Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: The European Tour 2020: Italian Open

The European Tour 2020: Italian Open


We take a look at this week's Italian Open which takes place at Chervo Golf Club, San Vigilio di Pozzolengo, Brescia, Italy.

Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

European Tour 2020
Italian Open
Chervo Golf Club, San Vigilio di Pozzolengo, Brescia, Italy
                                                                 22nd-25th October

Adrian Otaegui absolutely blitzed the field on Sunday to cap off an entertaining Scottish Championship (improvised though it was). The tour moves from the radically different to the all-too familiar this week, with the latest staging of the Italian Open. First staged in 1825, the Italian Open has been an entrenched part of the tour since its inception in 1972. It became a prestigious Rolex Series event in 2017, though Covid cutbacks mean that it has temporarily lost its Rolex status. The Italian Open has traditionally been a nomadic event, which makes it the ideal event during this Covid period. Keith Pelley and co have done a wonderful job of finding venues that can act as temporary Covid bubbles.  This week is no exception.  

Designed by Kurt Rossknecht and opened in 2008, there is precious little to glean from Chervo Golf Club. The Golf Club itself is comprised of four nine-hole courses (Sofferino, Benaco, S Martino and Pozzelengo).  This week will see a hybrid of the Sofferino and Benaco courses. Located near the iconic Lake Garda, this course should make for some stunning vistas. It looks a typical parkland resort course, with little undulation and generous fairways.  Such is the current organizational criteria for events, resorts with ample accommodation are favoured over course difficulty. You can expect the pros to go very low this week, with little wind expected to protect this resort course. The course is fairly long and should encourage the bigger hitters. But this should ultimately boil down into a putting contest.  

Matt Wallace leads the markets despite a disappointing Sunday in Scotland. The Englishman looks reasonably priced at 9/1 in this particular field. Martin Kaymer is incredibly still searching for his first victory since the 2014 US Open. Lee Westwood seems intent on playing in every golfing event in creation and could well do with a brief hiatus. Defending champion Bernd Wiesberger has been in indifferent form of late while Victor Perez looks to be one of the hottest prospects on the tour. There will be plenty of national interest, with the likes of Renato Paratore and Guido Migliozzi flying the Italian flag high.
  
Past Winners
2019: Bernd Wiesberger (-16)
2018: Thorbjorn Olesen (-22)
2017: Tyrell Hatton (-21)
2016: Francesco Molinari (-22)
2015: Rickard Karlberg (-19) *playoff

To Win Outright: 
Matt Wallace (9/1)
Martin Kaymer (10/1)
Lee Westwood (12/1)
Victor Perez (12/1)
Bernd Wiesberger (14/1)

Value Bets

Thorbjorn Olesen - To Win (50/1), To Place (11/1)
Perhaps lukewarm form was just the ticket for Dane Thorbjorn Olesen after his return to the tour. The horrendous allegations of that ill-fated flight would have become more prominent had he surged to consecutive victories upon his return. He has managed to slip back into the groove, going under the radar for the most part. Olesen’s first-ever victory on the European Tour was at the Sicily Open. But his crowning achievement- and one that secured his place on Thomas Bjorn’s Ryder Cup side- was his victory at the 2017 Rolex Series event in Italy. He is also a two-time runner-up in Italy. A 10th place finish last year at Eichenreid (also designed by Rossknecht) should bode well for Olesen. This could be the perfect opportunity for him to display his awesome ball-striking capabilities.

David Horsey- To Win (60/1), To Place (13/1)
David Horsey has commented on how lockdown presented him with the opportunity to fine-tune his game. Using a net in his garden, he was able to work on some of his short-game deficiencies. Since lockdown ended, he has picked up five top 15 finishes. That included a tie for 13th at Wentworth and a tie for 10th at Valderrama. Clearly, he is in a rich vein of form. But perhaps more enticing is his exceptional record in Italy. He has six top 7 finishes in Italy. Furthermore, his first victory on the European Tour came at Eichenreid, a course also designed by Kurt Rossknecht.  

The Man to Beat 

Renato Paratore- To Win (25/1), To Place (11/2)
I’m opting for Renato Paratore to conquer the home conditions. This course should suit him wonderfully. He ranks 17th in driving distance and 16th in putts per round. That combination of brute strength and putting chops should make him an ideal candidate this week. Paratore has gone off the boil somewhat since winning the British Masters in July. But a 7th place at the flagship BMW PGA Championship will have given the young man plenty of confidence.  

Written by Damien Kayat for Hollywoodbets.

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