Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: European Tour 2020: Portugal Masters

European Tour 2020: Portugal Masters

George Coetzee, the pugnacious South African enjoyed a blistering final round to claim his 5th European Tour title (but 1st on the European continent). The entire golfing world will be fixated on this week’s US Open with an obsessive gaze akin to Sauron. 

Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

2020 European Tour
Open de Portugal
17th-20th September

I have been hot on the European Tour of late, scoring my 3rd winner in four events last week with George Coetzee. The pugnacious South African enjoyed a blistering final round to claim his 5th European Tour title (but 1st on the European continent). The entire golfing world will be fixated on this week’s US Open with an obsessive gaze akin to Sauron. But the upheaval caused by Covid 19 has allowed some fringe European events to rise from the golfing wilderness. The Open de Portugal now completes the Iberian Swing, following both the Andalucia Masters and Portugal Masters (this will be a dual-ranking event for both the European Tour and Challenge Tour). This event was already scheduled for this weekend (though it only existed as a Challenge Tour event). The European Tour has used its significant initiative and helped to elevate the purse from 200,000 Euros to 500,000 Euros. This event was a fixture on the European Tour until financial issues caused it to be side-lined in 2010.

This will be the first time that Royal Obidos will have held an event of this stature, as it replaces Morgado Country Club as the host of this event. This course is laid out on typically rugged terrain, just north of Lisbon. It was designed by the late-great Seve Ballesteros, who unfortunately never got to see the beautiful course completed.  It is a long, lush course with plenty of room on the fairways.  Run-off areas surrounding the greens are fairly reminiscent of Augusta (which makes sense when you consider the creator). Water is in play on four holes, though I suspect that this will be something of a scoring festival (despite reservations about the wind).  There are five par 5’s (further indicative of the style of its creator). So, players are encouraged to let rip from the tee and use their imagination around the greens.

George Coetzee is the tearaway favourite following last week’s victory at Vilamoura. It was his 2nd consecutive victory following a victory on the Sunshine Tour.  This will undoubtedly be one of the poorest fields you will find on the European Tour for some time- Covid or no Covid. Jamie Donaldson has shown some signs of returning to the form that propelled him into the Ryder Cup side. Elsewhere the likes of Julian Suri and Liam Johnston lend some much-needed dynamism to the field (Johnston managed to shoot a 61 at Vilamoura last week). The winner this week will earn a two-year exemption on the European Tour (a significant carrot for those on the fringes of the tour).

Betting Favourites (To Win): 
George Coetzee (4/1)
Garrick Higgo (16/1)
Jamie Donaldson (20/1)
Craig Howie (22/1)
Bjorn Hellgren (22/1)

Value Bets

Julian Suri
To Win (60/1), To Place (13/1)

Julian Suri is exactly the sort of heavy-hitting behemoth who could conceivably destroy this course.  The American is surely disappointed to not be contending at Winged Foot this week. He will be hoping to win a 2nd title and make up for that disappointment. Suri was a four-shot winner of the Made in Denmark title in 2017. He was also runner-up to Matt allace in the 2017 Portugal Open (showing an ability to play in these Iberian conditions). He should be able to dominate the par 5’s.  This looks a no-brainer to me in this- let’s be frank- appalling field.

Nicolai Hojgaard
To Win (125/1), To Place (25/1)
I think this is certainly a week where a 125/1 shot could make an impact. And why not bet on some good, old-fashioned sibling rivalry? Nicolai Hojgaard is the identical twin brother of Rasmus Hojgaard- twice a winner on the tour of late. Rasmus is making his US Open debut after his string of impressive performances. As an identical twin myself, I can understand how much this could motivate Nicolai. This is not a man without talent (he was runner-up at the KLM Open exactly a year ago). Nicolai was actually the more successfully amateur, reaching number 5 in the World Amateur rankings.

The Man to Beat

Jamie Donaldson
To Win (20/1), To Place (44/10)

Former Ryder Cup hero Jamie Donaldson seems to have turned something of a corner in recent times. Three top 15 finishes in his last five starts are testament to his vastly improved iron-play.  He still needs to work on his short game, as he misses far too many short putts to regularly compete. I’m counting on a bit of wind this week- as Donaldson is a past master of a low-ball flight in windy conditions. His recent form makes him yet another no-brainer at 20/1.  

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