Italian Open 2016 Golf Betting Preview – Thursday 15th September By @herefordrich

Last weeks golf

A second poor week in a row if truth be told, as 2/4 picks made the weekend, but neither Fisher or Zanotti threatened to place once they had both started their third rounds slowly. Frustratingly both had good stats for the week, with the Englishman finishing 2nd in the field for GIR and the Paraguayan ranking first for driving accuracy (DA), 11th for GIR and 20th for putts per green in regulation (PPGIR) – still, we move on to a fresh week, full of hope…..

Tournament History

The Italian Open is into its 73rd edition and dates way back to 1925, making it one of the most historic golf tournaments hosted in mainland Europe. It has been an ever present on the European Tour since the tours inception in 1972 and this year returns to the Golf Club Milano for the second year running. Eighth occasion overall.

Rikard Karlberg became the fourth different Swedish golfer to win this event since 1998 when he lifted the trophy in 2015 whilst Ian Poulter, Gonzalo Fernandez Castano and Hennie Otto have both won two Italian Opens since the year 2000.

Despite being a nomadic event with many courses used over the years, the winning score is usually very low. Ten of the last sixteen winners between Poulter in 2000 and Karlberg last year hitting -19 or better.

This year the field is strong. Headlined by Ryder Cuppers Martin Kaymer, Lee Westwood, Danny Willett, Chris Wood, Matt Fitzpatrick, Rafa Cabrera-Bello and Andy Sullivan, plus home hero Francesco Molinari and last weeks winner, Joost Luiten.

The Course

Golf Club Milano opened in 1928 and having been modernised (lengthened) in 1990 it now plays to a yardage of 7,156. The course plays to a par of 71 courtesy of three par five’s. The 1st, 9th, 14th – the 16th was a par 5 last year and played the 2nd easiest and appears to have been altered to a par 4 this time around. There are four par three’s all of which come inside the first two thirds of the course. Three of them measure over 200 yards and they played the 2nd, 5th and 8th toughest holes last year.

Being a parkland layout, it is pretty narrow in places with many fairways tree lined. However, only three of the top ten home last year finished better than 24th for DA. As you can see from the below stats section, scrambling and GIR were the two stand out vitals required for the week on a very packed leaderboard.

Conditions

Thursday AM starters could get pretty wet. There is a 95% chance of rain, sometimes heavy – between 8am and midday. The wind will be minimal all week. Then, as we head into rounds two and three, conditions should get sunnier and warmer. Temperatures on Saturday PM reaching around the 26c mark. Sunday will see the rain return with a 50% chance of prolonged showers.

Last years Italian Open & Key Stats

1st – Rikard Karlberg (-19) – DA 63rd DD 45th GIR 9th PPGIR 15th Scrambles 14/18

2nd – Martin Kaymer (-19) – DA 24th DD 13th GIR 1st PPGIR 53rd  Scrambles 16/18

T3 – Jens Fahrbring (-18) – DA 43rd DD 32nd GIR 29th PPGIR 4th Scrambles 25/35

T3 –  Lucas Bjerregard (-18) – DA 50th DD 4th GIR 9th PPGIR 36th  Scrambles 16/18

T3 – Matthew Fitzpatrick (-18) – DA 2nd DD 20th GIR 3rd PPGIR 48th Scrambles 10/13

T3 – Joakim Lagergren (-18) – DA 40th DD 37th GIR 52nd PPGIR 18th Scrambles 17/25

T3- David Lipsky (-18) – DA 28th DD 35th GIR 29th PPGIR 10th Scrambles 17/21

T3 – Danny Willett (-18) – DA 50th DD 8th GIR 19th PPGIR 28th Scrambles 14/20

T3 – Fabrizio Zanotti (-18) – DA 12th DD 33rd GIR 1st PPGIR 34th Scrambles 9/12

 

Recommended Bets

Danny Willett 18/1 outright only with Betfair

An opening round of 65 and closing round of 64 last time out during his European Masters crown in Crans. The Masters champion is showing signs of a return to form just at the right time. With the Ryder Cup and the Final Series around the corner, Willett will be keen to add to his growing trophy cabinet. A venue in which he finished T3 last year. I don’t usually back short odds golfers. Yet 18s was more than fair for a major winner who is long overdue another win.

 

Italian Open

Danny Willet

Chris Wood 55/1 EW with Bet365 

The Ryder Cup theme continues as I found myself having to back Bristolian Chris Wood at 55/1 this week. This seasons BMW PGA championship winner likes a tree-lined course (think Wentworth, Austria, Singapore) and comes into this week having finished T59 in Holland last week and T49 in Crans previous. This might not sound too flashy, but his Wentworth win back in June followed a similar path of nothing to write about form and I can seem him going well this week as Hazeltine approaches.

 

Andy Sullivan 55/1 EW with Eastbridge Sports Betting Brokerage

Last seasons three-time winner Andy Sullivan comes into this week on the back of three MC’s. Down to issues in hitting the greens in the correct number. His putter appears to be behaving though and he should be buoyed by a closing round of 67 at Crans last time out in which he managed six birdies. Sulli is the third European Ryder Cupper I have selected this week. I believe they will be keen to find form ahead of the big team event starting in just over two weeks time.

 

Brandon Stone 80/1 EW with Eastbridge Sports Betting Brokerage

The young South African gave this column its first pay back thanks to a 125/1 place in France. Yet, I was surprised the above price was quoted this week. Brandon flew up the leaderboard last week in Holland courtesy of a third round 63 and finished a T10, this despite a stone cold (sorry couldn’t resist) flat-stick which saw him finish 65/72 for PPGIR and 47/72 for putts per round (PPR). Hitting just shy of 80% of greens was a positive. Overall, he’s ready to challenge again for his second ET title of the season.

 

Julien Quesne 901/1 EW (now 60s which is OK) with Betvictor

As shown above, there have been three multiple winners of the Italian Open since 2000. So, I thought I would include the Frenchman that finished T5 last time out in Crans. Last seen lifting a trophy aloft during the 2013 Italian Open. Quesne loves a tree lined track and his game reminds me a bit of last years victor, Rikard Karlberg. Julien challenged Chris Wood right to the bitter end at this years BMW PGA at Wentworth. Based on that, I reckon this layout will suit his eye.

 

First Round Leaders (FRL)

Fancies in this market will be posted on my Twitter handle @herefordrich once the draw has been completed.

 

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @herefordrich.

 

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Gennady Golovkin v Kell Brook Boxing Betting Preview – Sat 10th Sept By @J_RKeith

It’s that time! Kell Brook makes the leap of two weight classes to face off against Middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin at the O2 Arena on Saturday night, and I sense profit. My last two boxing betting predictions came through, and I am expecting the same here.

GGG has been one of the best middleweight fighters around. Now, he will defend his WBC, IBF and IBO titles against a fighter jumping up in weight class. Prior to this, Golovkin’s last fight finished in a knockout in the second round against Dominic Wade; knocking down the American three times before the referee stopped the fight.

The fighter from Kazakhstan sits 35-0 in the ring, winning 32 through TKO/KO with only three professional fights going to decision. At 34, he has really left his mark on the art of boxing with his ferocious power.

Golovkin will be making his first appearance in London on Saturday, but in his media workout in Convent Garden he looked on point with his training. Furthermore, GGG has fought all over the world from Panama to Madison Square Garden, so I don’t think the venue or crowd will really get under his skin.

Heading into the bout and the Kazakh will take on his third Brit. Beating both Martin Murray and Matthew Macklin in the past. He’s got a solid chin too, and from fights I have seen Brook will need to deliver a lot if he wants to get his legs wobbling.

 

Boxing Betting

Gennady Golovkin & Kell Brook

Kell Brook, meanwhile, is going up into uncharted territory to take on one of the deadliest middleweights in the world. A fight that Brook fans would agree has been a long time coming.
In his original weight class of Welterweight, the Sheffield born boxer held a record of 36-0 with 26 knockouts.

The 30-year-old’s last fight was against Canadian Kevin Bizier who he knocked out in two rounds in Sheffield. Before this, one of Brook’s last five fights ended in a decision which was against Shawn Porter for the IBF welterweight title.

Brook has fought at the O2 Arena once, that bout ended in a TKO against Frankie Gavin last year. Apart from that, he has fought only twice outside the UK. Some may see that as an advantage, but not me.

The Orthodox style fighter is following in the steps of Amir Khan when he jumped weights to fight Saul Alvarez. Khan went on to lose the bout through KO. Over the last ten weeks Brook has developed more on his power, as shown in the media workout, but now it’s just about whether he can keep up that pace throughout the fight against one of the best middleweights.

Expect a proper fight! Looking forward to this one considering they are both undefeated and, like the Khan fight, Brook has nothing to lose. I just think Golovkin’s power will be too much for Brook and as the contest advances we will see the better of the Kazakh fighter. Overall, this bout may just go into double figures for rounds, or even a decision, but I’m backing Golovkin for the win.

Boxing Betting Recommendation: Over 7.5 rounds @ 2.00 with Bet365

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @J_RKeith.

 

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KLM Open 2016 Golf Betting Preview – Thursday 8th September by @herefordrich

Last weeks golf

Any chance of a Marcus Fraser 66/1 EW place ended as early as the first hole on Sunday, as 4/5 tipped picks made the cut, but none could finish higher than T36.

I wrote before the off I feared headline pick Bernd Wiesberger’s putter might not be reliable enough to shoot the low numbers required to win round Crans, and guess what? It wasn’t. Out of 77 to make the weekend, Bernd finished last for putts per green in regulation (PPGIR) and 67/77 for putts per round (PPR)  

Golf is a hard enough sport to bet on and I must revert back to an old, trusted adage, that if there is any doubt that an attribute of a short odds golfer (sub 40/1 in my eyes) might be out of sync, then they are best left alone.

Tournament History

The KLM Open has a long, proud history, dating way back when to 1912. It has been ever present as a European Tour event since the tour began in 1972. This year we have a new course, The Dutch, hosting the event – making it the eleventh venue to stage the event. Recent years have seen the KLM Open held on popular, historic links courses such as Kennemer and Hilversumsche so this years new layout will have a lot to live up to.

As you might expect for an event held on wind exposed, links style golf courses, British, Irish and Scandinavian golfers have fine records in this event with entirely European born winners dating back to 2000 when Australian Stephen Leaney won the second of his two KLM Open titles.

This week the field is headed by last weeks winner Alex Noren, virgin Ryder Cupper and current tournament holder, Thomas Pieters, Joost Luiten, Benny An and last weeks flop, Wiesberger.

The Course

A brand new course for the European Tour this week, which always means there is a little bit of guess work when profiling the ideal golfer for a venue. Luckily we have several decent write-ups on the internet that gives strong clues on what we can expect from ‘The Dutch’ –

“Ground-breaking construction techniques were used to create a dramatic and undulating landscape, featuring rolling fairways framed by imposing, gorse-clad mounds. An inland links in style, The Dutch also boasts smooth, lightning-quick greens and many different types of water features, including lakes, canals and traditional Scottish ‘burns.’” *

*taken from European Tour website.

Designed by Colin Montgomerie, the course plays to a par of 71 and a yardage of 6,981, which is very short for modern standards. We have five par 3’s and four par 5’s – with three of the last six holes being par 5’s – the longest being the 640 yard closing hole, the shortest being the 490 yard 6th. The par 3’s are all 200 yards of less, with 14th playing an interesting flick with a wedge 133 yards.

Course designer Monty can be heard talking about the course on the official website of the KLM Open in which he describes the greens as ‘the best the players will putt on all year’ but promises that the championship style layout will offer a ‘real test for all players’. The verdict is out, but it looks like there will be some tricky pin positions on what could be pretty speedy greens – especially given the warm, windy weather that is forecast in the week before the event.

Home hero Joost Luiten tweeted some pictures of the rough last week saying,Rough here @GolfTheDutch is thick an juicy! You need to be straight!! Can you find the ball in the picture?” – comments like this can be taken out of context as this picture could’ve come from a wild shot – as opposed something that was just 5-10 yards off line. Either way, it must be considered a factor along with the course designers comments in regards this will be a tough test.

Conditions

Thursday looks a belter with temperatures hitting the late 20s as the sun shines throughout the opening three days. Sunday morning will be wet with a 60% chance of rain. Wind will feature throughout, with 7-8mph forecast on the opening two mornings and 10-14mph on both afternoons.

Previous KLM Open Winners & Key Stats

2015 – Thomas Pieters (-19) – DA 62nd DD 2nd GIR 44th PPGIR 7th Scrambles 16/21

2014 – Paul Casey (-14) – DA 52nd DD 4th GIR 1st PPGIR 54th Scrambles 7/11

2013 – Joost Luiten (-12) – DA 14th DD 36th GIR 47th PPGIR 6th Scrambles 19/26

2012 – Peter Hanson (-14) – DA 37th DD 11th GIR 15th PPGIR 12th  Scrambles 18/23

2011 – Simon Dyson (-12) – DA 35th DD 35th GIR 17th PPGIR 3rd  Scrambles 14/22

Recommended Bets

Fabrizio Zanotti 66/1 with Bet365

The 2014 BMW International Open winner from Paraguay topped the driving accuracy stats last week in Crans and also finished 8th for greens hit. A T24 finish meant Zanotti has now made 8 of his last 9 cuts, including a T7 at Wentworth and a T15 in the Olympics. 4th in last years KLM Open and 2nd in 2010 means he likes this part of the world, and given his fine ball striking stats last week, I’m prepared to back him for a third time this season – ending that run of non-European KLM Open winners.

 

Fabrizio Zanotti

Fabrizio Zanotti

David Howell 66/1 EW with Betvictor

A solid bank of form from the five-time ET winner, Howell comes into this week with a T29 in Crans, T3 in the Czech Republic and a T22 in the Open Championship. I noticed his big issue last week was not taking advantage of the scoreable par 5’s – playing the long holes in just one under par for the week – pretty poor when you consider champion Noren played them six shots better and runner-up Hend nine shots better! A links golf specialist, Howell’s last win came at the prestigious Alfred Dunhill links in 2013 and certainly fits the profile to win the KLM Open. He ranked inside the top 6 for both PPGIR and PPR last week too.

Ross Fisher 66/1 EW with Eastbridge Sports Betting Brokerage

No real form to speak of for Ross Fisher, but he is still 13/16 cuts made this season, and briefly was seen towards the top of the USPGA Championship leaderboard before finishing T42 in the years last major. The 2007 KLM Opener winner loves links golf and should enjoy what could be a stern test. Some of his best finishes in recent times have been following a run of poor form (T3 at the WGC in Shanghai last year followed T68, MC,MC,MC) and a (T5 at the European Open followed MC, MC, MC, T68) so he is the type to appear from seemingly nowhere if the course fits.

Raphael Jacquelin 90/1 EW with Bet365

69, 69, 67, 66 meant the experienced Frenchman snuck in a T12 in Crans last week and should come into this week full of confidence. His best career displays have come on the links, in particular up in Scotland where he has several top 5 finishes, including a T2 last year in which he could have so easily added a fifth ET title. Jacquelin finished 4th in Germany and T8 in Sweden since June and appears in fine fettle.

First Round Leaders (FRL)

In a change of tactic this week, I am going to trial placing approximately 10% of my weekly golf stakes on some big priced outsiders in the FRL markets. These will be a quick short list and selections will be considered if they have shot recent low numbers or have recent showings at the top of a leaderboard at the end of day one.

These will be posted on my twitter handle @herefordrich once the draw has been completed – PM tee times and stronger winds are naturally not ideal – hence the wait.

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @herefordrich.

 

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