Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: European Tour: Cyprus Showdown Preview

European Tour: Cyprus Showdown Preview

Joost Luiten

We take a look at the European Tour's Cyprus Showdown taking place at PGA National Cyprus. 

Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

European Tour 2020
Cyprus Showdown
PGA National Cyprus, Aphrodite Hills, Paphos, Cyprus
5th-8th November

Last week’s event in Cyprus was perhaps one of the most visually stunning European Tour events you are likely to see. Aphrodite Hills is really unlike any course I have any seen before, with some drastic changes in elevation leading to occasional feelings of vertigo. Calum Shinkwin defied the odds last week to come from nowhere and claim his maiden Tour victory. There is precedent already this season for back-to-back events on the tour: Celtic Manor Resort hosted back-to-back events in August. This week promises to be an entirely different affair, however, with a brand-new format being utilized. It’s really something to behold, a format that will really destroy traditional betting analysis. 

 While you can’t help but admire the ingenuity of the Tour during this difficult period, I’m not quite sure I can get on board with this haphazard arrangement. A field of 105 is set to tee off this week. They will face an extremely harsh halfway cut, with the top 36 players and ties continuing through the weekend. The scores will be bizarrely reset at this halfway point, with the players competing on Saturday to qualify for the top 16 and ties. Sunday’s scoring will once again be reset, with pretty much everything boiling down to Sunday’s round. So, in essence you can win this event playing fairly mediocre golf for the first three days, even if someone else shoots 62 for the first three days. It just doesn’t feel right. 

Designed by Cabell Robinson and opened in 2002, this course underwent a drastic modernisation effort in 2017, all in order to qualify for full PGA status. This exposed coastal course was really decimated by the pros last week: both Callum Shinkwin and Kalle Samooja reached 20-under-par for the week. This week may prove slightly more difficult, with the winds expected to blow slightly harder. Furthermore, the course seemed to be getting firmer as the week progressed. Having said all that, most of the players this week will now have an excellent idea of how to tackle this picturesque setting. 

The odds reflect the schizophrenic nature of this event. While it may be harder to pick an outright winner this week, you will at least get reasonable odds for in-form players. Thomas Detry leads the markets despite not registering his first European tour victory. Robert Macintyre has been solid of late while Sami Valimaki really should have seen out last week’s event. Rasmus Hojgaard returns from America this week while Sam Horsfield attempts to reclaim some of his early season form.

Last Week’s Top 5
Calum Shinkwin (-20) *won in a playoff
Kalle Samooja (-20)
Robert Macintyre (-18)
Garrick Higgo (-18) 
Jamie Donaldson (-18)

To Win Outright:
Thomas Detry 30/1 | Robert Macintyre 33/1 | Matthias Schwab 33/1 | Sami Valimaki 35/1 | Garrick Higgo 35/1 

Value Bets

Rasmus Hojgaard-To Win 40/1 | To Place 17/2
It may seem a bit risky to pick one of the players who never competed last week (especially considering that the player is only 19 years of age). He’s also coming off a ten hour plus flight from the States. But this isn’t just any teenager. This is a guy with two titles already this season- including one at the Belfry towards the end of August. He also had a decent debut on the PGA Tour, finishing in a tie for 37th. He demonstrated his power in the States, finishing 5th for driving distance. What makes him more enticing is his ability to go low in the final round of events. He shot the low-final round in back-to-back events (The English Championship and UK Championship). 

Wilco Nienaber: To Win 55/1 | To Place 12/1
Big-hitting South African Wilco Nienaber was one of last week’s interesting sub-plots. This is the man who currently ranks 1st on tour in driving distance. He was blasting the ball off the tee (which should have been a huge advantage on this relatively short course). But a 3rd round 79 saw him finish well down the field. But a closing 64 showed why he could be so dangerous this week. He just has to hang in there for the first three days. His familiarity with the course should prevent another 79 on Sunday. 

The Man to Beat: Thomas Detry: To Win 30/1 | To Place: 13/2
This could be the week that uber-talented Belgian Thomas Detry finally gets the job done. Though leading the markets, Detry has almost become a parodic figure after continually failing to claim his first win. He already has two runner-up finishes in the post-lockdown events. He was once again in contention last week. Though he had to ultimately settle for 10th place: this was greatly affected by a 7 on the 3rd hole on Sunday. This format could very well suit him. He seems to get twitchy seeing his name on leaderboards, so knowing that Sunday is virtually a shoot-out may simplify matters for the Belgian. 

Written by Damien Kayat.

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