Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: European Tour 2020: ISPA Handa UK Championship

European Tour 2020: ISPA Handa UK Championship

Romain Langasque’s long-awaited debut victory at Celtic Manor was slightly heartbreaking for me.  Sebastian Soderberg butchered the final hole insight of a potential playoff at 140/1.  He managed to cling for the places, but boy that victory would have been sweet.  Nonetheless, I feel like I’ve really found my range in this innovative UK swing.      

Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

ISPA Handa UK Championship
The Belfry, Wishaw, Warwickshire, England
Thursday 27th-30th August

I have to admit, I’ve found this entire lockdown-compromised UK swing a lovely diversion when compared to the more obvious blockbuster action from the States. We have seen the emergence of some potential Major talent in the likes of Thomas Detry and Sam Horsfield. It just feels as if Keith Pelley and the tour have brilliantly navigated the post-lockdown state, perhaps facilitating the rise of Europe’s new superstars.

This will be a one-off event that caps off the UK Swing. The Belfry is an iconic European Tour venue in the same calibre of Valderrama and Wentworth. It actually amazing to think that this grand old course hasn’t hosted a European Tour event since the 2008 British Masters. It holds particular emotional resonance with European supporters, having hosted the Ryder Cup a whopping four times (cue occasionally self-congratulatory flashbacks of Ryder Cup nostalgia). The Belfry is a flat, tree-lined course with some narrow fairways, reminiscent in some sense of Le Golf National. The Poa Annua greens ae generally quite small, though a few have undulations that will really test the scrambling capacity of the players. Just one look at former champions here seems to suggest that short-game aficionados should do well here, particularly if they keep it in the fairway.

With the US Open less than a month away, this week’s field certainly has a more illustrious feel to it.  The likes of Danny Willett and Lee Westwood will add some gravitas to proceedings. Matthias Schwab had some great results in America and is one of the most exciting young prospects on tour.  The likes of Sam Horsfield, Renato Paratore and Thomas Detry have chosen to take a break following an exhausting post-lockdown schedule. They also have ensured qualification for this month’s US Open (which is really the ultimate prize). Thomas Pieters just doesn’t compete regularly enough to justify his favourite status this week. The likes of Rasmus Hojgaard and Andy Sullivan just look far more appealing.

Past Seven Winners at the Belfry
2008: Gonzalo Fernandez Castano (-12) *playoff
2007: Lee Westwood (-15)
2006: Johan Edfors (-11)
2003: Paul Casey (-11)
2002: Angel Cabrera (-10)
2001: Henrik Stenson (-13)
2000: Jose Maria Olazabal (-13)

Betting Favourites (To Win): 
Thomas Pieters (14/1)
Haotong Li (18/1)
Rasmus Hojgaard (18/1)
Lee Westwood (18/1)
Danny Willett (20/1)

Value Bets

Dean Burmester
To Win (90/1), To Place (19/1)

Burmester putted magnificently during last week’s third round, gaining an incredible 4.91 shots on the field. This combined with his prodigious length off the tee (he currently sits 3rd in driving distance stats) should make him ideally suited to this layout. A tie for 6th at Hanbury Manor during the English Championship shows just how close he is right now. I just think that 90/1 looks ludicrously high for a man with his ability.

Jorge Campillo
To Win (100/1), To Place (22/1)

The 34-year-old Jorge Campillo is an extremely talented player who tends to fly nicely under the radar. The two-time European Tour winner actually won just prior to the enforced lockdown: He captured the Qatar Masters title. He missed the cut at the US PGA Championship only to miss the cut again at the first event at Celtic Manor. He made some incremental improvements last week, sticking around for the weekend. Campillo just strikes me as terrific value this week. He is a proven winner and should thrive on a course that has been very productive for Spanish players. Both Fernandez Castano and Jose Maria Olazabal have tasted success around the Belfry.

The Man to Beat

Gavin Green
To Win (22/1), To Place (48/10)

Gavin Green has tasted success on the Asian Tour and possesses a runner-up finish on the European Tour. He has shown some signs of capturing his maiden title of latand he should be a fantastic fit for the Belfry. He currently sits 11th in driving accuracy and 15th in driving distance on tour. He also currently sits 17th in putts per round. So Green is a solid putter with the firepower and accuracy off the tee to tame this course.  

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