Winner’s Share – €166,660
Course – Diamond Country Club (7,417 yards Par 72)
Our 2014 Picks – Craig Lee – MC, Eduardo De La Riva – T7, Michael Hoey – T48, Keith Horne – MC, Phillip Archer – T62
Another week on the European Tour is behind us and we now move on to one of those events that never (in all honesty) captures the imagination with a strong field.
We head to mainland Europe for the Lyoness Open in Austria – headlined by local boy Bernd Wiesberger. His record here is pretty incredible and with the sort of form he’s in at the moment, he is understandably the runaway favourite.
So whilst you are not going to be used to seeing (and wanting to back!) some of the players at the sort of odds they are, there is still plenty of value to be had. The Diamond Country Club is playing host for the 6th consecutive year and the 7,433 yard par 72 is actually quite an interesting track.
On paper it sounds like a behemoth, but when you look deeper, you realise there’s a lot more to it than sheer, brute force. Previous winners have been accurate, iron gurus who rely on their approach game – Mikael Lundberg, Joost Luiten, Wiesberger, Kennie Ferrie and Jose Manuel Lara.
Now none of them, barring Wiesberger, hit the ball hugely far, which goes to show what’s required here. Last year everyone inside the top 5 (barring Rhys Davies on day one and Mikkael Lundberg on day 3) were inside the top 20 for GIR stats every day.
There were plenty of accuracy and mid-range distance stats off the tee as well, whilst Lundberg putted out his skin to grab his win. There are a few islands greens with surrounding water which prove you need to be in play off the tee because otherwise it’s a potential drop shot galore.
Overall, it could be a very interesting week’s play.
Just a quick note – We very much wanted to go with Chris Wood as our main pick, but we simply couldn’t warrant 12/1… Low 20’s maybe, but we thought 12 was slightly too far!
Matthew Fitzpatrick (55/1 PaddyPower)
We said that this track requires an iron guru and if you’ve seen Matthew Fitzpatrick playing well, you’ll know that’s exactly what he does.
His season has simply not hit the heights expected of someone so talented, but he is still so, so young. You cannot honestly think he will go out there and dominate because very few do, but we have seen a remarkable improvement in his last 3 outings that make us think he is worth a punt this week.
First of all Mauritius, where he finished in a tie for 20th. During his first round he was 3rd for driving accuracy, followed by 3 straight days in 1st for the same stat.
His GIR stats were inside the top 6 every day barring the Saturday, with which a 73 ended his chances of victory. But VERY encouraging. Then in Spain he recorded a T22 finish and didn’t find himself outside the top 20 for GIR during the final 3 days.
But where we get most excited is at the Irish where he finished T8. Here are his stats for the final 3 days –
Friday – Driving Accuracy – 2nd, GIR – 17th
Saturday – Driving Accuracy – 1st, GIR – 4th
Sunday – Driving Accuracy – 1st, GIR – 1st
Whilst proving how formidable his tee to green game is at the moment, it also shows that he is starting to convert those chances and we cannot help but think he’s a superb fit for this course, even though he’s never played here.
One to definitely watch.
Scott Jamieson (50/1 PaddyPower)
Scott Jamieson has not had a great season by any means, but his recent outings have been consistent mid-range finishes.
Barring the 1st day of the Irish Open, he didn’t finish outside the top 13 for driving accuracy or GIR throughout, which shows that he’s not far away from getting back to his best.
He ended up finishing in a tie for 30th and that’s enough for us to think he could have a part to play in Austria. He finished T8 here in 2012 on his only performance at Diamond CC, so very much an interesting pick this week.
Simon Wakefield (125/1 PaddyPower)
It’s been a really difficult season for Simon Wakefield having lost his tour card last year and plying his trade on the Challenge Tour.
He hasn’t particularly lit it up there either, although a few steady performances will hopefully give him a slight boost. The main reason we are taking a plump on Wakey is because of his efforts in Sweden last week. At the time of writing he is in a tie for 61st because of his final round 76 has dropped him significantly down.
However in round one he shot a marvellous 69 and found himself in 13th and coupled with the fact his usually straight game (1st in accuracy as always) and GIR he could be an interesting outsider this week.
Lee Slattery (60/1 StanJames)
Lee Slattery is another intriguing bet this week after his superb performance out in Sweden.
His tee to green game wasn’t particularly outstanding, but his putting was impressive and usually he is someone that doesn’t hole his putts.
But add into the equation he finished T4 last year and T9 in 2013 on this track, you have to think he’s taken a liking to the place.
If his game is firing on all cylinders, he’ll definitely be up there again.
Every week we’re running a weekly betting competition on both Tours with esteemed magazine Golf Monthly. It is a bit of fun between us and them to see who has the better tipsters! We have £10 to put on each tournament and will write up a weekly post for their site detailing the horrors we are sure to endure throughout the year – so keep an eye out.
It will also (for the first time from us at DownThe18th) show some sort of staking plan we have for out bets. Obviously, this isn’t the exact stakes we will put on our players, some weeks we won’t even enter a couple of our picks, but at least it can be shown roughly where our thoughts are money wise.
Our £10 against Golf Monthly will be as follows –
£2.50 e/w on Matthew Fitzpatrick at 60/1 (BetFred)
£1.00 e/w on Scott Jamieson at 50/1 (PaddyPower)
£0.50 e/w on Simon Wakefield at 150/1 (BetFred)
£1.00 e/w on Lee Slattery at 60/1 (Paddy Power)
Each way bets ¼ odds for top 5 finish unless stated otherwise.
Find the Golf Monthly Preview here (http://www.golf-monthly.co.uk/news/tour-news)
Current Standings after 19 weeks
DownThe18th Golf Monthly
European Tour: £-71.95 European Tour: £-50.62
PGA Tour: £-25.94 PGA Tour: £23.75
Total: £-97.89 Total: £-26.87
Golf Monthly leads by: £96.90