GOLF analyst Lewis Blain (@LewisBlainSport) shares his betting thoughts ahead of Hero Open this week.
Hero Open | European Tour | 30th July – 2nd August 2020 | Sky Sports
The European Tour has been back for several weeks now and after keeping an eye on the proceedings, it's time to dip our toes into the water. This week sees the British swing continue as players swap Newcastle for Birmingham.
It brings the return of Forest of Arden CC for the first time in one-and-a-half decades for what is effectively the British Open. So, we'll get straight into the preview…
- Forest of Arden CC
- Par 72, 6,958 yards
- Modern tree-lined parklands
- Water in play on 11 holes
- This could well be one for those that can strategically plot their way around a course
- Water plus severe rough emphasises that so accuracy off the tee, approach game, greens in reg are all key
- Par-5 scoring will no doubt help given it's a par 72 overall
- Links and Open Championship form could help as will recent form
- This also means Doha, Paris national and some of the Scandinavian tracks also have to be considered
Guido Migliozzi (50/1 Betfair)
My absolute favourite bet of the week lies with Italian 2-time European Tour winner Guido Migliozzi and he's been nailed to the wall. But it wouldn't be genuine of me to not pass my reasons why and there's still a little bit of juice here at 50s.
Both of his wins have come on tree-lined courses (Kenya Open, Belgian Knockout) and I feel like this test could be exactly the same. He was primed to contend last week at Close House before a shocking final-round 78, but there many who imploded so maybe that comes down to conditions.
Migliozzi has often bounced back from poor results throughout his short yet impressive career. T4 in Oman after three straight MCs; back-to-back T15s after a MC in France; a win off the back of a MC. He could also be inspired by his best pal Renato Paratore winning last week.
Robert Rock (50/1 Betfred)
Another player I was quick to leap on when odds first came out was Robert Rock and just like our guy above, he's been backed to the well. His return to action last week saw him in a share for fourth place alongside Andy Sullivan who is much shorter for this event, so there's some value to be had even at these odds.
The flat-capped Englishman has regularly turned up for links events, epitomised by a T7th in the Open Championship which is encouraging. It's also nice to have someone on board who's fairly local to the area having grown up 30 miles down the road Armitage, Staffordshire.
Rock is also one of a few who have actually played this track competitively, which should stand him in good stead.
Ashley Chesters (60/1 Betfair)
It would be silly to ignore one of the straightest hitters on the ET, Ashley Chesters. He's another who was in contention at Close House, but even more primed for a shot at the title having sat in fourth before sinking to 14th due to the challenging weather.
This week should be a tad different, thus allowing Chesters to thrive. He bombs it accurately and hits plenty of greens in reg. A lot of his good form has come on similar tracks as well as on the links. He nearly top-10'd the 2015 Open Championship whilst a 4th at the super tough Andalucia and 9th in Denmark provide further encouragement.
An extra plus is that this is one of his favourite courses. Shropshire isn't too far away either.
Alexander Bjork (66/1 Boylesports)
Someone who has my eye at very generous odds is Alexander Bjork. He didn't set alight Close House but having made the cut, he can build on it here at Arden.
He brings winning pedigree having won in China in 2018 and perhaps it's a surprise to see him not follow that up in the two years since. He was only two shots behind Campillo in Qatar earlier in the year, which only builds on why he could contend here.
The Swede has also shown up in the British Masters, the Open de France and in Ireland, Scotland & Dubai. He's a tremendous ball-striker and is super reliable in the flat-stick. I'll take the chance on Bjork over some of the others in this range.
Chris Paisley (80/1 Betfred)
Several people tipped up Chris Paisley only for him to miss the cut last week, but maybe it's now time to strike. He flew in late for the event from Florida and maybe that played some part. Now that he's accustomed to the British weather and timezone, he could actually compete.
The Englishman is another who did well in Qatar earlier in the year, finishing behind Bjork in T7th. And he was often a go-to at Doha every year. Paisley has also contended in France, Portugal and Scotland (links!) so there's no reason why Arden won't suit his eye. We can trust him to putt well and pick up strokes around the green, but he's going to have to hit more greens in regulation to truly give us a good run for his odds.
Hero Open – Guido Migliozzi (50/1 each-way Betfair)
Hero Open – Robert Rock (50/1 each-way Betfred)
Hero Open – Ashley Chesters (60/1 each-way Betfair)
Hero Open – Alexander Bjork (66/1 each-way Boylesports)
Hero Open – Chris Paisley (80/1 each-way Betfred)