Paul Williams

Paul Williams' Euram Bank Open Tips 2020

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Marc Warren’s first win since 2014 got the European Tour back underway last week at Diamond Country Club with the 39 year-old returning up to 150/1 for his supporters, so very well done if you backed him. My headline 25/1 selection Connor Syme sat a stroke off the lead heading into the final round after a bogey-free Saturday, however the young Scot couldn’t push on when it mattered the most to finish in a 4-way tie for 4th place in the end.

Our second and final part of the hastily-arranged Austrian Swing takes us 25 miles south of Diamond Country Club for an event that starts on Wednesday this week, presumably to give those players who are pencilled in to play at Close House next week a little more breathing space in terms of onward travel.

With the omission of Thomas Detry this week, the field has taken a small dip in terms of quality, however to his Credit Joost Luiten has stuck around for a second week and heads this week’s field at 13/2. South Korean star Joohyung Kim rates as the 2nd favourite this week, followed by the likes of Adri Arnaus, Rikard Karlberg, Scott Vincent and Lorenzo Gagli all in the 16-25/1 bracket, however as we saw last week, the shorter-priced players don’t necessarily get it all their own way.

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Course Overview. It’s a mighty shame that we won’t get to see Adamstal Golf Club on our TV screens this week as the course looks absolutely stunning. Set in Austria’s lower alpine foreland, this 6,473 yard par 70 promises far more than meets the eye when looking at the card of the course.

At around 3,500 feet above sea level, altitude will make club selection and distance control a key component of this week’s task and the relentless hills and uneven lies will test both a player’s fitness and creativity.

The course opens with a pair of sub-400 yard par-4s ahead of a 481 yard par-5 as players look to get off to a flying start, however as we see each year at Crans-sur-Sierre, which surely offers the closest correlation to this week’s task, the yardage for each hole can be deceiving given the elevation changes that the layout offers.

Winning scores of -17 (Darius Van Driel) and -18 (Calum Hill) over the past two renewals of this event on the Challenge Tour give us an indication of what to expect this week and I’d anticipate a similar total to be required to be in with a chance coming down the stretch on Saturday afternoon.

euram bank open tips

Tournament Stats. We’ve published some key statistics for this week’s event that will help to shape a view on players who traditionally play well on this track, which was used on various lower-tier events over the past few years: Current Form | Course Form | First Round Leader Stats | Combined Stats.

Predictor Model. Our published Predictor Model is available here. As always you can build your own model using the variables available.

Winners: 2019 (Euram Bank Open, Challenge Tour): Calum Hill; 2018: Darius Van Driel; 2017 (Adamstal Open, Pro Golf Tour): Nicolai Von Dellingshausen; 2016: Johann Lopez Lazzaro; 2008 (MAN NO Open, Challenge Tour): Andre Bossert; 2007: Anders Schmidt Hansen; 2006: Rafael Cabrera-Bello.

For a summary of winners’ odds on the European Tour for the past 10 years click here.

Weather Forecast. The latest weather forecast for the area is here. Showery conditions are expected in Austria this week with temperatures peaking in the mid-60s Fahrenheit in the afternoons with light winds of between 5-10mph.

Tournament Trends & Key Factors.

Having only hosted lower-tier golf thus far, we unfortunately have no skill stats to study this week from previous events played here.

Incoming Season Form: Last year’s winner Calum Hill had recorded 2 top-10 finishes on the Challenge Tour on his previous 6 starts, however more notably he’d placed 26th at the Scottish Open the week before in far more lofty company, closing with a round of 66. Darius Van Driel was tougher to find form-wise the year before, although he had found a little more consistency with his results prior to victory.

The two Pro Golf Tour wins from Nicolai Von Dellingshausen and Johan Lopez Lazzaro were fairly straightforward as both had already won at that level earlier in the year and both were clearly playing competitive golf at the time.

Form relating to the more distant MAN NO Open events on the Challenge Tour from 2006-2008 is a little more patchy, although all 3 winners had made the top-40 on their previous outing, one of whom was a young Rafa Cabrera-Bello who won his first professional tournament here on this track:

  • 2019, Calum Hill: 21/24/25/66/MC/9/MC/25/19/7/MC/26
  • 2018, Darius Van Driel: 14/MC/MC/MC/55/MC/MC/32/31/47
  • 2017, Nicolai Von Dellingshausen: 22/8/2/6/MC/23/17/1/4/2
  • 2016, Johann Lopez Lazzaro: 1/39/18/MC/20/17
  • 2008, Andre Bossert: 47/21/33/52/31/MC/63/WD/MC/MC/MC/32
  • 2007, Anders Schmidt Hansen: 45/7/42/MC/MC/46/17/42/4/33/MC/39
  • 2006, Rafael Cabrera-Bello: MC/MC/3/MC/14/42/MC/MC/22/MC/50/29

Course Form (back to 2006): Calum Hill was playing Adamstal for the second time last year, however he’d already shown a liking for the layout having opened with rounds of 65/67 the year before to sit 4th before fading. The 3 winners prior to that were all making their competitive debuts around these parts, so there’s little to go on in that respect, and the older events offer little clues in terms of course form:

  • 2019, Calum Hill: 26
  • 2018, Darius Van Driel: Debut
  • 2017, Nicolai Von Dellingshausen: Debut
  • 2016, Johann Lopez Lazzaro: Debut
  • 2008, Andre Bossert: 61/60
  • 2007, Anders Schmidt Hansen: 45
  • 2006, Rafael Cabrera-Bello: Debut

A tricky test this week with only low-level course history to peruse and a field that, if anything, is a step down on that from last week at Diamond Country Club.

The course itself probably gives us the biggest clue as to what type of player might succeed this week. At 6,473 yards and with a little altitude, this layout will undoubtedly be about strategy as opposed to power, however it’s worth considering that longer players have also contended at the closest comparable course on the circuit at Crans-sur-Sierre. Rory McIlroy made the play-off in the Swiss Alps last year, as did Lucas Bjerregaard the year before and Scott Hend in the 2 years prior, so I suspect that we’ll see a variety of styles finding a way to compile a score here this week.

Winning totals of 262 (-18) and 263 (-17) over the past 2 years on the Challenge Tour tells us that 4 rounds of 65 or thereabouts is the kind of target that players should be looking for this week. With numerous rounds of 62 recorded in the events played here since 2006 and a couple of 61s also (Rafa Cabrera-Bello and Julien Quesne), it’s clear that players can go very low here and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few flirting with a 59 this week.

John Catlin 2pts EW 25/1 (7EW, 1/5) With Paddy Power

The very top of the market holds little appeal for me this week, I must say. Bookies’ favourite Joost Luiten moved into a contending position when he birdied the first on Sunday last week, however it was a struggle for the Dutchman from that point onwards and he limped home in 75 strokes to finish 18th.

Just behind Luiten sits the massively promising South Korean Joohyung Kim who, at 18 years of age, moved into the world’s top 100 for the first time at the weekend courtesy of his 4th win in 32 professional starts, this time at the KPGA Gunsan CC Open. Travelling directly to Austria for a Wednesday start may present its own challenges though and at the price I’ll be an interested spectator this week only.

Adri Arnaus did little to encourage last week in Vienna to warrant investment at 16/1; instead I’ll start this week’s team with John Catlin who resides a little further down the betting but showed a lot of promise on his return to work last week.

The American, who bases himself in Thailand, has 4 wins to his name from his last 53 professional starts and although all of those have come on the Asian Tour, this week’s event isn’t much of a step up on that level, if at all. His most recent success came in his adopted home in November and the 29 year-old has been keeping himself competitive since, including a runner-up finish at the Boonchu Ruangkit Championship in late January where he opened with rounds of 63/62 to lead at the halfway point.

That kind of scoring ability may prove to be critical here this week with rounds in the low-60s commonplace and it was interesting to see Catlin lead the field for par-5 scoring last week at Diamond Country Club – making birdie on 13 of 16 attempts on the week – especially seeing as last year’s winner here Calum Hill led the field for the week on that count on his way to victory. 8th was John’s eventual finish last week and 21 birdies over 4 rounds bodes well for this week’s task, sitting 2nd in the field on that count behind Miguel Angel Jimenez.

22nd at the PGA Tour’s CIMB Classic at the end of 2018 is better form and experience than many here can boast and I suspect that Catlin has the potential to play golf at a far higher level than he has been over the past few seasons. RESULT: T43

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Bernd Ritthammer 2pts EW 40/1 (7EW, 1/5) With Paddy Power

It’s not often that you’d use the names Brooks Koepka and Bernd Ritthammer in the same sentence, however both men belong to a fairly elite club of players who’ve achieved instant promotion to the European Tour courtesy of 3 wins in a single Challenge Tour season.

Now that fact doesn’t put the German on remotely the same level as his multiple Major-winning peer, however it does show an ability to convert at a level not far lower than this week’s task at hand. In addition to those 2016 victories, Bernd has also racked-up 4 wins on the Pro Golf Tour and clearly isn’t afraid to take an opportunity when it’s presented to him.

The main issue that’s evident with the 32 year-old is that he’s generally struggled to get to grips with European Tour level golf, however there are strong signs that things are improving on that front having finished 8th at the tree-lined confines of Valderrama last year before finishing a shot shy of Paul Casey’s total at the Porsche European Open in September for his closest finish yet on Tour.

2020 form consists mainly of Sunshine Tour efforts where he sat 6th after day 1 at the Limpopo Championship and 8th after the first 18 holes at the Cape Town Open, however his most tangible effort of the year was undoubtedly last week at Diamond Country Club where he finished 18th, fuelled by a Friday 65 that tied the best round of the entire week.

8th here at Adamstal on his only start to date also encourages, with weekend rounds of 66/65 allowing him to progress to the first page of the leaderboard; with some positive momentum from last week’s effort, further improvement into a contending position is quite reasonable this week in my view. RESULT: T32

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Marcel Siem 1pt EW 110/1 (5EW, 1/4) With bet365

Finally, Marc Warren’s win last week in Vienna could act as a timely reminder to a number of players that their winning career doesn’t have to be over as they approach their forties. At the age of 39, the Scot hadn’t won on Tour since 2014 but was clearly a capable players with 3 European Tour titles to his name over the years.

Perhaps this lockdown period has given many players chance to reassess their goals and motivations and, to that end, another player in a virtually identical situation to Warren is Marcel Siem who may well see his peer’s win as a timely shot in the arm.

At the age of 39 also and with 4 European Tour titles to his name – the last again being in 2014 – the correlation between the two men is clear to see. Siem is also a World Cup winner from back in 2006 alongside Bernhard Langer and with one of his successes being a European Tour Final Series event at the BMW Masters, you could argue with some conviction that he’s had the better career of the two men.

Of course the reason that we’re getting a 3-figure price on the German this week is that he’s failed to rekindle that winning – or indeed seriously contending – form for a prolonged period of time now. 14th at the Scottish Open in 2018 and 6th at the Belgian Knockout last year are rare beacons of light in what’s otherwise been a fallow period, however given the quality of field here this week, I think there’s just about enough encouragement for us to take a chance on him.

Opening rounds of 66/69 had Marcel in a handy enough position at the halfway point of the South African Open at the start of the year and further positive starts at the Cape Town Open (8th after round 1), Limpopo Championship (5th after round 1) and Qatar Masters (16th after round 1) all hinted at an improvement in form despite the fact that he couldn’t follow any of those efforts through for 4 rounds.

23rd last week at Diamond CC was his best effort on the European Tour for over a year and may well give the former World top-50 player the confidence to progress further this week. 2 top-7 finishes at Wentworth over the years and 3 top-20 finishes at Crans-sur-Sierre – including a runner-up finish in 2006 – suggests to me that he might quite enjoy this weeks task. RESULT: T43

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Odds and bookmaker offers correct at 17:20BST 13.7.20 but naturally subject to fluctuation.