GOLF analyst Lewis Blain (@LewisBlainSport) shares his betting thoughts ahead of the Scandinavian Invitation from Hills Golf Club.
Scandinavian Invitation | 22nd-25th August 2019 | Sky Sports
The European Tour returned only last week as Thomas Pieters was back in the winners’ enclosure by clinching the Czech Masters for a second time. I held back to see what players had shaken off some rust and to just get a general feel going into this week.
A strong field heads to Sweden for the Scandinavian Invitation (previously Nordea Masters) with Henrik Stenson, Matthew Fitzpatrick and Alex Noren headlining the field, they are all 12/1 or shorter with Fitz being the pick of the bunch for me but next week is his perennial winning track at Crans.
- Hills Golf and Sports Club, Sweden.
- Held this tournament last year.
- Par 70, 6,900ish yards.
- Tree-lined woodlands course.
- Wide/easy fairways with smallish Bentgrass greens.
- Wind and small greens main defence.
- Lack of course history or much correlation so a simple week based on course fit and form.
- Course fit – Solid and accurate approach game, GIR, par-3 and par-5 scoring, accurate off the tee (fairways may be wide but still have to be in them).
- Players trending before the break/shook off the rust at the Czech Masters have to appeal.
Robert MacIntyre (33/1 Betfair)
One to watch in this next run of tournaments for sure, Robert MacIntyre could have easily won a tournament on his debut season on tour and this test looks right up his street.
He’s 17th on the European Tour for SG:Approach, and inside the top-30 or so for GIR and Par-5 scoring whilst he is pretty good on the Par-3s too.
After the heights of recording a T6 in his first-ever major, he finished T23 last week after around a month or so off so it suggests he’s still in great nick. Second in Denmark suggests he may like this neck of the woods, as does a second at the Finnish Challenge on the Challenge Tour.
I just can’t miss this guy winning.
Jordan Smith (40/1 Betfair)
Outside of the favourites, the best fit for this course for me.
First on the European Tour for Greens in Regulation, Smith is a no brainer alone. But he’s also 18th for SG:Approach, 22nd for Driving Accuracy and 22nd for Par-3 scoring.
He hasn’t played since the run of links golf but to be honest, that’s not his forte. In amongst that there was a 3rd at the BMW International Open in Germany which is far from a links test – also a leaderboard littered with players that would contend here (Fitz, Schwab, Moli etc.) and was a fifth top-14 in six events.
Benjamin Hebert (50/1 Betfair)
Another fantastic fit for this course and a player that should have already won once or twice this season, Ben Hebert – he was second to Bernd Wiesberger at the Scottish Open, losing in the millionth playoff hole (lucky for us) and second in China earlier in the season.
He rarely comes out to play in comparison to some players but he ranks 12th on the ET for SG:App, 21st for Par-5 scoring and 24th for GIR.
Last year round here he recorded three rounds of 67 (total 9-under-par) with a third round 75 sandwiched between that letting him down – had he recorded another three-under then he would have placed and contended with Waring winning at -14 under last year.)
Paul Waring (60/1 Betfair)
Which leads nicely onto Waring himself who shouldn’t be this price as defending champ. He’s had a very decent year going close a few times since the win here last year – including a T6 and T3 in the Middle East, a T6 at the British Masters and a T7 at the Irish Open.
He’s missed just two cuts all year and is second to Smith for GIR on the ET this year. He also ranks 19th for Par-5 scoring, 26th for SG:App and isn’t too far off the top 50 for Par-3 scoring.
It’s more a price play than anything else, had his last event been a top-10 or even a top-15/20 then he may well have been half that price. If his putter behaves then he could well contend.
Matthew Southgate (100/1 Betfair)
Another player who looks lovely based on price is Matthew Southgate who is as good course fit as anyone.
The most accurate off the tee in our staking plan, ranking 11th for Driving Accuracy so he’s going to find every fairway round here which will give him every opportunity. He’s also 13th for GIR on the ET and 21st on SG:App.
Before the break he had recorded four straight missed cuts and shook off some rust last week with a T30 so that suggests he’s turned a corner. In the lead up to that poor run, the Englishman recorded T9-T8 in Denmark and Belgium on tracks that could hint towards something here slightly. He has every chance at a three figure price.
Scandinavian Invitation – Robert MacIntyre (33/1 each-way Betfair)
Scandinavian Invitation – Jordan Smith (40/1 each-way Betfair)
Scandinavian Invitation – Benjamin Hebert (50/1 each-way Betfair)
Scandinavian Invitation – Paul Waring (60/1 each-way Betfair)
Scandinavian Invitation – Matthew Southgate (100/1 each-way Betfair)