Welcome to my Austrian Open golf betting guide. With the Ryder Cup and Fedex Cup finale looming, this is probably the quietest week on the golfing calendar. The PGA Tour takes a week off, while the Race to Dubai reaches one of its least prestigious staging posts. The Austrian Open has become a regular fixture on the Euro Tour schedule but has yet to shake off it's 'second division' status.
That is very much the case this year, with only two players from the world's top 100 ranked players lining up, and only ten from the top 200. Last year's renewal saw a huge outsider take the title, with Rafael Cabrera-Bello starting the week at over 200/1, and 1000/1 going into Sunday before joining that exclusive club of players who have hit a round of 60 on the European Tour.
Course and stats
Previous results are of limited relevance, as the event moves to a new venue; the Diamond Course, Vienna. A medium distance par 72, the main feature appears to be an abundance of water hazards, including two short island holes. All four par 5s are reachable, and with a calm weather forecast, low scoring looks on the cards. With so little to work from, evaluating the key stats is harder than ever, but my guess is that greens in regulation, putting average and birdie conversion are the best ones on which to focus.
Golf bets selections
2pts ew RICHARD GREEN @ 25/1 (GENERAL, 28/1 BETFRED)
Given his record in Austria, plus the fact he is one of a very small number of candidates with top-class pedigree, Green rates a solid each-way selection. He won this title in 2007, and has made the top six on three out of four attempts. Recent form is decent too, most notably when fifth in a high-class Irish Open on his penultimate start, and runner-up in the Estoril Open.
2pts ew DANNY WILLETT @ 28/1 (GENERAL)
There are similarities to be drawn between Willett and last year's champion Cabrera-Bello, in terms of their age, promise and the fact they'd often been mentioned in this column. Willett of course has far greater potential, and he won't get many better opportunities to get that breakthrough win. He may have finished down the pack at Hilversumsche, but did hit three sub-70 rounds out of four. Danny's best 2010 form; fifth in prestigious events at Le Golf National and Wentworth; reads very well at this level.
1.5pts ew RAPHAEL JACQUELIN @ 33/1 (GENERAL)
Again, Jacquelin is one of those ten players inside the world's top 200, representing a touch of class in this low grade. His most recent efforts have been disappointing, but the Frenchman's wider 2010 form has been productive, with eight top-25 finishes, thrice inside the top three. Moreover, he tends to save his best for low-scoring layouts and boasts decent putting stats.
Ferrie's 26th place finish in Holland was nothing special, but he wasn't beaten by that far and did rank second for greens in regulation. That wasn't the first time he's hinted at form this summer, having finished third in the BMW International Open and challenging for a long way in the high-class French Open. He also made the top 20 in the recent Czech Open, and is a big price on the basis of his best form.
0.5pt ew GEORGE COETZEE @ 110/1 (GENERAL, 125/1 TOTE)
Coetzee is apparently one of the better young South African prospects, and has caught a few European eyes in recent weeks, particularly when tenth at Gleneagles. If I'm right about this week's key stats then he could rate the best outsider. Amongst these over the past three months, Coetzee ranks fifth for birdie conversion, and third for putting average.
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