manor through 36 holes. While he couldn’t maintain momentum, this difficult course should suit him far better than last week’s birdie fest.

The Man to Beat

Sam Horsfield
To Win (25/1), To Place (11/2)

Last week’s disappointing missed cut at Hanbury Manor was to be expected.  Horsfield was always going to struggle to replicate his Hero Open feats. He started with two consecutive birdies, but two double bogeys on Thursday gave him little chance to recover on Friday.  Horsfield will look to bounce back this week, and the four par 5’s and soft conditions should suit him perfectly. Horsfield is a scoring machine, as evidenced by his 61 at the British Masters. He followed that up with a 63 en route to winning the Hero Open. Horsfield’s missed cut last week just makes him a more appealing price this time out.  

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