Cyprus Open: Punters Sweat on Resurgent Sullivan

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Andy Sullivan returned to the winners' enclosure recently but two rising stars on the European Tour could offer more value for the inaugural event in Cyprus.

Andy Sullivan has found some form of late, winning the English Championship in August.

Andy Sullivan ended a long winning drought in the middle of August and, as a result, the Midlander gets top billing in the betting for this week’s Cyprus Open.

Sullivan, who won three times on the European Tour in 2015 and went on to play for Europe in the Ryder Cup, spent a while in the golfing wilderness before winning the English Championship at Hanbury Manor.

The emphatic nature of Sullivan’s latest success – victory by a seven-shot margin – earned plenty of plaudits and he is just 12/1 for Cyprus Open glory. The Nuneaton man is still only 33, so this recent resurgence could translate into a challenge for higher honours next season.

The new Cyprus event is on terrain previously uncharted by the European Tour – Aphrodite Hills Resort in Paphos. Sullivan will appreciate the room off the tee and his typically strong putting should be shown to good effect on the large greens, but value-seeking punters may opt for bigger-price alternatives.

Horsfield Looking to Rediscover Form

This summer went wonderfully for Sam Horsfield, who won his maiden European Tour title in the Hero Open at the Forest of Arden before a rapid follow-up in the Celtic Classic. A positive test for Covid-19, though, brought his fun to an abrupt halt, forcing the Florida-based Englishman to withdraw from the US Open.

Horsfield has struggled to get going again in the wake of his health problems; a missed cut in the Scottish Open followed by another weekend off in the BMW PGA Championship. A share of 43rd place in the Scottish Championship last time out was a slight improvement and the Manchester-born swinger will be eager to take another step in the right direction in Cyprus.

The generous fairways of Aphrodite Hills will be appealing to the powerhouse youngster and Horsfield fans will surely be tempted by his price of 28/1. Scoring should be extremely low this week unless the wind blows hard – and attacking sorts like Horsfield may be galloping from the off.

Valimaki May Make Further Strides

Sami Valimaki made his BMW PGA Championship debut at Wentworth last time out and topped the greens in regulation statistics on his way to 13th place in the European Tour’s flagship event.

That ball-striking masterclass in good company at an iconic Surrey layout has provided further evidence that the 22-year-old Finn has a wonderful future in the grand old game of golf and he seems likely to be of interest to plenty this week at 30/1.

Valimaki turned professional last year and made a fantastic start in the paid ranks by winning the Oman Open in just his sixth European Tour event. He won four times on the Pro Golf Tour last year.

Post-lockdown he has finished sixth in the Celtic Classic, second in the Wales Open, and tenth in the Andalucía Masters.

Valimaki’s maiden European Tour success came on the Muscat coast and the forecast for stiff breezes in Paphos this week will hold no fears for him.

Steve has been a Racing Post columnist, golf tipster and punter for most of his working life. One of the most well-known tipsters in the country, his columns featuring golf betting tips have been must read material for years.

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