Cyprus Open Betting Tips
Aphrodite Hills Golf Resort, Kouklia, Cyprus. Par 70, 6,877 Yards
Aphrodite Hills is a course that I have had the privilege to see in the flesh, although unfortunately I have never gotten around to playing it. It is largely as you would expect it to be; a short, picturesque, parkland course that borders the Mediteranean Sea and is more impressive in its aesthetics than it is a challenge for these players. The fairways are generous, the rough is not at all penal, and the length opens it up to the majority of the field to be able to contend if their wedge play and putting are in shape. One of the few defences here comes from the undulating terrain and the wind. The players will encounter several holes that are steeply up or down hill, and distance control will be challenging, particularly if the wind is up on what is a highly exposed layout. Several of the greens are protected by pot bunkers that can be very challenging if found, and the putting surfaces match the geography of the course with some wicked slopes. Intelligent players will fare well this week. This is a course for a thinking golfer who can plot their way around and putt well. This should be a great spectacle for the first ever European Tour event in Cyprus.
This is the first staging of the Cyprus Open.
The Market Leaders
England's Andy Sullivan (12/1) is the stand out market favourite having picked up his first win for three years at Celtic Manor, and he looked sharp in his last event three weeks ago when he finished third in Scotland. Sullivan is a great wind, and general links, player so the setup here should be to his liking. Sullivan putts well, particularly on more challenging greens as he has shown with wins at St Andrews and Kingsbarns. These greens might be a little slower, but he has performed on slower greens in South Africa before so that doesn't concern me. He is a worthwhile market leader.
Joost Luiten (22/1), Matthias Schwabb (22/1), and Thomas Detry (22/1) are all excellent wind players and each looks to bring a different skill set to Aphrodite this week which could realistically see each contend. Luiten has finishes of 11th and 10th (last week) in the last five weeks, and has seen success on similar resort style courses in Austria and the Netherlands. He is an imperious iron player and if he brings his 'A' game will be a real threat here.
Schwabb has seen his level dip somewhat since such a strong start to the season. He has yet to achieve a top 20 since the restart, and with his short game letting him down he is hard to back in an event where he would otherwise have likely been leading the market. Thomas Detry is a fantastic wind player who can shoot very low scores, and he perhaps looks the best of those on 22/1. His form is sketchy, but one or two hot rounds would make him very hard to stop, and he certainly has those in him.
Marcus Kinhult: 29/1 To Win
Marcus Kinhult absolutely loves short, tricky, golf courses and Aphrodite Hills looks like a perfect location for him to pick up his third European Tour title. Kinhult is one of the best iron players on Tour, particularly for distance control, and has all the tools to tackle a short, tricky, resort venue like this one. His first win came at Formby, a coastal link in the North of England, and he followed that up with another in Holland last year. Both of those courses were exposed, undulating courses where accurate wedge play and good putting was essential. Marcus won't be perturbed by the changes in elevation and controls his golf ball magnificently. His recent finishes give further cause for optimism with top 10s in both of his last two events; in stronger fields at the Irish and Scottish Opens. I fancy him to go very well this week and have backed him with 4 points e/w @ 25/1
Other Tip: Jordan Smith: 29/1 To Win
Jordan Smith has gone from an up and coming talent to a firmly established player in the upper echelons of the European Tour. Although he has yet to claim his maiden win, it seems an absolute certainty that it is just a matter of time having contended at various events throughout the season. Smith has a powerful swing that is compact and easy to repeat time and time again which makes for remarkable consistency. His game and strengths are not dissimilar to that of Kinhult, although he is slightly more explosive and as his short game fluctuates more can shoot either very low, or more average, scores. I did have Smith pegged to contend at an event where scoring was not as low as I expect that it will be this week, but I feel that a lot of the variables come together here, and on the back of a weekend off that Smith is absolutely ready to take that next step following top 15 finishes in his two previous events. 4 points e/w at 33/1
Following a rolling profit of 463 points in 2019, I am looking for an even better 2020. Each week I will pick between 2 to 4 selections at each event on the European and PGA Tours, and suggest a suitable staking plan.
|European Tour||-122 points|
|PGA Tour||+52 points|