Written 3rd December 2019
Bet UK: Australian Open Golf Preview
Robert Cobley is a maths graduate with years of experience in the sports betting industry. He has now teamed up with Bet UK to bring his golf betting tips to our readers.
The Australian Golf Club - Sydney, Australia - Par 72 7,050 Yards
The 2019 Australian Open heads back to one of it's most revered venues this week as a strong international field assembles the week before next week's Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne. The Australian Golf Club is much as you would expect from an inland course in this part of the world; hard, fast, lush, and with an abundance of bushes and natural hazards to keep the field honest throughout the entirety of the 72 holes.
At 7050 yards, The Australian is not a long course, but its teeth come not in length, but the exceptionally tough layout. The tee shots here are extremely tight, and with subtle doglegs on the majority of holes positioning from the tee is imperative. The fairways are covered in natural mounds and run offs, and with the ball likely to be running 50-60 yards on the fairways, any player that moves the ball the wrong way in the air could suffer significantly with calls running off into the bushes and trees from where penalty drops are not uncommon. This week will see a lot of irons and rescue clubs from the tee as the players look to avoid the hazards (not to mention the significant bunkering) offered up in the landing areas around the Australian. Whoever wins this week will need to keep the ball in the fairway. With accuracy taking precedence over length I'll be looking to shot makers like locals Cameron Davis and Matt Jones who have enjoyed success here over the past few years.
There is little respite for the players with the approach shots here either. The greens are hard, fast, and the runoff areas both long and wide are punishing to any shots that aren't pinpoint accurate. These feed into collection areas that throughout the week become littered with divots, and can lead to some shocking lies and scores over the weekend. The greenside bunkers are huge, and if any player misses the greens on the wrong side then bogey will be a more than acceptable outcome. This is the definition of a strategic shotmakers, golf course, and local players have the edge.
Last Five Winners:
The Market Leaders
Big name Australian and 2009 champion Adam Scott (6/1) comes into this week as the market favourite. It is perhaps a surprise that Scott has only won this event once given that he has played every year barring 2017, and he has stated this week how much he would love to repeat that success on one of his favourite golf courses leading into the Presidents Cup next week. This year has been one of the best for many years for Adam with his long game as good as ever, and his putting seeing its best season since 2011. The strategy for Scott this week will be to shape long irons and three woods into the fairways, and to attack the flags with high mid irons to stop them on the hard, fast greens, and he has every chance of success. In his two Australian Opens here he has managed finishes of 5th and 2nd, and it certainly isn't beyond him to go one better this week. If he can get his putter working anywhere over 75% then Scott will take an awful lot of beating.
South African Louis Oosthuizen (15/2) is another international player over for the Presidents Cup next week, and he has taken the opportunity to compete in his first ever Australian Open. It's a shame that Oosthuizen hasn't appeared here more often as this parkland course bears all the hallmarks of a links like venue, and should play straight into his hands. We had Louis as a pick at Sun City three weeks ago where he went odds on in the first round before inexplicably melting down over the next three days to finish 6th. If anything those events should reinvigorate Oousthuizen, and if he comes here 100% focused on the job in hand and not looking ahead to next week then he could well be in the mix. Where his mind is would be my concern, and for that reason I am able to look past him at a single figure price.
Paul Casey (9/1) is another player making his debut at the Australia Golf Club in what is a surprising move. Casey has decided to play this and the Australian Masters next week, and will certainly be looking for more than a few souvenirs from his trip down under. Casey has a similar game to Oosthuizen, although is in slightly less good form. Were this event six months ago, Casey would have been half the price, but the quotes seem fair given his lack of a top 10 finish since his win in Germany three months ago. Australian duo Cameron Smith (10/1) and Marc Leishman (11/1) make up the remainder of the top end. Smith is a highly talented player who finished 4th here in 2017. Since then he has kicked on in his career, and the firm fast fairways will suit his game perfectly. He has a chance. Leishman's game has been headed somewhat in the other direction lately with a 3rd place in Shanghai in September the one flash of form for the long time Aussie number 3. Marc's only appearance here yielded a missed cut in 2015, and he would need to be showing a lot more to be seriously considered as a pick this week.
Rob’s Golf Betting Tips
Headline Betting Tip
Lucas Herbert: 33/1 To Win
Lucas Herbert is a fast improving 23 year old Australian who has now been plying his trade on the European Tour for the past two seasons. This year has seen some impressive returns, amongst them top 10s at the Dubai Desert Classic, European Open, and making the cut at the USPGA Championship on a brutally long course that could not be less suited to the talented young shot maker. Herbert's game is very much that of an intelligent, strategic, player who plots his way around tough golf courses and excels more as the challenge grows. In his 23 events on Tour this season, Herbert has missed just 5 cuts, and The Australia Club represents the perfect opportunity for him to challenge for his maiden title.
Lucas led here in 2017 going into the weekend after opening rounds of 66 and 67, only to fall away at the weekend. That performance was as a 21 year old, and he has every chance to improve upon that eventual 6th place this week. In a field that lacks depth past the top 10 in the market, Herbert looks a great bet to me, and I'm happy to recommend 3 points e/w at 33/1.
Other Betting Tips
Ryan Fox makes the short trip across from New Zealand having won on his last visit to Australia in the super 6 tournament in Perth back in February. Fox doesn't completely fit the bill of the type of player I would expect to enjoy success here; he hits the ball miles, and his game from the tee is definitely his strong point. I had the privilege of walking 9 holes with Fox at Portrush and he hits the ball longer, and straighter, than any player I've seen. The weaknesses for Fox are on the second shots and around the greens, and that could well punish him here, however he should set up enough opportunities to contend as long as he keeps the really big numbers off his card.
Fox grew up playing links golf, and the lie of the land here with the need to create all types of shots will not be unfamiliar to him. If Fox avoids double bogey or worse all week he will almost certainly be right there contending for the title. I will have 2 points e/w at 33/1.
World number 963 Josh Younger is not a name that will be familiar to many people, but the 35 year old Queenslander achieved his first professional win last week in a playoff at the New South Wales Open. Younger led on 19 under par on the 18th hole but a double bogey having driven into the water dropped him back into a share. It took resilience and character for Younger, who has two previous runners up finishes, to come back and win that event, and with the monkey off his back, he can perhaps enjoy himself this week in more illustrious company, and that could reap rewards. Younger is a solid tee to green player who does nothing spectacularly well, but who also has no discernable weaknesses. With the winning score likely to be around 10 to 12 under par, Josh fits the profile, and he is one that I am certainly happy to have on board at the price with 1 point e/w at 125/1.
Bet On Joshua v Ruiz II at Bet UK
Ahead of Anthony Joshua’s world title fight against Andy Ruiz, bet £10 on round betting at Bet UK and get a £10 Free to bet on another round. Read the thoughts of our boxing betting expert for the latest Joshua v Ruiz betting tips.
*All odds from Bet UK’s online betting markets correct at the time of writing.
If you are betting on the RSM Classic, please gamble responsibly and remember that when the fun stops, stop. All players must be 18+, begambleaware.org