Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: European Tour 2020: ISPS Handa Wales Open

European Tour 2020: ISPS Handa Wales Open

Sam Horsfield’s schizophrenic form has been a wonder to beyond.  The 23-year-old Englishman became the first man in European Tour history to go Win-MC-Win in consecutive weeks. Everything about the 23-year-old screams Brooks Koepka - including the American accent (the unflappable Horsfield has lived in the States since the age of five).  The languid power-hitter will be looking to essentially defend his Twenty Ten honours from last week. This will be the European Tour’s equivalent of what occurred at Muirfield Village not too long ago. But unlike the back-to-back events at Muirfield, I don’t see the course changing too dramatically from last week to this. This will mark the return of the Wales Open after six years in the golfing wilderness. The Wales Open was introduced in 2000 and staged at the Twenty Ten Course between 2008 and 2014.    

Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

English Championship
Celtic Classic
Thursday 13 - Sunday 16 August

As I mentioned last week, this course will always be immortalized by the events of the 2010 Ryder Cup.  The European commentators flogged that horse for all its worth throughout last week’s coverage: if anything, it made the spectre of no fans even more depressing. This long, flat course measures a daunting 7,315 yards. This course traditionally yielded single digit winning scores in the past.  However, it seems that the evolution of golf into a big-hitting bonanza has effectively muted some of the course’s defences. The course has some tantalizing holes. The drivable par 4 15th made for spectacular viewing while the par 5 closing hole is your prototypical risk-reward challenge (at a glance you can see that this course was developed for match-play golf).

Thomas Pieters leads the markets despite once again over-promising and under-delivering. The Belgian- just going on pure talent- should be cleaning up this week. But some atrocious short-putting makes him very unappealing at 11/1. Sam Horsfield and Thomas Detry have been the most consistent players throughout this UK Swing. Haotong Li returns to the tour after leading the US PGA Championship at the halfway stage. Elsewhere the likes of Gavin Green and Jason Scrivener will be looking to build on some excellent late form from last week’s event.  I’m riding the crest of a wave at present, picking back-to-back winners on the European Tour.  Could a three-peat be on the way?

Past Winners 
2020: Sam Horsfield (-18) *last week’s Celtic Classic
2014: Joost Luiten (-14)
2013: Gregory Bourdy (-8)
2012: Thongchai Jaidee (-6)
2011: Alex Noren (-9)

Outright Betting (To Win)
Thomas Pieters (11/1)
Thomas Detry (12/1)
Sam Horsfield (12/1)
Haotong Li (14/1)
Robert McIntyre (18/1)

Value Bets

Jason Scrivener
To Win (40/1), To Place (17/2)

As I noted earlier, the Aussie seemed to come to grips with the Twenty Ten Course as the week went along. He finished in a tie for 14th in back-to-back weeks (a slightly less impressive stat than Horsfield’s Win-MC-Win heroics). But it seems as if Scrivener is primed to compete for the places this week. He has in fact been under par in 13 of 16 rounds since the commencement of the Tour.  I think his price makes far more sense than 11/1 for the mercurial Pieters.

Sebastian Soderberg
To Win (140/1), To Place (30/1)

Soderberg looks ridiculously big at a price of 140/1. He just finished solo 10th at this very venue. He looked positioned to threaten for the title until a disappointing Sunday derailed him. Soderberg is a European Tour winner at the picturesque Crans. He actually held off none other than Rory McIlroy in a five-man playoff. All of his best results have come on wind-affected courses- be it in Scotland, Portugal or Scandinavia. I think he has it in him to far outperform his three-figure price.

The Man to Beat

Sam Horsfield
To Win (12/1), To Place (26/10)

I know this seems like a slightly unimaginative selection. It also defies recent history. He missed the cut at the English Championship a week after winning his maiden European Tour title at the English Open. Horsfield won in the twilight gloom last week, requiring every ounce of his attention to see off the likes of Detry and Syme. He has shown the capacity to bomb after picking up a title.  But there’s something in the laconic nature of Horsfield that just inspires confidence. The amount of clutch putts he made last week was truly phenomenal. I really think he’s great value for back-to-back titles and his 3rd title in four weeks.  

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