The penultimate stop on the UK Swing has the European Tour in Newport, Wales – again – for the remaking of the ISPS Handa Wales Open. The tournament was a regular part of the Tour’s rotation from 2000-2014, returning this year as part of the reimagined schedule. Another quirk has the field playing a second straight event at Celtic Manor Resort, a layout that produced a 2-shot victory for Sam Horsfield at last week’s Celtic Classic. It was the second win in three starts for Horsfield, who hit the board as the second favorite. A number of players are back for a second go on this course with Thomas Pieters the betting favorite. Visit BookMaker.eu for a complete list of tournament matchup odds when you’re ready to place a wager.
ISPS Handa Wales Open Matchup Odds at BookMaker.eu
Oliver Fisher -110 vs. Oscar Lengden -110
Calum Hill +105 vs. Guido Migliozzi -125
Mikko Korhonen -110 vs. Ryan Fox -110
Jason Scrivener -125 vs. Ross Fisher +105
Gavin Green -125 vs. Jordan Smith +105
Adrian Meronk -105 vs. Scott Vincent -115
Matthew Jordan -110 vs. Dean Burmester -110
Thomas Pieters -185 vs. Hao-Tong Li +160
Min Woo Lee -105 vs. Ashley Chesters -115
Kurt Kitayama +100 vs. Connor Syme -120
Adri Arnaus -105 vs. Justin Harding -115
Hao-Tong Li +125 vs. Robert MacIntyre -145
Adrian Otaegui -120 vs. Sean Crocker +100
Lorenzo Gagli -115 vs. Chris Paisley -105
Thomas Pieters -135 vs. Sam Horsfield +115
Jason Scrivener -125 vs. Alexander Bjork +105
Matthew Southgate +120 vs. Jack Senior -140
Sam Horsfield -140 vs. Hao-Tong Li +120
Brandon Stone +105 vs. Jeff Winther -125
Aaron Rai -120 vs. Romain Langasque +100
Robert Rock +125 vs. Renato Paratore -145
Nicolas Colsaerts -110 vs. Richie Ramsay -110
Mikko Korhonen -125 vs. Eddie Pepperell +105
Jordan Smith -120 vs. Marcus Kinhult +100
Marcus Armitage +100 vs. Maximilian Kieffer -120
Joachim B. Hansen -160 vs. Marc Warren +140
Wil Besseling -115 vs. Sebastian Heisele -105
Thomas Pieters -120 vs. Robert MacIntyre +100
Eddie Pepperell -110 vs. Ryan Fox -110
Wilco Nienaber +155 vs. Thorbjorn Olesen -175
Sam Horsfield +100 vs. Robert MacIntyre -120
Ross Fisher -110 vs. Alexander Bjork -110
Gavin Green -145 vs. Marcus Kinhult +125
John Catlin -145 vs. Sami Valimaki +125
Need to Know
The 7,354 yard layout on the Twenty-Ten Course at Celtic Manor didn’t undergo any big changes during the week, unlike what we saw at Muirfield Village on the PGA Tour when it hosted back-to-back tournaments. That definitely gives players who competed in the Celtic Classic an advantage. We are, however, expected to see a change in the weather. Scores were much lower last week than what we’ve seen in the past on this layout thanks to near perfect conditions. Wind and rain is in the forecast. We saw what players are capable of when weather cooperates, we’ll see how the field adjusts with more obstacles. The layout isn’t easy; it’s a stiff test for players who aren’t accustomed to a links-style course. There is water on about half the holes, combined with wind that could be a problem. Look for lower scores this time around.
ISPS Handa Wales Open Matchup Picks
Sami Valimaki +125 vs. John Catlin
It was a rough go for Valimaki since his win at the Oman Open in February. That maiden win should have vaulted the Fin up the charts however it had the opposite effect. I saw a more disciplined player last week when Valimaki responded to his MC at the English Open by tearing up Celtic Manor over the final 36 holes en route to a T6. Carding 65-66 over the final two days should give him confidence this time around and I favor backing him at plus-odds.
Alexander Bjork -110 vs. Ross Fisher
Bjork also got better as the Celtic Classic rolled on scoring 8-under over the final 36 holes to move into a tie for 27th. He’s been swinging it well lately evidenced by his T3 at the Hero Open and making the cut in his last four starts. He showed how his game plays to this course with solid drives and strong putting. If he can put it all together this week he should be contending for the title as well as knocking off his matchup partner.
Thomas Pieters -120 vs. Robert MacIntyre
Backing Pieters last week was a risk since he hadn’t teed it up since before the restart. He proved what a fool I was by not believing in him. An opening 64 put him in the driver’s seat and he played well all week, being undone by a 70 last Saturday. Still, grabbing a share of third at 15-under on what many consider a difficult course wasn’t a bad start. Now that he’s chiseled off some of the rust I expect even bigger things. He smacks the ball off the tee and that worked for him last week. There’s no reason to believe it won’t happen again.
Hao-Tong Li +120 vs. Sam Horsfield
With a pair of wins in three starts, including his triumph here last week, it’s no wonder Horsfield is a big favorite in this matchup. However, with conditions expected to be a little different I’m not high on his ability to make another run. Li, on the other hand, had time to digest his performance at the PGA Championship where he held the 36-hole lead and finished T17. He faded in the third-round at Harding Park but regrouped to finish with a 69 playing an entire week in conditions that will be similar to what he’ll see at Celtic Manor. It’s hard to pass on him at this price.
Gavin Green -125 vs. Jordan Smith
I’m counting on Green building off his sensational final round 63 last week to conquer his matchup partner this week. He finished T11 at 12-under while struggling with his driver, which is typically one of his stronger clubs. Keep the rest of the game intact with a little more support off the tee and Green is in good shape to come out ahead.
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