Betting Tips for 21st to 24th April 2022
The European Tour has had to get used to making the best of a bad situation over the past couple of years. There was no time to wallow in disappointment at the news that the ISPS Handa Championship could not take place in Japan as originally planned. Instead, the tour’s administrative wheels were quickly put in motion and the tournament moved to Spain.
Avid European golf fans will be familiar with the host venue for the ISPS Handa Championship. Infinitum Golf styles itself as, “the best golf and leisure experience in Europe’. It’s certainly very popular with golfing tourists who get to enjoy some great food, drink and hospitality and have their pick of three different courses with 45 holes in total. Even those who don’t get the chance to pack up their clubs and head to the sun will know Infinitum as it used to be Lumine, host of the European Tour’s Qualifying School.
It was the Lakes Course that was most feared by players at Q-School and it’s the Greg Norman design that plays host to the DP World Tour this week. This is not the sort of course that players in need of some easing back to the grind of tour life after a few weeks off will enjoy. The Lakes Course is a challenging layout with water present throughout. It’s not long at under 7,000 yards but it will ask questions of the players’ ability to find the right part of the fairways and greens while play on the greens could separate the challengers from the rest of the elite ball strikers.
The Lakes Course will play all the more difficult early in the tournament as wind and rain are in the forecast for the first couple of days. There’s also the suggestion of thunderstorms on Wednesday which may rob players of valuable time getting to know the course. The forecast is much better for the weekend so it could be a case of holding on to make the cut before playing more aggressively at the weekend. That suggests we could be in for an entertaining event but who reflects the best value in the betting?
Rasmus Hojgaard and Bernd Wiesberger are probably worthy of their place at the top of the betting but neither man is exactly rock solid with their putter so neither makes huge appeal at 18/1. Adri Arnaus (25/1) is a more consistent putter but finds trouble off the tee too often while Pablo Larrazabal may find his approach play lets him down. All of this suggests that it’s best to throw some darts at longer prices this week starting with Johannes Veerman at odds of 66/1.
Veerman has been hit and miss thus far on the DP World Tour. After some positive early results he missed the cut twice in South Africa. While missing the cut always prompts professional players to ask questions of themselves, Veerman will know that the Lakes Course is a very different proposition to the long, dry South African venues that didn’t suit his game. An excellent putter on his day, Veerman impressed with his approach play last season and if he returns to something approach his best he could well return nicely for his backers.
At his best, Thorbjorn Olesen has the game to win a tournament of this quality with something in hand. Unfortunately, Olesen’s best came about four years ago and he has really struggled to click back into gear since returning from his suspension following his acquittal on several charges in December of last year. Olesen has sought to keep his head down and work away on his golf game and there have been some positive signs. His putting remains very good and although, while there is room for improvement with his play from tee to green, things are starting to pick up. This could be the week where Olesen gets himself back into contention from where the competitive juices can flow and see him claim at least a place at a tempting 50/1.
It’s been a case of quality over quantity for Marcel Siem this season. The German has made just three starts on the DP World Tour so far but his results have been okay, with a share of ninth place when last seen at the Ras Al Khaima Classic the best of the lot. Siem grabbed the limelight with his performance at last year’s Open Championship. His challenge may have faded after a great start but he gained a lot of confidence from that run and will be thinking about another successful summer ahead. Siem’s solid play from tee to green doesn’t catch the eye but it could be just what is required this week so he is one to back each way at odds of 125/1.
|2022||Infinitum Golf||Pablo Larrazabal|
2022: Pablo Larrazabal
Spanish golf fans were delighted with the news that the 2022 ISPS Handa Championship was moved to Infinitum Golf after it became clear the tournament could not take place in Japan as scheduled. That delight faded somewhat due to the weather in Tarragona. Heavy rain meant the tournament was stop-start in the early rounds but the hardy Spanish fans were ultimately rewarded as Pablo Larrazabal earned his first DP World Tour win on home soil.
Larrazabal, like the fans, found the going difficult in the early stages of the tournament. He plugged on though and gave himself an outside chance of victory in the final round which began with him in sixth place. He knew that he would have to go seriously low to win as he had a deficit to make up while scoring was sure to be low on a receptive golf course. What he didn’t know was that he had a sensational round of 62 in the locker.
It was an incredible run of five birdies around the turn that transformed a good round into a great one, one good enough to deliver the trophy. Everybody else in contention knew what Larrazabal was doing, but nobody could match the score he was producing, including overnight leader Adrian Otageui, who fell just one shot short of forcing a playoff.