Wiesberger Ready To Go One Better
A week for the favourites? Bernd Wiesberger is hot favourite for the Lyoness Open in Austria this week where he will be hoping to go one better than his Irish Open second place finish.
This event started off as the Austrian Open in 1990 but has had an uncertain existence, including several name changes and relegation to the Challenger Tour before being restored to the European Tour in 2006. A puny prize fund and a slot in the schedule just before the US Open, when many of the major players are on the other side of the Atlantic, means the field often lacks strength in depth.
The Diamond Country Club in Atzenbrugg, Austria is one of the longest courses on the European Tour, measuring around 7400 yards, and when there’s rain around to soften the going, it can play even longer. The large greens and scarcity of bunkers means that approach play is fairly straightforward, so distance from the tee is the key to success there, with the wide fairways giving the big hitters plenty of leeway.
In The Bunker
After making a slow start to the season, Richie Ramsay rediscovered his touch when winning in Morocco at the end of March and has continued in that vein. He was last seen finishing in the top ten at the Irish Open and goes into this week third in the betting at 14/1. But I’m not sure this is his event. He’s only played it once, back in 2009, when he finished down the field and I don’t think he’s got the power from the tee to thrive on this course. At 14/1 he’s one to oppose.
Bernd Wiesberger has been in solid form all year. He made the top six in each of his first four events of 2015, culminating in a 2nd at Malaysian Open, and although he couldn’t keep that up throughout the spring,
…he bounced back from his Wentworth failure to finish second at the Irish Open last time. He won this event in 2012, was fifth in 2011 and runner-up last year. At 9/2, he’s a solid bet.
Romain Wattel struggled in May, with three poor efforts, culminating in a finish outside the top fifty at the Irish Open. But he is capable of striking form without warning, as he showed when finishing second in Morocco in March, having missed the cut at the Tshwane Open the week before, and he has three consecutive top twenty finishes on this course, including a third in 2013. At 22/1, he offers a touch of value.
Nicolas Colsaerts has gone a couple of years without a Tour victory, but that barren run can come to an end this week. He hasn’t played this event since 2010, but as one of the longest hitters in the European game, the course should suit him down to the ground. More significantly, he achieved his first top ten of the year at the Nordea Masters last week and looks to be finding some form. Back him at 25/1 this week.