Oman Open Betting Tips
Almouj Golf - Muscat, Oman - Par 72, 7365 Yards
The European Tour heads to Muscat in Oman this week for the third third staging of the Oman Open at the Almouj Golf Club. Ten miles West of downtown Muscat, this Greg Norman designed course sits alongside the picturesque Gulf of Oman, and will provide a fitting backdrop for some of Europe’s, and the World’s best players.
The course is a flat, exposed, treeless desert links with lots of sandy waste area. Wind will likely play a substantial part in determining the outcome this week, and I will be looking for strong wind and, likely, links players. Water is in play on ten of the holes, predominantly around the huge greens complexes which total around 9,000 square feet. The fairways are wide, but the rough is challenging, and the greens are well bunkered, all of which would suggest a tough winning score of around 10 to 15 under par depending on how breezy it gets.
Last Two Winners:
The Market Leaders
Belgian Thomas Pieters (9/1 comes in this week as the rather short priced favourite in what is a very open and flat market given the absence of any obvious favourites, combined with a maximum of only two years of course form away from a separate Challenge Tour event which was held here from 2013 to 2017. Pieters did turn up last year and would have been very close to the title barring a second round 75 which eventually saw him lose out to Japan's Kurt Kitayama by just two strokes. Pieters certainly has the game to suit any links course, and i expect a strong showing this week, but I wouldn't have him as the stand out favourite, and it appears that there is better value further down the market.
Martin Kaymer (14/1 is the only former Major champion in the field, and the 35 year old German is perhaps a surprise presence in Oman. He does however arrive in good form having placed in the top 20 on his last three starts, and at a course that should be perfectly suited to his game. Kaymer is a great links player; he won the USPGA at a windswept Whistling Straights as well as a US Open, and is a tough course specialist having won elsewhere at the likes of St Andrews and Le Golf National. Almouj Golf is a tough and windy setup that requires good distance control and accuracy with the irons which Martin has in spades. For me he should be the market favourite this week.
Thomas Detry (16/1, the second highest ranked Belgian in the field behind Pieters has made three appearances at Almouj, although he has yet to break into the top 30 in any of his visits here. Detry has a similar game to Pieters, and should be able to handle the conditions better than those previous showings suggest. His recent form is however sketchy, and with those other average showings and the lack of career wins, this market support seems excessive, and he is definitely one to leave alone this week, for me. Joost Luiten (20/1 won this event in 2018 and followed up with a strong showing last year to finish just outside of the top 10 following a second round 77. Luiten is regularly making cuts and hovering around the mid echelons of leaderboards, but this venue would be as good a fit as any for him to rediscover his winning ways, and the price for him doing so seems quite reasonable. He is another who excels on links golf courses.
Rob’s Betting Tips
Headline Betting Tip
Eleven time European Tour winner Martin Kaymer comes to Oman as the biggest name in the field, and, for me, the most overpriced given his stand out quality and seemingly obvious affinity with Almouj Golf. Kaymer has posted top 20s in his last three events before taking a four week break, and has been showing some of the exceptional golf which we all know he is capable of. Martin plays in the wind almost better than anyone with a low controlled ball flight, almost invariably from right to left which can pierce even the strongest of winds both from the tee, and with the irons. Directionally, Martin has struggled with some parts of his iron play, and that has let him down on occasions, but on the 9,000 square feet of putting surfaces here, that will be far less impactful, and a god putting week should see him right in contention.
I really like Kaymer's chances on a course where there are new betting angles to be had against the limited data available, and I shall be backing him with 4 points e/w at 14/1.
Ross Fisher narrowly missed a place for us a few weeks ago when he collected his second sixth place finish in as many weeks at the Saudi Invitational. That was a similarly exposed links course, and as with Kaymer, the suitability of Almouj Golf seems obvious. Despite a missed cut here last year following founds of 74 and 79, Ross bears all the hallmarks of a top links golfer who can contend on this type of tough wind swept track, and he arrives in far better form than was the case back in 2019. Fisher has his iron game dialled in, and lead the strokes gained tee to green in Saudi. The putting, as ever, can be streaky, but on a course that will place such a high premium on pure ball striking and course management, Fisher is an obvious selection. I recommend having 2 points e/w at 33/1.
Nicholas Colsaerts is an ultimate links course specialist, and he achieved his most recent win on a tough links set up in Madeira 18 months ago. Although he has been unable to follow that up with any further wins, Colsaerts game is clearly not in bad shape. He has made seven of his last eight cuts, and although he hasn't really threatened the tops of many leaderboards, there are few players as capable of going low on a links venue like Nicholas. Last year, he was unable to get much traction on his debut here, and four rounds in the 70s saw him finish 11 strokes off the lead. That experience should set him up for a far greater assault this year, and I suggest backing him with 2 points e/w at 100/1.
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||-53 points|
|PGA Tour||+74 points|
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