August 6-9 at Hanbury Manor Marriott Hotel @ CC, Ware – Hertfordshire, England
Par 71, 7042 yards
The European Tour continues for a third week on its English Swing of the rearranged schedule. The course is not a new one for the European Tour having held the English Open between 1997 and 1999. The opening nine holes were designed by Harry Vardon on back in the 1900s and front nine designed by Jack Nicklaus in 1991. I suspect if the Forest of Arden played on the easy side last week we can expect the same at this short track and back in the late 90s the winning score was circa 19 under par.
If the Course Plays Easy Who Do We Support This Week?
I will be looking through the previous two weeks’ results at the British Masters and Hero Open for clues to the players. Harry Vardon was better known for his many titles rather than course designs but he did design a course at Woodhall Spa that has regularly hosted the Amateur Championship and Brabazon Trophy while being considered a classic by many so there may be some clues from results past there. Another factor to consider is the three winners here in the late 90s were Darren Clarke, Lee and Per-Ulrik Johansson. Those players were well established Ryder Cup performers of their time and perhaps form at venues like the K-club, that they all performed well at, could be considered.
European Tour Betting Picks and Predictions
Matthew Jordan looks a player due a breakthrough on the European Tour and he finished 17th on the tour resumption at Close House. Last week he was unusually poor in the Midlands but that is easily forgiven when we consider he is a former St Andrews Links and Lytham Trophy winner as well as performing well in the Brabazon Trophy. He is possibly better suited to links golf but this easy test should pose no problems for the lad from the Wirral. Last year he won his maiden professional tournament on the Challenge Tour in Italy a looks one to keep onside during the British Swing. Having winning form at those classic courses that European greats like Lee Westwood and Darren Clarke have performed well at in the past is a link worth considering this week.
There was a marked improvement in Chris Paisley’s play at the Forest of Arden after a slow start to the resumption the previous week at the British Masters. Paisley is a player who knows how to win on the European Tour as a win in the 2018 South African Open illustrates. He was a 2008 Amateur Championship runner up at Woodhall Spa which is a plus and when Paisley finds form he is a player worth following as he regularly runs up high finishes in sequence. His putting statistics are superb as he lays in 7th position on the Strokes Gained Putting category giving him a solid look this week for a top 10 finish and a small stake on the win market.
Matthew Southgate has progressed in encouraging fashion through the British Masters and Hero Open resuming 2020 in better form than he was in before the Covid-19 hiatus. He also took a while to get over the disappointment of losing a duel with Viktor Perez at the Dunhill Links Championship in the Autumn. Prior to that, his best result was at the K-club when he was runner up to home favorite Rory McIlroy at 2016 Irish Open and as mentioned above the correlation is palpable. With those facts in mind, he has a solid look this week for the place and match bet markets.
European Tour Pick
- Chris Paisley – Win @ +3300
- Chris Paisley – Top 10 @ +325
- Matthew Southgate – Win @ +8000
- Matthew Southgate – Top 10 @ +750
European Tour Longshot
I thought Antoine Rozner was an eye-catcher last week in the Hero Open and he was a player I was keen on at the Tour resumption after a promising effort in the French Training Tournament. That tournament has been a decent form guide thus far with promising efforts from several of the competitors. At an attractive price, this young talent has the look of our longshot selection this week.
European Tour Longshot
- Antoine Rozner – Win @ +6600
- Antoine Rozner – Top 10 @ +750
European Tour Banker
My idea of a banker bet this week in Hertfordshire is Jack Singh Brar who caught my eye on his first tournament back in the British Masters where he finished 17th with 67s bookending his four rounds. The twenty-three-year-old from Southampton is in his second season on the European Tour after winning promotion through the Challenge Tour after a strong 2018 that saw him win the Cordon Golf Open in France. He has yet to register a top 5 finish on the European Tour but has accumulated an impressive seven top 20 finishes already in his short career. He did finish second in the Brabazon Trophy of 2017 which may be an indication that he will enjoy this week’s test. Singh Brar leads the Strokes Gained; putting category on the European Tour which should be a helpful strength in what should be a low scoring week in Southern England.
European Tour Banker
- Matthew Jordan to beat Ashley Chesters @ -120