Written By Robert Cobley - 4th February 2020
ISPS Handa Vic Open Betting Tips
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 Beach & Creek Courses, 13th Beach Golf Links - Barwon Heads, Victoria, Australia
The links courses at the 13th Beach Resort play host to the ISPS Handa Vic Open for the eighth consecutive year as the European Tour heads to its final event in Australia until November. Set against the dramatic backdrop of the Bellarine Peninsula, some 90 minutes drive south west from Melbourne, this Tony Cashmore 2001 designed resort provides a relatively stuff challenge to the field, particularly given that both of the host courses are under 7,000 yards. The field plays the Beach and Creek courses once apiece over the opening two days, and then Beach Course is the only venue for the weekend's play.
The Beach Course - 6778 Yards, Par 72
The Beach Course is the primary host venue for the event, although both courses are incredibly similar both in setup and in difficulty. The slightly shorter of the two, the players need to play intelligent strategic golf to be successful. A links and parkland hybrid, there is not much danger, but the natural undulating slope, and invariably the weather, make for a tough test. The par threes are excellent holes and consistently the hardest ranked on the course. The par fours require straight driving (often with a lesser wood or an iron), and accurate approach shots into green complexes that are well protected by significant bunkering. Inaccurate tee shots are punished with deep rough, and it will be steady, strategic players that will be most in with a chance this week.
The Creek Course - 6940 Yards, Par 72
The Creek Course is similar to the Beach, although a little longer. There is nothing really spectacular, and as with its compatriot, the wind and the thick rough are its primary defences. From the tee, the fairways are generous, and if the players keep the ball straight and manage around 80% greens in regulation (high, but this course is short), then they will be able to get themselves into strong contention. This week I am looking for good wind management, patience, and a good short game. The weather forecast is tough, and I expect a winning score between ten and twelve under par.
Last Five Winners:
|2017||Dimitros Papadapos||- 16|
The Market Leaders
We have three way joint favourites at the top of the market for the ISPS Handa Vic Open as the market struggles to pull together the most likely outcomes in what is generally a very weak field. Australian Lucas Herbert (12/1) has played here every year since 2013, and achieved a highest finish of 6th two years ago amongst an array of less impressive returns. Herbert does arrive on the back of his long awaited first European Tour title at the Dubai Desert Classic two weeks ago, and in a time where Australians seem to be winning just about everything, I think the market has Herbert in the right place leading the field. Lucas is not a big hitter but his intelligent and accurate game should be a good match with the Beach Golf Links, and I wouldn't be surprised if he improved upon that 6th place from 2017. Fellow Australian Brad Kennedy (12/1) sits on the same mark as Herbert, and it is his form locally aligned with a 2nd place here last year that has caught the market's eye. Kennedy posted top tens in three of his last events of 2019, and although yet to play this year he looks a good contender. Whether he justifies sharing the market top spot is another matter, and for me he is the one to leave alone at the top of the market.
Along with the home favourites is China's Li Haotong (14/1) who has been an ever present on the European Tour this season without really threatening the top of the leaderboards despite playing some very good golf. Li has yet to play in this event, and it seems a strange addition to his schedule, although he will likely have the next couple of weeks off. Whether this type of course suits his game is yet to be seen. It certainly doesn't hole the synergies that it does for someone like Herbert, and at the price he is another that I am happy to leave alone. Jason Scrivener (14/1) is given the same chance, and there is much more to like about the Australian who finished 5th in this event last year. Jason also ended 2019 strongly with back to back top 10s in the Australian events. He is a different animal in home soil, and every bit justifies his place amongst the market leaders.
Min Woo Lee (18/1) and Ryan Fox (18/1) are the others that the market likes this week. Lee has a top six finish here in 2017, and has some good recent finishes on the European Tour including top 5 finishes in two of his last five events. I'm not sure if this is the best fit for the adopted Australian, and he is one to leave for me. Fox is a fantastic links player, who could really challenge if he manages to keep his ball out of trouble which, sadly, is a substantial question mark. The 33 year old New Zealander only has one made cut here in four attempts, and in his current sketchy run of form, I don't think this right and blustery venue is the place to change that.
Rob’s Golf Betting Tips
Headline Betting Tip
This week in Europe (or Australia if you will) I have settled upon just the two selections as I look to get the numbers moving in the right direction after a couple of frustrating weeks, including two players missing the places by a shot last week including 80/1 Ross Fisher.
Lucas Herbert's opening European Tour victory was long overdue, and to have secured it at one of the Tour's most iconic venues and join the likes of Tiger Woods on the trophy will have given him great encouragement. The Emirates Club would probably have been the last place that I would have expected to see Herbert be successful, but he has created such a strong all round game that he is now genuinely a contender wherever he plays. Lucas's strengths primarily are in his straight and consistent golf. He keeps the ball on the fairways, hits more than the average number of greens, and has a fantastic short game to get him out of trouble when required. That type of golf is exactly what is required at mid range scoring venues like Beach Golf Links, and with a win under uis belt I expect Herbert to get himself into contention again here, and he is, for me, the stand out favourite in the field.
This is Herbert's seventh visit to this course and despite some average finishes, he does have a top six finish to his name, and it isn't hard to see that being developed upon this week as he returns home as a European Tour winner. I generally expected him to be nearer half this price, so I am very happy to have 4 points e/w at 12/1.
Other Betting Tip
Andrew Dodt is a player that I have had the privilege of spending 18 holes of links golf with at the Scottish Open two years ago as he competed for the title at Dundonald near Glasgow, and the Australian's pedigree in this format is undisputed. Dodt is a fantastic wind player, very much in the mould of the traditional Australian golfers like Norman and Pampling, and the tough conditions combined with the relatively short courses at 13th Beach Links should be just his type of venue. After a slow 2019, Andrew looked more comfortable towards the end of the year back on home soil, and produced a couple of top 10s on the Australian swing of the European Tour. Having regularly competed on the main Tour, fields of this relative weakness in his home country should be the exact events where Dodt gets himself into contention. His one visit here last year promised much after an opening five under par 67, but ultimately he failed to deliver and was cut after the Saturday. Andrew clearly as the game for these courses, and with his strong showings towards the end of last year, i think he could be a real feature, and recommend backing him with 2 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.
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