It took a little longer for the European Tour to get back on the links and they will take it slow with the first two events of the reconfigured season playing as dual ranking tournaments with the developmental Challenge Tour. That gives lesser-known players a chance to grab a victory at the Austrian Open starting Thursday. The tournament has a long history with both Tours and has been hosted by Diamond Country Club since 2010. This event wasn’t played last year so players will have to familiarize themselves with the layout on top of chiseling off four months worth of rust. Euro Tour vets Joost Luiten and Thomas Detry opened at the top of the odds board and are featured in a head-to-head matchup, one of several to wager on. Visit BookMaker.eu for a complete list of tournament matchup odds when you’re ready to place a wager.
Austrian Open Matchup Odds at BookMaker.eu
Sebastian Heisele +100 vs. Maximilian Kieffer -115
Adri Arnaus -125 vs. Nicolas Colsaerts +105
Renato Paratore -110 vs. Connor Syme -110
Joost Luiten -120 vs. Thomas Detry +100
Francesco Laporta -120 vs. Tapio Pulkkanen +105
Antoine Rozner -138 vs. Scott Vincent +120
Lorenzo Gagli -125 vs. Sami Valimaki +105
Miguel Angel Jimenez -105 vs. Haydn Porteous -105
Maximilian Kieffer +105 vs. Lorenzo Gagli -125
Tapio Pulkkanen -110 vs. Rikard Karlberg -110
Sami Valimaki -120 vs. Renato Paratore +100
Nicolas Colsaerts -110 vs. Lorenzo Gagli -110
Adri Arnaus -150 vs. Connor Syme +124
Need to Know
The first thing you need to know is that this is a dual ranking event, meaning there are a lot of golfers from the lower-tier Challenge Tour that you probably haven’t heard of. With a mix of players the tournament is similar to an alternate-field PGA event. And since it’s also a chore for oddsmakers to come up with matchup odds, the options are limited. But, there are some good ones on the board, and like we saw when the PGA Tour restarted anything can happen. Located just outside of Vienna, Diamond Country Club has hosted since 2010. It’s relatively long at over 7,450 yards and straightforward. Water is a prominent feature throughout with a lake nestled up against the right side of the 18th hole, which should add excitement to the finish. A combination of length and accuracy along with strong iron play is needed to compete this week.
Austrian Open Matchup Picks
Joost Luiten -120 vs. Thomas Detry
If there’s one player who stands out, it’s Luiten. Not only is he the biggest Euro circuit name on the roster, he’s had plenty of success at the host venue, reasons why he’s the betting favorite. His opponent Detry isn’t far behind making this the only matchup either appeared in when the listings hit the board. Luiten has a win here from back in 2013 and has never finished lower than seventh in five career starts. He was flashing nice form prior to the shutdown with a T21 at the Qatar Masters and T10 at the Oman Open.
Antoine Rozner -138 vs. Scott Vincent
The odds are a little steep for Rozner but getting a win in this matchup is better than the alternative. He had a fabulous 2019 on the Challenge Tour with a back-to-back wins last May part of his seven top-10s. Rozner was a birdie putt on the 72nd hole away from winning the Mauritius Open, settling for par and a frustrating runner-up finish. Rozner won a prep tournament during the shutdown, outdistancing the best golfers in France. He’s up to the challenge.
Maximilian Kieffer -115 vs. Sebastian Heisele
Solid but not spectacular, that’s Kieffer. And his game fits nicely with the layout at Diamond making him a perfect candidate in this matchup. Recent form is questionable with nothing better than T30 pre-shutdown, so hopefully the game got reinvigorated during the break. His only win came after several weeks on the shelf giving us a reason to believe. His last two starts here saw him hanging around the top of the leaderboard at the halfway point in both.
Miguel Angel Jimenez -105 vs. Haydn Porteous
The Diamond course underwent a redesign a few years ago, an operation that Euro Tour veteran Jimenez took part in. That doesn’t necessarily give him an advantage. What does help Jimenez is his experience. No one in the field has more of that than he does, and 21 ET wins is a statement in a young field. Still playing select Euro Tour events and taking part in the PGA Champions Tour has kept the Spaniard sharp. Coming off a T16 in Dubai, the shutdown likely helped regenerate the old man’s spirit.
Sami Valimaki +105 vs. Lorenzo Gagli
Valimaki has something no one else in the field has – a tournament win this season. The Fin took down the likes of Luiten, Gagli and Nicolas Colsaerts, all entered this week, along with other Euro Tour notables to claim the prize at the Oman Open in a playoff in the next to last tournament before the Tour went dark. He also took a share of seventh at the Vic Open in his start before the victory, putting his game in a good place. I’m betting it stays there after the hiatus.
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