GOLF analyst Lewis Blain (@LewisBlainSport) shares his betting thoughts ahead of English Championship this week.
English Championship | 6th-9th August 2020 | Sky Sports
The European Tour's British swing continues this week as it moves south to just north of London. Last week Arden Forest nearly gave us phenomenal returns with two of our runners, Alexander Bjork (66/1) and Chris Paisley (80/1) taking a share of third-place.
Hanbury Manor plays host – a par 71 ranging 7,042 yards. It's a parklands style set-up but it hasn't been seen at this level in two decades, so there's very little to go from barring recent form and a couple of speculative comps.
It's unlikely to be too demanding and as such, we could have a similar event to last week on our hands in the shape of another ball-strikers birdie fest. There's one less par-5 but many reachable par-4s, so we'll be hunting those aggressive sorts that can rack up scores thanks to where they put themselves off the tee and subsequently, on the green.
The front four to five in the market are all very, very fair – Thomas Detry and Rasmus Hojgaard are very worthy favourites and I'd struggle to make a case against them winning – if I'm honest, particularly the latter but I'm not getting involved at 12s to 16s.
There's some interest in the next rung, however, with Ryan Fox, Gavin Green and our man from last week, Paisley, all catching attention – but on the Englishman, you're getting less than half of the odds as last week and I feel that the value ship has sailed there.
Matthieu Pavon (35/1 Betfair)
Instead, we'll open the preview with Matthieu Pavon (35/1 Betfair).
The Frenchman ranks out fantastically across all statistics and it's his ability on the putting green which draws me to him and suggests why he can rack up birdies so well. If he's hitting it well OTT and on APP, then he's going to convert these chances into minus numbers.
Last week's T6th is encouraging as he notched all four rounds under par and shows that he's trending in the right direction having restarted with a T26th at Close House. He's done well in Mauritius and Portugal which has similar feels to Hanbury Manor this week. He's the all-round beast we're looking for.
Antoine Rozner (70/1 Coral)
We'll stick with Le Francais and run with Antoine Rozner (70/1 Coral)
who looks the most appeal at these odds. He's not missed the cut in seven events during 2020 and ended last season with a playoff defeat to the aforementioned Hojgaard and Renato Paratore in Mauritius. The Dane won the event and since, the Italian has replicated such success winning at Lee Westwood's British Masters a fortnight ago.
Rozner returned at that even with a T60 but managed to top-ten last week, which could have been a lot better as he went into the final found sitting fourth. His putting was there, which isn't always the case, so if that stays hot, he has a major chance at contending once again. He hits a lot of greens (18th on Tour) and is one of the best from the tee this year (11th).
The 27-year-old won back-to-back events on the Challenge Tour last year so there's some winning pedigree there too. He could certainly outplay these odds.
Johannes Veerman (80/1 William Hill)
We're also going to take a punt on young American Johannes Veerman (80/1 William Hill)
, who rates out really well for a lot of the key metrics that we want on our side. Granted, he's been tipped up by some well-respected names already, but that's not going to stop me getting a little bit of the remaining juice at 80s.
Since the return to action, Veerman has adapted well to conditions on the British Isles, racking up a T17 and a T28, so whilst the game is there or there abouts, one good week it could all come together – maybe this week?
He's better around-the-green than with his approaches but last week's attempt showed there's improvement there. He ranks inside the top-3 on Tour for putting and for birdies, so if Hanbury is very much of similar ilk to recent tests, Veerman could go really well.
Maximillian Kieffer (80/1 Betfair)
Someone who bounced back from a string of poor performances last week was Maximillian Kieffer (80/1 Betfair)
. He was sixth alongside Pavon and is someone who has played well at a course that winners from here have also done well at – K Club.
The 2016 Irish Open played host back then and the German finished fifth after driving and putting superbly. Last week's attempt was his best by some mile for the past year, but he showed signs by ranking 10th in the field last week for GIR and racking up 18 birdies or better.
Marcus Armitage (100/1 Coral)
And finally, we'll end the staking plan with an Englishman who continues to be priced unfairly in Marcus Armitage (100/1 Coral)
. Barring inconsistencies with the flat-stick, the most volatile aspect of anyone's game, Armitage is inside the top-26 on the ET for Approach, OTT and GIR. These aspects earned him a T15th at the Hero last week, so a bit of luck on the greens and he could certainly improve on that.
He's won on the CT, popped up in Portugal and in the UK/Ireland, so maybe he's worth a punt at three figures here this week.
English Championship – Matthieu Pavon (35/1 each-way Betfair)
English Championship – Antoine Rozner (70/1 each-way Coral)
English Championship – Johannes Veerman (80/1 each-way William Hill)
English Championship – Maximillian Kieffer (80/1 each-way Betfair)
English Championship – Marcus Armitage (100/1 each-way Coral)