Best bets for ISPS Handa Championship and Zurich Classic

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Get the best bets from Steve Rawlings, Dave Tindall and more of our golf betting experts for this week’s ISPS Handa Championship and Zurich Classic…

The DP World Tour returns to mainland Europe for the first time this year and our man’s back with his preview…

Steve Rawlings says: “Strong winds and rain are set to hit on Wednesday afternoon, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to clear completely before Thursday afternoon so the early starters on day one may just get the worst of it, with Friday morning predicted to be less breezy than Friday afternoon.

“As always, it’s dangerous to read to much into weather forecasts but at the time of writing, those drawn PM-AM may get the better of it on both Thursday and Friday…

“With so many unknowns, I’m in no rush to get stuck in here but I did think Nicolai Hojgaard looked generously priced at 32.031/1.

“Nicolai has won two of his last 14 tournaments. He’s missed his last four cuts but three of those were on the PGA Tour and the first of the four came a week after he’d won the Ras al Khaimah Championship – an event he won on the back of two other missed cuts.

“And prior to those weekend offs, the talented Dane had finished second at the Portugal Masters and fourth at the DP World Tour Championship after a couple of missed cuts. He strikes me as someone who’s either on or off and if he’s on, he’s too big.”

Steve’s bet:

Back Nicolai Hojgaard @ 32.031/1

Dave Tindall has three picks to be First-Round leader at the Lakes Course starting with a Danish player who has enjoyed playing here in the past…

Dave Tindall says: “With Q-School being held at this week’s venue, we have past results to go at despite this being a new tournament on the DP World Tour schedule.

And if playing that angle then Jeff Winther has to be in the crosshairs. The Dane twice won his card in emphatic style here, finishing second in 2017 and third in 2018. With such happy memories of those six-round marathons he’s worth a look for FRL at 80/1.

“Winther was the first-round leader the last time he teed it up in Spain when winning the Mallorca Open and he seems to love this part of Europe judging by five top fives in 13 starts on Spanish soil.

“Let’s make the 13:20 starter our headline pick.”

Dave’s bet:

Back Jeff Winther each-way at 81.080/1

Our man has longshot selections for both of this weeks events starting with a Swede who looks overpriced in Spain…

Steve Rawlings says: “For my first selection this week, I’m going for another player who’s provided profit for the column this year by trading at a single-figure price, Marcus Kinhult. He hit a low of 3.412/5 when a 140.0139/1 selection at the Kenya Open at the start of March.

“On that occasion the Swede finished eighth, but he followed that up with a third-place finish in the Qatar Masters last time out and I’m surprised to see him trading so high to win the ISPS Handa Championship in Spain given he’s no bigger than 66/1 on the High Street and that he’s been assigned the potentially favourable draw.

“Strong winds and rain have hit the course on Wednesday and the forecast suggests the remnants of that weather front should still be present on Thursday morning, so a PM-AM draw looks likely to be favourable.”

Steve’s bet:

Back Markus Kinhult @ 130.0129/1

Matt Cooper has three selections with the Betfair Sportsbook paying seven places and, as the first repeats what Steve has already said, here’s Matt’s second pick for the week…

Matt says: “Among those players with fond memories of Lumine are Daniel Gavins and David Law, who both won second stage events there, plus Zander Lombard, who shared the final stage win in 2018, Alejandro Canizares, who shared that win and was also fourth in 2019, and Ben Poke (won triumphed in 2019).

“Column favourite Sebastian Soderberg also came close to selection, the consequence of a win and sixth on the third tier, but the compiler likes him too. So, instead, second pick is the American Johannes Veerman, who closed the 2019 Final Stage with a pair of 66s to gain his card.

“Since then he’s established himself on circuit and played plenty of excellent golf on resort style courses with plenty of water. He was eighth at Dom Pedro and fourth at Aphrodite Hills in late 2020, eighth at Marco Simone and a winner at Albatross in the Czech Masters.

“”He was also bang in-contention at the Ras al Khaimah Championship before a sloppy final round. He could easily enjoy this test again.”

Mat’s bet:

Back Johannes Veerman each-way @ 51.050/1

Andy Swales provides the course info, the key stats about the players’ form and picks his ones to watch in Spain this week…

Andy says: “Designed by two-time Open champion Greg Norman, Infinitum used to be called Lumine Golf Club and is well known to a number of current DP World Tour players.

“For three straight years, from 2017 to 2019, the club’s Lakes and Hills courses shared duties in hosting the European Tour’s end of season Qualifying School, which is staged over 108 holes. And the Lakes Course was the sole host of a Challenge Tour event in 2014.

“Lumine Golf Club opened its doors in June 2008 with the Lakes Course laid out on low-lying wetlands. As its name suggests, the course has plenty of water hazards to test a golfer’s skill and nerve…

“Adri Arnaus is one of the better DP World Tour players yet to win a tournament. Two of his four runner-up finishes have happened during the last seven months, so the Spaniard may fancy his chances on home soil.”

Andy’s Player to Watch:

Back Adri Arnaus @ 32.031/1

The PGA Tour takes in its only stroke play team event of the year this week and there’s a strong field in attendance so find out who Steve is backing…

Steve Rawlings says: “What you do off the tee here is irrelevant. The fairways are generous but that doesn’t immediately hand the initiative to the big hitters. Brian Stuard, who won the final individual edition in 2016, ranked only 79th for Driving Distance and the average DD ranking for the previous ten course winners was 27.1. And the average Driving Accuracy ranking for the 11 course winners prior to the format change was 37.45.

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“Greens In Regulation was a fairly important stat here before the format change, with seven of the 11 winners ranking inside the top-ten for GIR but Stuard managed to get the job done in 2016 ranking only 73rd. He owed his success to a great short game and a red-hot putter…

“I’ve had a small bet on the favourites, Morikawa and Hovland, and the English duo of Tyrrell Hatton and Danny Willett, who I backed last year when they finished eighth. They’re a bigger price than they were 12 months ago and they’re in slightly better form but the pairing I like best is Max Homa and Talor Gooch, who are both usually great putters. “

Steve’s bet:

Back Max Homa and Talor Gooch @ 29.028/1

Andy Swales provides the course info, the key stats about the players’ form and picks his pair watch in New Orleans…

Andy says: “Laid out on the delta wetlands of this low-lying city, TPC Louisiana covers more than 250 acres and is dotted with more than 100 bunkers.

“Water comes into play on eight holes and, although rough is not a major issue when compared to many PGA Tour venues, the greens are heavily undulating.

“Although nowhere near as tiny as the putting surfaces experienced by the pros at Harbour Town last week, those in New Orleans are slightly smaller than the Tour average.

“Harold Varner & Bubba Watson are a team to watch. Watson is a former champion around TPC Louisiana, while Varner is enjoying the season of his career, so far.”

Andy’s Team to Watch:

Back Harold Varner and Bubba Watson @ 30.029/1

Author: Ellen Garcia