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 at the Wales Open which was played here at Celtic Manor until 2014 with the Twenty-Ten Course being used from 2008 to 2014 specifically: Current Form | Event 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 & Prices. 2014 (Wales Open) Joost Luiten, 14/1; 2013: Gregory Bourdy, 40/1; 2012: Thongchai Jaidee, 125/1; 2011: Alexander Noren, 66/1; 2010: Graeme McDowell, 22/1.
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. Newport largely got away with the worst of the thunderstorms that plagued southern Britain last week meaning that the tournament just about got completed on schedule, however this week should be a more straightforward affair in that respect with just some light rain in the forecast for Friday and Saturday.
Either side of that, conditions should be pleasantly warm with sunny spells, with the mercury peaking in the low 70s each afternoon, however the main difference this week will be that a stiffer breeze will be blowing across the course, averaging around 15-20mph and in all likelihood producing a slightly higher winning total.
Tournament Trends & Key Factors.
Analysing the final stats of the past winners on the Twenty-Ten course from 2008-14, as well as last week, gives us a little more insight into the type of player suited to this test:
- 2020, Sam Horsfield (-18). 294 yards (66th), 55.8% fairways (54th), 79.2% greens in regulation (12th), 73.3% scrambling (11th), 1.69 putts per GIR (15th).
- 2014, Joost Luiten (-14). 290 yards (51st), 63.5% fairways (12th), 80.6% greens in regulation (4th), 71.4% scrambling (6th), 1.74 putts per GIR (19th).
- 2013, Gregory Bourdy (-8). 284 yards (54th), 53.8% fairways (38th), 66.7% greens in regulation (26th), 62.5% scrambling (6th), 1.73 putts per GIR (13th).
- 2012, Thonghchai Jaidee (-6). 287 yards (35th), 59.6% fairways (22nd), 73.6% greens in regulation (7th), 36.8% scrambling (55th), 1.66 putts per GIR (2nd).
- 2011, Alex Noren (-9). 304 yards (1st), 59.6% fairways (9th), 76.4% greens in regulation (2nd), 70.6% scrambling (3rd), 1.82 putts per GIR (31st).
- 2010, Graeme McDowell (-15). 283 yards (36th), 71.2% fairways (12th), 80.6% greens in regulation (1st), 50% scrambling (34th), 1.67 putts per GIR (7th).
- 2009, Jeppe Huldahl (-9). 274 yards (37th), 55.8% fairways (53rd), 70.8% greens in regulation (17th), 66.7% scrambling (2nd), 1.69 putts per GIR (6th).
- 2008, Scott Strange (-22). 276 yards (41st), 75% fairways (22nd), 80.6% greens in regulation (10th), 78.6% scrambling (4th), 1.62 putts per GIR (1st).
Aside from Scott Strange’s win in 2008, the updates made to the Twenty-Ten Course to make it Ryder Cup ready essentially toughened it up. The yardage and course setup suggests that bombers should prosper here, however they certainly don’t have it all their own way if you look at the contenders and winners of the Wales Open before it dropped off the schedule in 2014.
No particular stats stand out from the numbers above, with winners having a generally good week in all departments with perhaps a leaning towards Greens in Regulation and Putting. Sam Horsfield followed that trend again last week, finishing inside the top-15 for GIR, Scrambling and Putting Average on his way to victory.
Incoming Form: Sam Horsfield’s win last week came hot on the heels of his breakthrough European Tour success just a fortnight before at the Hero Open and, in all, that was the Englishman’s 4th top-10 finish in 7 starts.
Going further back to the Wales Open, Joost Luiten had been knocking quite loudly on the door prior to victory here back in 2014, finally converting after recording two consecutive top-5 finishes. Gregory Bourdy, Alex Noren, Graeme McDowell and Scott Strange had all posted at least one top-10 finish in their past 7 starts to hint at enough form to justify an investment, however Thongchai Jaidee and to an even larger extent Jeppe Huldahl were tougher to find with patchy incoming results:
- 2020, Sam Horsfield: 49/53/62/12/MC/MC/7/MC/MC/10/1/MC
- 2014, Joost Luiten: 4/12/3/MC/18/51/MC/56/26/52/4/5
- 2013, Gregory Bourdy: MC/11/MC/21/12/59/8/58/34/49/64/23
- 2012, Thonghchai Jaidee: MC/20/42/41/64/MC/29/25/21/56
- 2011, Alex Noren: 13/31/8/MC/WD/MC/23/4/MC/5/11/MC
- 2010, Graeme McDowell: MC/14/20/33/31/6/MC/MC/8/28/26/28/4
- 2009, Jeppe Huldahl: 23/MC/12/49/52/MC/MC/65/MC/MC/MC
- 2008, Scott Strange: 7/33/MC/25/2/21/MC/14/14/35/MC
Course Form (back to 2010):
To back up Luiten’s current form credentials the last time we played this event, he also arrived here having come close to victory on each of his previous two attempts at the Twenty-Ten Course and was understandably the favourite to win 6 years ago. Like Luiten, Gregory Bourdy also had strong course form to encourage his backers prior to lifting the trophy in 2013; prior to that, winners’ form here at Celtic Manor was a little patchier. Horsfield’s win here last week was on his competitive debut around these parts:
- 2020, Sam Horsfield: Debut
- 2014, Joost Luiten: 2/4
- 2013, Gregory Bourdy: 21/10/39/2/14
- 2012, Thonghchai Jaidee: 39/26/MC
- 2011, Alex Noren: MC/39
- 2010, Graeme McDowell: 39
- 2009, Jeppe Huldahl: Debut
- 2008, Scott Strange: Debut
I summarised last week that the Bent/Poa putting surfaces aren’t the toughest on Tour and reward good golf shots, however the emphasis for me is far more about hitting greens in regulation and patiently accumulating a score, and I still maintain that’s the best approach to taming this layout.
The main difference I see this week is that the ground staff have the option to allow the rough to grow out a little compared to last week, although I’m not expecting the kind of stark difference we saw in course set-up at Muirfield Village on the PGA Tour a few weeks ago. One tangible element will be a stronger breeze blowing across this exposed layout in South Wales, which should further accentuate the need for quality ball-striking and perhaps more of a grinding mentality with birdies a little harder to come by and bogeys a little more prevalent.