Green will set his sights on Welsh success

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The European Tour is back at Celtic Manor this week for the Wales Open and Gavin Green is one of those looking to pick up from where he left off.

Gavin Green enjoyed a strong finish at the Celtic Classic last week.

The unusual European Tour of 2020 takes another twist this week and punters may be feeling a sense of deja vu.

A six-year wait without a tournament for Celtic Manor ended last week with the Celtic Classic and now players will have the opportunity to tackle the Twenty Ten course again, this time in the Wales Open.

The Newport venue famously hosted the Ryder Cup 10 years ago and the course was deliberately designed for matchplay golf, so aggressive play can often be rewarded.

But it will be interesting to see whether those who performed well at the venue last week gain extra momentum by the fact they are playing in the same surroundings, or whether players will become bored of playing the same holes for the second-week running.

We are in uncharted territory to a certain degree, but one player who will be hoping it is the former is Sam Horsfield. It has been a great period since lockdown for the Englishman, who secured a two-shot victory at the resort last week.

That success came just a fortnight after he triumphed in the Hero Open but those looking to back him at 11/1 this week may be mindful that he failed to make the cut at the English Championship, which was sandwiched between his two successes.

Although the field is not particularly strong, it is still hard to keep that sort of run going and 11/1 joint-favourite Thomas Pieters is likely to be gunning for him, particularly as he ended last week’s fourth round with four straight birdies, to take a share of third place.

Away from Horsfield and Pieters, there could though be value to be had a bit further down the the Wales Open betting.

Green can make a bold bid

It can sometimes be unwise to read too much into one piece of form, but Gavin Green’s closing 63 on Sunday was ominous.

It was enough to give the Malaysian a share of 11th spot and his eight birdies should have filled him with great confidence.

Having claimed top-20 finishes in Oman and Qatar, it seemed just a matter of time before he claimed his first European Tour title with the break in play coming at the wrong time for him.

22/1 chance Green is ranked 13th in driving distance and 15th in accuracy on the European Tour and should make a big impression this week.

Young talent could shine through

Although the tournament does not contain the game’s leading lights, there are plenty of interesting young players who can make their presence felt after solid performances last week.

Finland’s Sami Valimaki is 66/1 to pick up a second European Tour title after his triumph at the Oman Open and he enjoyed a brilliant weekend with closing rounds of 65 and 66.

Big-hitting Wilco Nienaber is another making a name for himself and a fourth place at the English Championship at Hanbury Manor was encouraging, while his odds of 50/1 are also likely to attract interest.

He built on that with a closing 66, which left him 22nd, but there is scope for an improvement on a course where his power could prove a big asset.

Then there is his fellow South African Jacques Kruyswijk, who posted weekend rounds of 67 and 65 to finish 14th last week. His confidence should be sky high going into this week’s event and he’s a massive 110/1.

Warren has been employed as a sport journalist for over two decades and as well as years of written experience, has also worked in other areas of the media including radio and television. Football has always been his number one passion, but has also commentated and written on a number of other sports including golf, cricket, tennis and rugby.
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