The European Tour stays in Cyprus for a second straight tournament at the Aphrodite Hills Resort. This week’s Cyprus Showdown, however, comes with a twist. Just so players who competed last week don’t get too comfortable with the surroundings the Tour is breaking out a new format. The first two rounds will be played as a stroke play event with the top 32 and ties advancing to Saturday. One more cut is made after the third round with the top 16 and ties moving on to Sunday. Scores are reset ahead of the final two rounds with the shootout winner determined by the lowest final round score. Callum Shinkwin and Kalle Samooja led the field at 20-under last week, which could give them an advantage in a matchup. Visit BookMaker.eu for a complete, updated list of matchup betting odds and to place your wager.
Cyprus Showdown Matchup Odds at BookMaker.eu
Connor Syme +105 vs. Matthew Southgate -125
Richard Bland -110 vs. Jack Senior -110
Adrian Meronk -120 vs. Pablo Larrazabal +100
Ross Fisher +105 vs. Grant Forrest -125
Alexander Bjork -110 vs. Masahiro Kawamura -110
Mikko Korhonen -110 vs. Joakim Lagergren -110
Shubhankar Sharma +125 vs. Sam Horsfield -145
Sami Valimaki +105 vs. Rasmus Hojgaard -125
Kalle Samooja -155 vs. Haotong Li +135
Callum Hill -110 vs. Louis De Jager -110
Marcus Armitage +105 vs. Paul Waring -125
Jason Scrivener -145 vs. Nicolas Colsaerts +125
Matthew Jordan -130 vs. Romain Langasque +110
Thorbjorn Olesen -110 vs. Gavin Green -110
Joost Luiten -105 vs. Paul Waring -115
Jordan Smith -115 vs. Benjamin Hebert -105
Johannes Veerman -120 vs. Jamie Donaldson +100
Jorge Campillo +100 vs. Callum Shinkwin -120
Chris Paisley +100 vs. Maverick Antcliff -120
Sebastian Soderberg +100 vs. Richie Ramsay -120
Adrien Saddier +105 vs. Sebastian Heisele -125
Thomas Detry -115 vs. Robert MacIntyre -105
Rasmus Hojgaard -125 vs. Antoine Rozner +105
Robert MacIntyre -130 vs. Garrick Higgo +110
Thomas Detry -120 vs. Matthias Schwab +100
Need to Know
The innovative format will be tested for the first time. With scores wiped clean after the second and third rounds you can’t give up on your investment, as long as whoever you’re backing makes it that far. Previous results at Aphrodite Hills Resort should be looked at, though the sample size is small since last week’s event was the first ever played. A number of players return, including the top-10 finishers at the Cyprus Open. And as expected it wasn’t a terribly difficult layout with Shinkwin and Samooja tying for the 72-hole lead at 20-under. The top-14 on the leaderboard all put up four red numbers and finished at -13 or better. At less than 7,000 yards, the short distance, wide fairways and large greens helped the scoring. Wind is the primary defense for the exposed coastal layout, though it wasn’t a factor last week.
Cyprus Showdown Matchup Picks
Sami Valimaki +105 vs. Rasmus Hojgaard
I’m taking a risk on this pick, but Valimaki showed just a few months ago that he can tame the same course in consecutive weeks. He followed a T6 with a runner-up at Celtic Manor and played solid golf last week scoring 68 or lower in all four rounds to earn another T6. Hojgaard was a late entry to the field after competing in Bermuda last week and he’s fallen off since a heater over the summer. The course isn’t difficult, which is why Hojgaard is among the favorites, but having played it already I’m leaning toward Valimaki and the plus odds.
Kalle Samooja -155 vs. Haotong Li
What has happened to Li? A solid showing at the PGA Championship should have vaulted him to better things, but his game came off the rails. He withdrew from the Andalucia Masters and missed the cut in three of the next four starts, including last week. Samooja came so close last week eventually losing in a playoff, but his game was solid and the motivation to finish off that maiden victory is there.
Jason Scrivener -145 vs. Nicolas Colsaerts
Apparently Scrivener likes the Aphrodite Hills layout. After three straight MCs he torched the course with a closing 64 last week finishing three-shots off the pace at T6. He got better as the week progressed, shooting 16-under over the final 54 holes. Scrivener is a consistent putter and his approach game is among the best on Tour. Those strengths came in handy last week and the Aussie has to be bubbling with confidence. Like Samooja the price is steep, but I like how those two navigated the course last week.
Jorge Campillo +100 vs. Callum Shinkwin
Shinkwin had the best time of anybody last week winning the Cyprus Open on the first playoff hole. And that’s exactly why I’m staying away from him. It’s hard to win back-to-back and the excitement of that first Tour win is still prevalent. I’m fading Shinkwin more than I’m backing Campillo, though the Spaniard has played solid golf since the restart. He went par or better in all four rounds last week, though he finished well down the leaderboard. Campillo needs to be more aggressive and nobody knows that better than he does.
Garrick Higgo +110 vs. Robert MacIntyre
Talk about an interesting matchup this is it. Both players tied for third last week at 18-under, showing they know their way around the course. I backed Higgo last week and the move paid off, so why not go back to the well. His success on the Sunshine Tour and in earlier dual-ranking events shows the kid has a bright future. Higgo has been more consistent over the last few months, which is why I’m throwing down on him this week. And the price is a bonus.
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