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Spain’s Adrian Otaegui is a two-time winner on the European Tour and he can make it three this week whilst priced a generous +5000 with bet365.
Max Kieffer has landed two top 20s in his last three starts and he is an enticing +400 to make it three in four at DraftKings.
Back talented Spaniard Adri Arnaus at -110 to land his DraftKings match-bet against rookie Pole Adrian Meronk.
Adrian Otaegui to win +5000 with bet365
Max Kieffer to land in top 20 +400 at DraftKings
Back Adri Arnaus against Pole Adrian Meronk -110 at DraftKings
|Wales Open Information|
|Where||Celtic Manor Resort, Wales|
|When||Thursday, August 20 – Sunday, August 23|
|How to watch||Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday 8.30-10 am ET (Golf Channel). All four days on Sky Sports.|
Ever since Ian Poulter tweeted about playing 18 holes with the then-teenage Sam Horsfield the golf world has known that the young Englishman has talent, but the last three weeks have seen his career take a significant leap forward. Victory in last week’s Celtic Classic – as tipped on this page – came just a fortnight after his maiden win in the Hero Open, vaulting the 23-year-old to seventh in the Race to Dubai. This week, however, provides a curious experience for Horsfield and the rest of the field: a different tournament, but the same course as last week.
That said, weather conditions are predicted to be a little tough, with a stronger wind that is also heading in a different direction.
Thomas Pieters, who briefly led the field last week on his return to action, is the favorite, followed by the hot Horsfield. Two notable additions to the field are the 2019 Rookie of the Year Robert MacIntyre and China’s Haotong Li, both of whom played the PGA Championship two weeks ago.
I’m a little surprised that Spaniard Adrian Otaegui isn’t a lower price this week and in this field. The 27-year-old is not only a two-time winner on the European Tour, but he has also been a regular on the circuit since 2014 and peaked in 2018 with a Race to Dubai ranking of 23rd.
That position was aided by a lucrative fourth-placed finish in the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, but the fact he landed that indicates what a polished performer he is at his best. And yet a few players rated better than him in the betting are fellows boast CVs with a lot less quality and achievements on them.
Nor is it the case that he lacks form. In fact, he was second in the English Championship two weeks ago and T14th last week in the Celtic Classic (he also signed two fine cards in the British Masters). His first win, in 2017, came off the back of four top 20 finishes, his second followed five of them. He’s not quite up to that level right now, but he’s bubbling nicely.
A quirk of his two wins is that both came in match play events and he was also runner-up in the match play World Super 6 so head-to-head golf clearly suits him, but there’s no way that strokeplay is outside his limits.
Bet365’s +5000 looks too big and offers each-way value with five places.
Back in 2011, a day after the conclusion of the Wales Open, there was an attempt to revolutionize the sport with something called PowerPlay Golf, which utilized two flags on every green.
It had an eclectic field of elderly legends of the game and unknown youngsters prompting some to call it Mickey Mouse golf, but Max Kieffer was inspired because after an unlikely invitation to play in it he immediately followed it up with a second-place on the Challenge Tour at EuroDisney. He graduated from the second tier the following year and hasn’t looked back, holding on to his European Tour card ever since with little difficulty.
A consistent performer, he is yet to find a win, but he’s found a nice vein of form in the last three weeks, thriving every time Sam Horsfield has – finishing tied sixth behind him in the Hero Open and T14th last week.
One of his finest performances at this level was when he was third in the 2015 Nordea Masters at PGA Sweden National, a modern course very like the 2010 challenge. The two winners on that Scandinavian track were Alex Noren and Thongchai Jaidee, both of whom have also triumphed in the 2010.
Add that line of form to his recent impressive scores and back him to land another top 20 this week at +400 with DraftKings.
The compilers have paired Spain’s Adri Arnaus and Poland’s Adrian Meronk in their match-ups for the week, a combination that initially looked wrong, and closer inspection hasn’t changed my mind.
Meronk is Poland’s first European Tour card holder and last week he briefly threatened to become his country’s first winner on his way to sixth, a career-best effort at this level.
That fine result is part of the reason why he has been lined up against Arnaus, as is a seasonal 3-2 split in the Pole’s favor. But last season Arnaus hinted at his huge potential with no less than three second-place finishes and therein lies the key to this week’s pick. Over their careers Arnaus leads 16-10, a dominant margin and a glance at their individual performances further encourage faith in him. The Spaniard has played 42 times on the European Tour, landing ten top 20 finishes, a touch over one in four of his appearances.
In contrast Meronk’s result, last week was his first top 20 on the European Tour – in 19 starts.
Arnaud averages a finishing position of 57.5 and a raw stroke average of 70.73 against Meronk’s 73.8 and 71.40.
DraftKings rate them -110 the pair and Arnaus is the pick.
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Matt Cooper has been a sports journalist since 2009 with his work appearing at ESPN, Sky Sports, NBC, Sporting Life and the Planet Sport Network among many others, in addition to guest appearances on the BBC and CNN. Although a specialist in golf, who has traveled the world to cover the sport, Matt has also covered rugby, cricket, football and the Olympics. Email: [email protected]More info on Matt Cooper
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