Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: The European Tour 2020: Cyprus Open

The European Tour 2020: Cyprus Open

We take a look at this week's Cyprus Open which takes place at PGA National Cyprus, Aphrodite Hills Resort, Paphos, Cyprus.

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Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

European Tour 2020
Cyprus Open
PGA National Cyprus, Aphrodite Hills Resort, Paphos, Cyprus
                                                                 29th October- 1st November

Last week’s Italian Open-ended in an emotional fashion, with Ross McGowan capturing his first title since 2009. The European Tour moves to the Mediterranean this week for the inaugural staging of the Cyprus Open.  This will be the first time that Cyprus will have hosted a European Tour event. You have to admire the way that Keith Pelly and the company have staged these ad hoc events. It’s been something of a nightmare from a forecasting perspective, but they have done wonders in our new reality. Once again, this week’s course selection has more to do with adjacent hotel space than the golf course: players have to keep strict protocol procedures in the rejigged format. This will actually be the first of two events played at Aphrodite Hills in consecutive weeks.  

This course was designed by Cabell Robinson and opened in 2002. The resort course underwent major renovations in 2017, resulting in it becoming the first Cyprian course designated with PGA status. This short parkland layout shouldn’t pose too many problems for the pros. This exposed coastal course is basically designed for tourists, with extremely generous fairways.  The fairways and rough are Bermuda. The only real protection that this course offers is wind (though there are some sporadic pot bunkers). But forecasts suggest that conditions will be mostly benign this week. It’s hard to determine what should inform success this week. But hitting the ball a long way and setting up wedges is always useful at these resort layouts.  

None of the worlds top 50 are in attendance, so the honour of highest-ranked player in the field goes to Andy Sullivan. World Number 69 Andy Sullivan leads the markets following victory at Hanbury Manor and a 3rd place at Wentworth. Matthias Schwab is still looking for his maiden title while the talented Belgian Thomas Detry continues to frustrate. Joost Luiten seems to be finding some form and I wouldn’t be surprised if he contends again. The big-hitting Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts was a strong contender last week but couldn’t quite keep up with the electric pace of Laurie Canter and Ross McGowan.  

To Win Outright: 
Andy Sullivan (12/1)
Marcus Kinhult (25/1)
Matthias Schwab (25/1)
Joost Luiten (25/1)
Thomas Detry (25/1)

Value Bets

Antoine Rozner- To Win (40/1), To Place (17/2)
Antoine Rozner should be in good spirits following an excellent performance in Italy. He secured a top 10 finish with a final round of seven under par. That was his 2nd top 10 finish in four events: a 3rd at Valderrama demonstrated his potential on a much sterner test.  It also shows that he should be able to cope with any stray winds. The Frenchman ranks 7th on the tour for SG: Approach. This should come in handy on a course which will present many opportunities to get it close. At this price he just represents great value.  

Marcus Armitage- To Win (45/1), To Place (19/2)
Armitage has actually become a very consistent player over the past six months. He sits inside the top 50 for SG: Approach, SG: Around the Green and SG: Off-the-Tee. The 33-year-old, much like most pros, is occasionally debilitated by his putting. Since posting a top 25 at the Dubai Duty-Free Irish Open he has notched up back-to-back top 10 finishes. If he can get his putter to behave this week he could be in with a real shout.  

The Man to Beat 

Sami Valimaki- To Win (40/1), To Place (17/2)
Valimaki won four times on the Pro Golf Tour last year, then claimed a place on the European Tour with 8th place at Qualifying School. Valimaki burst onto the scene by winning the Oman Open in just his 6th European start. The lockdown couldn’t have come at a worse time for the exciting 22-year-old. But since August he has started to show his undoubted class again. Sixth place at the Celtic Classic was followed by 2nd place in the Wales Open.  He topped the GIR stats at Wentworth, finishing in a respectable 13th place. This could be the week that he picks up that second title.  

Written by Damien Kayat for Hollywoodbets.

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