Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: European Tour 2020: English Championship

European Tour 2020: English Championship

Sam Horsfield managed to withstand a late Thomas Detry charge in capturing last week’s Hero Open. The English swing continues this week, lurking in the imposing shadow cast by the year’s first Major Championship. You have to admire the steely resolve of Lee Westwood.  The veteran Englishman, unlikely to ever pick up that elusive first Major title, is opting to skip the US PGA Championship due to Coronavirus concerns. His negative appraisal of America’s handling of the crisis and subsequent snub has been refreshingly honest and selfless. This will be a one-off event, one essentially necessitated by the pandemic scheduling shift.  Hanbury Manor sounds like a location in Downtown Abbey.  Located in Hertfordshire, Hanbury Manor is yet another straightforward resort course, meaning that one can expect some fantastic scoring this week. 

Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

English Championship
Hanbury Manor, Hertfordshire, England 
Thursday 06 - Sunday 09 August

Hanbury Manor was designed by Jack Nicklaus’ son, Jack Nicklaus II, and opened in 1991.  Nicklaus’ son actually renovated a nine-hole layout designed by Harry Vardon in the early 1900’s.  It’s a slightly schizophrenic affair: the first nine holes are exposed and undulating while the back-nine is flatter and tree-lined. This course previously hosted the English Open from 1997 through 1999.  The weather is reportedly going to be warmer in Hertfordshire than at the PGA Championship in California this week. Benign conditions and a simple resort layout mean one thing: birdies. Look for players with a hot putter who can capitalize on the numerous chances provided this week. 

Sam Horsfield will look to back-to-back titles following his assault on Forest of Arden. The 23-year-old overcame a series of intermittent jitters to edge out the uber-talented Thomas Detry.  The young Belgian is the bookies favourite this week, slightly edging out the aforementioned Lee Westwood.  Westwood was disappointing at the British Masters and he has expressed a distaste for the flat atmosphere of post-lockdown golf. But he does have experience at this course, picking up a European Tour title here in the 90’s. While all the global focus will be firmly fixed on California this week, there is still quite an assortment of talent assembled for this ad-hoc event (particularly amongst the so-called ‘next generation’ of European stars).

Past Winners 

Outright Betting (To Win)
Thomas Detry (11/1)
Lee Westwood (12/1)
Rasmus Hojgaard (18/1)
Sam Horsfield (18/1)
Ryan Fox (20/1)

Value Bets

Chris Paisley
To Win (35/1), To Place (15/2)

I think that the talented 34-year-old is ready to make another title charge this week. The man- who beat local hero Branden Grace to claim the 2018 SA Open- has sometimes flattered to deceive on the European Tour. But he seems to have found some decent form recently, with two top 10 finishes in his last three appearances. He managed to follow up a disappointing missed-cut at the British Masters with a 3rd place at the Hero Open. Paisley won the 2012 English Challenge on the Challenge Tour, displaying his suitability for county golf.

Antoine Rozner
To Win (90/1), To Place (19/1)

Rozner seems to be heading in the right direction again after some weak form earlier this year.  He turned professional in 2016 and won back-to-back Challenge Tour events last year, virtually guaranteeing him a permanent place on the European Tour. Rozner got his rookie season off to a fast start, shining towards the end of 2019. He was competitive at Leopard Creek before losing in a three-way playoff at the Mauritius Open. But the jump in quality caught up to him and he has struggled for consistency since. But a top 10 finish last week at the Forest of Arden could be the catalyst that the Frenchman needed.

The Man to Beat

Andy Sullivan
To Win (20/1), To Place (44/10)

Sullivan actually played really well last week, coming into the last round in 20th place.  But his troubles on the greens persisted, ultimately costing him a shot at the places. He placed at the British Masters and he currently sits 6th in approaches for the entire season. Sullivan is also a previous winner in similar resort conditions in Portugal. The three-time European Tour winner is a former Ryder Cup player who has the class to dominate this field.  He enjoys birdie-fests and looks enticing at 20/1.  

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