Selectabet: Austrian GolfOpen
September 20, 2011 1 Comment
Date: 22nd – 25th September 2011
Competition: Austrian GolfOpen by Lyoness
In the absence of a functioning space-bar, and following a week watching tour pro’s attempt to recreate the excitement of the Walker Cup in a “thing” called the Vivendi Trophy, it is business as usual at Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Austrian GolfOpen. However, this week it’s the turn of The European Tours “B” squad while the proper players fight it out in the US for the PGA Tour Championship finale at East Lake…but stick around….I’ll be back.
From the Country that brought the world the sewing machine, sponsor Lyoness, for the record, is a Europe wide loyalty card. As someone who knows about these things, and like the sewing machine, it’s a dated creation, somewhat like Austria’s gift to the world of popular music – Falco (remember Rock Me Amadeus?).
Venue: Diamond Country Club, Atzenbrugg, Austria (Diamond Course)
With plenty of water to focus the mind, The Diamond Country Club is a mighty challenge stretching beyond 6,700 metres from the tips. Eight of the final twelve holes feature lakes and ponds to threaten tee shots and approach shots, and in some cases – both. Tis’ not the best course in Austria, but that doesn’t make it a rough diamond…
Yards: 7,386 yards
Par: Par 72
There are some really big names playing this week including Florian Pogatschnigg (1,000/1), Rafael Cabrera-Bello (45/1), Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (24/1) and Alfredo Garcia-Heredia (213/1 – all BetDaq). Equally there is a big caddy nicknamed Wobbly (and a wobbly player named John Daly) who is carrying the clubs for Walker Cup hero Paul Cutler (90/1) on his Professional debut.
However, of the players, it’s difficult to see anyone from outside the top ten obvious favourites triumph this weekend. They include Padraig “Wheres me trophy” Harrington (12/1 at SkyBet), Soren “the Great Dane” Hansen (33/1 at Ladbrokes) and the walking humidor himself, Miguel Angel Jimenez (13/1 with Coral).
At this juncture, I would normally make mention of some of the better holes (probably here the 11th and 15th which are both par threes are both have island greens). I may also have mentioned a tricky hole towards the end (the 18th has water down the left hand side while out of bounds protects the right) but this week, I am not going to.
Occasionally, I also mention the weather forecast which this time around, is the most interesting of the usual features. Earlier this week, many Austrians awoke to a large dump of fresh snow which is the first snowfall on lower levels since last season. Sadly there was no skiing – as the weather was just too bad and although winter ski areas are around two months from opening, many were blanked with nearly half a metre of snow! With a half baked field such as this, this minor snowy distraction is music to my ears – in the form of the Austrian maestros Mahler, Mozart and Strauss….
Ones to watch:
Not wanting to appear as obviously homosexual as Austrian TV presenter Brüno Gehard, but this week, I have to say I rather fancy Tom Lewis (48/1 with BetDaq). Following an exemplary showing at this year’s Dubai Desert Classic (59th) and The Open (30th), and here in his professional debut, the sweet swinging, blonde haired blue eyed wiser-than-his-years Welwyn Garden City boy will be an exciting prospect for the future and well worth an each way punt this week of all weeks.
There’s no doubting that a visit to the history books often provides much of my inspiration for this meager collection of wordsmithery and so its perhaps no surprise that 2010 winner, Jose Manuel Lara (22/1 with BetFred and Totesport), reappears as a potential top 4 finisher this week. The rather scary, hairy and lairy looking twice Tour winning Spaniard, despite an interesting season in 2010 (with 21 missed cuts and a win!), has steadied the ship this year with 5 top 15 positions.
Ones to win:
Aiming for the Swarovski and sparkling Red Bull (they like the podiums!), and hoping to beat the two year victory itch, is visor sporting Soren Kjeldson (33/1 with Ladbrokes) who is a consistent performer on the tour having never finished outside the top 67 since 1998. A gritty but stylish character Kjeldson will be eyeing the silverware this week.
And finally the smiling Frenchman, Victor Dubuisson (30/1 at PaddyPower and Bet365), Titleist playing wunderkind and general extrovert player is seeking his maiden victory having played himself both in (and out) of contention on several occasions across the season. Now seeks a solid performance to consolidate a solid rookie year on the big tour. But inspired by the smell of victory he hopes the local Apfelstrudel and Pez candy won’t be the only sweet things about his week in Austria.
Hasta la Vista baby.