Paul Williams

Paul Williams' ISPS Handa Vic Open Tips 2020

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Sunday didn’t quite go to plan in Saudi with 125/1 shot Renato Paratore starting the final day in an each-way paying position, before shooting a disappointing 75 to finish in a tie for 27th. 150/1 shot Dean Burmester gave us brief hope after a blistering start to the final day to sit at -4 after 4 holes and in 4th position overall, however he played the remaining 14 holes in 1-over to miss a slice of the each-way action by a single stroke.

Having dusted ourselves down (again), we head to Australia for the Vic Open and, as per last year, we have a combined men’s and women’s event this week with both playing for equal prize money and a title up for grabs for the winner of each of the men’s and women’s competitions. More on that later, however for the avoidance of any doubt I’ll be focussing this preview on the men’s competition only.

Before we talk through my Vic Open tips, the number of new visitors to Golf Betting System is increasing in the inevitable build-up to The Masters. Welcome to you all and let me point you in the direction of our weekly Golf Betting System podcast (published Tuesday) and our hugely popular private group on Facebook – you can Join Here.

2020 Majors Competition Sponsored By bet365:

Following on from the success of the last 8 annual GBS Majors competitions, bet365 have kindly offered to sponsor the 2020 edition with a massive £250 CASH prize fund! Our 2020 winner will receive £150 (or currency equivalent) in cash with additional £75 and £25 prizes for 2nd and 3rd place finishers.

Basically we want you to pick a single player for each of the 4 Majors any time before the start of the 2020 Masters and get those 4 names entered into the competition by one of the methods detailed on our rules page here. Best of luck all!

Vic Open Tips – Featured Bookmaker:

Boylesports are attacking this week’s Vic Open, offering an industry-best 8 places each-way at 1/5 odds, with strong prices to boot. If you haven’t already got a Boylesports account then new customers can access their new customer offer using the link below:

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Event Format. A full field of women from the Australian Ladies Professional Golf (ALPG) and Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) joins a full field comprised of members from the ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia (PGATA) and European Tour for the Vic Open in what will effectively be two events running concurrently on the same course(s) at the same time for the same prize money.

With nearly 300 players in total, two courses are being used for the first two days – the Beach Course and the Creek Course at 13th Beach Golf Links at Barwon Heads, Victoria – before the top 60 and ties from both the men’s and women’s events head to the Beach Course for Saturday. On Sunday the fields are both cut to the top 35 and ties for the final round, which again will be hosted on the Beach Course. For more details on the format click here.

Groups will alternate men and women with the men playing off the back tees (6,778 yards and 6.940 yards for the Beach and Creek courses respectively) whereas the women will play off the forward tees at 6,276 yards and 6,307 yards. So other than the men’s tees being set further back, all players will be playing the same holes at the same time and in the same conditions.

Course Overview. Both tracks are short par 72s by modern standard and both are Tony Cashmore designs, with Nick Faldo having a hand in the development of the Creek Course.

The Beach Course is built on true links land and whilst it’s a modern take on links golf, it shares the links features you’d expect with undulating fairways, pot bunkers and fescue-lined fairways. The Creek Course is a little wider and less penal from the rough and more reminiscent of a sand belt track with the addition of pine trees and the creek from which its name is derived. Both have large bent/poa greens and given the dimensions of each layout, wind is the main protection here at 13th Beach.

vic open tips

Tournament Stats. We’ve published some key player statistics for this week’s event that will help to shape a view on players who traditionally play well at this event since 13th Beach started hosting the Vic Open in 2013: Current Form | Tournament Form | First Round Leader Stats | Combined Current/Event Form.

Although this event has been running in some capacity since 1957, the combined men and women’s format has only been around since 2012 and the courses here have only hosted since 2013, so in terms of this week’s tournament stats listed above we’ve detailed from 2013 only.

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

Weather Forecast. The latest weather forecast for Victoria is here. Temperatures will struggle to hit much above 75 Fahrenheit throughout the week and wind speeds will average 15-20mph – and maybe a little more over the weekend – which on this layout will demand a certain type of game.

Tournament Trends & Key Factors.

Analysing the final stats of the leading 4 finishers at last year’s Vic Open gives us a little insight into the requirements for this week’s test:

  • 1st: David Law (-18). 288 yards (22nd), 62.5% fairways (22nd), 76.4% greens in regulation (15th), 58.8% scrambling (8th), 1.60 putts per GIR (3rd).
  • 2nd: Brad Kennedy (-17). 291 yards (18th), 75% fairways (2nd), 75% greens in regulation (18th), 66.7% scrambling (1st), 1.65 putts per GIR (8th).
  • 2nd: Wade Ormsby (-17). 290 yards (20th), 67.9% fairways (11th), 80.6% greens in regulation (5th), 64.3% scrambling (4th), 1.64 putts per GIR (6th).
  • 4th: Justin Harding (-16). 301 yards (8th), 58.9% fairways (32nd), 84.7% greens in regulation (2nd), 45.5% scrambling (15th), 1.74 putts per GIR (21st).

Rank relative to the field is versus those who made the 2nd cut of 36 players and should be considered accordingly.

Fairways hit and Greens In Regulation numbers were relatively high for all players last year, which meant that those players who performed best on and around the greens were those who came to the fore over the 4 days.

Only 1 player broke into double figures under-par for the par-5s last year (Callum Shinkwin) and eventual winner David Law was just -3 for the long holes on the week; scoring on the par-3s and par-4s was therefore critical to how a player performed overall.

Incoming Form: Of the 7 winners here at 13th beach, each had finished inside the top-40 in one of their last 3 starts globally, however that’s not saying a great deal and last year’s 300/1 winner David Law was another who was difficult to find:

  • David Law: 11/MC/14/6/MC/15/12/25/71/26/MC/MC
  • Simon Hawkes: MC/MC/62/MC/MC/MC/MC/MC/MC/WD/MC/25
  • Dimi Papadadatos: MC/MC/52/56/MC/MC/MC/75/MC/20/MC/27
  • Michael Long: MC/51/20/10/MC/7/34/MC/12/MC/MC/40
  • Richard Green: MC/12/MC/18/DQ/9/39/35/15/26/38/25
  • Matthew Griffin: 15/1/MC/35/3/MC/44/22/5/24/MC/26
  • Matthew Giles: MC/MC/MC/72/MC/MC/MC/59/MC/34/5/13

Course Form. Course form is patchy with only 7 years’ worth of events in the books, however 4 of the 7 winners had previously recorded a top-15 finish around these parts and 2013 winner Matthew Giles has recorded 2 further top-20 finishes here since his win:

  • David Law: Debut
  • Simon Hawkes: MC
  • Dimi Papadadatos: MC/15/6/MC
  • Michael Long: 14/MC/59
  • Richard Green: 14/10
  • Matthew Griffin: 14
  • Matthew Giles: debut

It has to be said that the quality of the field has dipped further from last year’s renewal where, to be fair, the bar wasn’t particularly high in the first place. Haotong Li, Lucas Herbert and Brad Kennedy share favouritism at 14/1 at the time of writing, with Jason Scrivener, MinWoo Lee and Ryan Fox all rating 20/1 chances or shorter, however surprises can and do happen in this type of event.

David Law was 300/1 and anything up to 1,000/1 on the exchanges before the event last year, coming off the back of a pair of missed cuts and never having recorded a European Tour top-20 finish before his win here. Plucking him out of the list would have been an inspired selection, however that result and the stats from his closest challengers do give us some clues as to who might perform well this week on this coastal test.

My Final Vic Open Tips Are As Follows

Andrew Dodt 2pts EW 33/1 (8EW, 1/5) with Boylesports

In an extremely weak field bar a handful of players at the very top of the betting, few of those in attendance can boast a CV as strong as Andrew Dodt. 2 European Tour wins, both of them co-sanctioned affairs in India and Thailand, is head and shoulders above the majority of this week’s field.

For those punters who love a sequence, it’s also interesting to note a certain symmetry to those wins with the first coming in February 2010 and the second coming in February 2015, so by my rudimentary mathematics he’s just about due another win at this kind of level.

That’s not to say it’s been a complete blank since his last win 5 years ago; on the contrary, 2019 was one of his more productive seasons with a win at the Asian Tour’s Sarawak Championship in August which was backed up by 4 top-10 finishes on the Australasian Tour. The most recent of those efforts was an 8th place finish at the Australian PGA Championship in December where his all-round game looked on point, ranking 3rd for Driving Accuracy, 5th for GIR, 14th for Scrambling and 13th for putting average.

Form from that event at Royal Pines has been franked a couple of times already in the month or so that’s passed since Adam Scott was victorious: 3rd place finisher Wade Ormsby won his next start at the Hong Kong Open and 10th place finished Cameron Smith won his next start at the Sony Open in Hawaii.

The Brisbane-born Australian has played since his last effort on home soil, missing the cut in Hong Kong and finishing 41st in Singapore, however there were signs of good things to come on that last start as he sat inside the top-15 after each of the first 2 days with opening rounds of 69/69 before fading. 3rd for Scrambling was encouraging though and could be pivotal this week in blustery conditions as he looks to improve on his 3rd round exit here 12 months ago. Result: MC

✅ Up to £25 in free bets for new UK customers using this qualifying link
✅ Regularly extending full-field PGA Tour events to 8 places each-way in 2020
✅ Offered 10 places each-way 1/5 odds at the 2020 PGA Championship & US Open

Boylesports UK New Customer Offer: 18+. UK Customers (Excluding NI) only. Cash stakes only. Min £10 stake required for initial £5 free bet. Min odds ½. Max £25 in free bets. Subsequent free bets equal 50% average of each 3 qualifying bets. 13 bets required to receive full £25 free bet. Qualifying bet must be placed within 30 days of opening account. Cashed out bets will not qualify towards your average stake. One free bet offer per customer, household or IP address only. Free bet expires after 7 days. Payment method restrictions apply. T&Cs apply.

Suradit Yongcharoenchai 1pt EW 80/1 (6EW, 1/5) with William Hill

If my maths is correct then Suradit Yongcharoenchai is the 14th-highest ranked player in this week’s field, yet he typically sits at twice that position on most bookmaker’s lists and that, for me, presents us with an interesting disparity and potentially a bit of value here this week.

The young Thai has progressed steadily since turning professional in 2016, finishing 2nd twice each on the Asian Development Tour and the Asian Tour itself before finally getting his breakthrough win in October at the Mercuries Taiwan Masters, holding off the far more experienced trio of Adilson da Silva, Ajeetesh Sandhu and Miguel Tabuena by a stroke.

2nd at the Thailand Masters to runaway winner Jazz Janewattananond just before Christmas was also impressive form, finishing alongside Thomas Detry and Phachara Khongwatmai – each of whom would surely be far shorter in the betting if they were here this week in Australia.

62 to close that effort in Thailand was 3 strokes better than anyone else in the field could muster and he showed more explosive scoring power on his last start at the Boonchu Ruangkit Championship where his opening round of 60 gave him the first round lead and wasn’t bettered by anyone during the course of the week. He eventually finished in a tie for 9th that week largely due to a Saturday 75, however overall he looks in decent form as he arrives here in Southern Australia for his Vic Open debut.

The 21 year-old is blessed with an outstanding short game and is a streaky putter who should be well-suited to this week’s test at 13th Beach. Result: MC

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Nick Flanagan 1pt EW 80/1 (5EW, 1/4) with Bet365

4-time web.com Tour winner Nick Flanagan made my team here last year and whilst a 10th place finish was ultimately frustrating from a betting perspective, the 35 year-old played some nice golf having led after an opening round of 62 which got us excited at the time.

The 34 year-old won the prestigious 2003 US Amateur before turning professional and earned himself a full PGA Tour card in 2008 after a sparkling 2007 campaign on the 2nd tier that saw three of his four career wins come in quick succession, however despite a further success in 2012 at the same level, his career has stalled courtesy of back and thumb injuries.

The Australian is still a young man though in relative terms and it was encouraging to see him return to action in 2017 when he grabbed a spot in the US Open through sectional qualifying and 2018 showed further positive signs on the Australasian Tour with 5 top-25 finishes from 9 starts before producing his best finish for well over 5 years with a 6th at the Australian PGA Championship in December, where he topped the field for Total Driving and Ball-Striking.

2019 was largely unproductive after his effort here 12 months ago with 5 missed cuts from his next 8 starts, however 3rd at the year-ending Australian PGA Championship behind Adam Scott was a timely reminder that he’s a very capable player, with his 3rd round 63 the clear best 18 holes of all players on the week.

Nick was 2nd to the halfway point here in 2018, despite having played hardly any competitive golf for the previous 2 years, and having improved on that effort overall last year with his 10th place finish, I see no reason to oppose him here at the price on offer. Result: T12

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Zach Murray 1pt EW 125/1 (6EW, 1/5) with William Hill

Finally I’m taking a punt on young talent Zach Murray who’s touted for great things as one of Australia’s most promising up-and-coming players.

The Victoria-born 21 year-old now lives in Melbourne and plays his golf out of the Commonwealth Golf Club, which sits the other side of Port Phillip Bay, and knows the club here at 13th Beach well having played the Vic Open every year since he was 15. He recorded 3 cuts made from 5 attempts here as an amateur before being disqualified last year in his first outing here as a professional after signing for a wrong score, having made it through to Saturday.

That’s all part of the learning curve for a young player and he would have taken a lot of heart from the reaction of players and fans alike who applauded him for his honesty having declared his mistake post-round, however this year he can approach the task at hand with confidence and a year’s worth of professional experience under his belt.

The 6 foot 5 ‘gentle giant’ won the New Zealand Open two starts after his appearance here 12 months ago, adding to the Western Australia Open title he’d won as an amateur, which was significant in that it was instrumental to him finishing 2nd to Ryan Fox in the Australasia Order of Merit which ultimately earned him his European Tour card for 2020. That was massive for Zach who’s grown up watching the European Tour on TV and his short-term goal of making it onto the top tier of European golf was achieved in his rookie season as a professional.

2020 started off well for Murray who won the Curlewis Blitz Golf tournament from an initial field of 40 before impressing in far stronger company in Abu Dhabi, finishing 21st having opened up with a round of 67 which left him in 5th position after the first day. Result: T15

Zach is one of the new breed of golfers who hits the ball a long way and putts extremely well – a combination which may well see him progress far, far higher over the next few years. An event like this close to home could be the perfect platform for him to get his European Tour career off to a flying start, especially with the local support and knowledge he has of the course, conditions and golf in the area in general.

✅ PC/Laptop Offer: Bet £/€10 Get £/€30 in free bets for new customers using code P30 and this qualifying link
✅ Earliest bookmaker to publish odds each week on the PGA Tour and European Tour
✅ Offered 10 places each-way 1/5 odds at the 2019 Open Championship

William Hill New Customer Offer: New customers using Promo Code P30 only, min £10/€10 stake, min odds ½, free bets paid as £15/€15 (30 days expiry), free bet/payment method/player/country restrictions apply. Full T&Cs Apply.

Odds and bookmaker offers correct at 16:25GMT 3.2.20 but naturally subject to fluctuation.