Daan Huizing 1 point each-way @ 33-1
Jamie McLeary – 0.75 points each-way @ 45-1
Robin Sciot-Siegrist – 0.75 points each-way @ 45-1
Oliver Lindell – 0.50 points each-way @ 90-1
As Madness sang, all I wanted was a word or photograph to keep, or a golfer that would do something on a Sunday.
Another decent enough stab at the Italian Challenge last week with all four players making the cut. Linard was very disappointing over the weekend but I felt there was a squeak with Sciot-Siegrist but the Frenchman continued his bizarre 50/50 scoring to finish four shots off a payout.
In his first three rounds, Sciot had 25 pars through the front nine though heavily scoring through holes 10-18, and as he found his touch early on Sunday there was a slight hope of success. Unfortunately the par run continued and a level of stasis was restored.
We move this week to the excellent Le Vaudreuil Challenge which may have been only in existance since 2013 but has churned out a list of winners that now reads top-class.
Inaugral winner Brinson Paolini may not have kicked-on yet but there will be few golf viewers that have not heard of Andrew Johnston, Ryan Fox and Alexander Bjork, the last three winners at PGA France du Vaudreuil. Indeed all three tee it up at The Open this week, as does runner-up to ‘Beef’, former PGA winner Ben An.
Clearly this course demands a level of quality and given the fairly narrow fairways both accuracy and putting prowess will be required to approach the anticipated -15 winning score.
With Road To Oman leader Julian Suri playing at Birkdale, this is a huge chance for our ante-post nap, Aaron Rai, to close the 10k gap at the top of the rankings. Suri has been fading on Sundays and the momentum is definitely with the future champion so it is hoped he nabs a few thousand points and we have something to smile about on Sunday.
In terms of winning in France, the Wolverhampton ace is clearly the one to beat. He already has two wins at this level this year and since missing the cut at the U.S Open, has gone 18/8/4, with low rounds over the weekend at both Prague and Italy. Given his closing second here last year behind Bjork he could take the world of beating, especially if continuing his high percentage of finding fairways and an excellent short game. I can’t tip or bet at 8-1 but find it hard to put anybody off.
There is a significant link between a couple of events and this. Good performances at the Scottish Hydro appear in all three winners’ formlines, whilst the likes of Slovakia and Swiss make their presence known. As such, it is a huge disappointment that James Heath has withdrawn. With figures in Scotland of 1/2, and high finishes at the other two events he looked almost too good a fit for the stats. perhaps thats why he is out!
Given this event is likely to be won by a player with pretensions to the highest class, this is now an event in which many can be discounted.
At a workable price, Jamie McLeary does bring in that linkable formline. 13th at the Hydro at the beginning of this month backs up his pre-2010 event figures of 1/2 whilst a T4 in Slovakia in 2015 and a top-5 in the 2013 Swiss Challenge read well here. Form figures round this track are welcoming, an opening 8th in 2013 followed by a top-15 two years later, a finish that would certainly have been improved bar a strange third-round 76. He missed the cut on his last outing in Prague but only on the number, and couldn’t be unhappy with a 69/73 opening salvo. At around 45-1 he looks a touch overpriced in a field where only a few now comply with the ‘rules’.
At a similar price I am taking another chance with the aforementioned Robin Sciot-Siegrist although 45-1 is the lowest I would go. The top-20 in Italy discussed above followed another high-class top-10 in Prague suggesting he is making enough chances and just needs them to drop whilst 9th round here last season came courtesy of a low-round 65 on Payday. The 23-year-old hasn’t any correlative form but there is certainly enough promise in recent events to think we have not seen the best of a former cracking amateur.
Since his incredible 62 at Saint Omer, I have been waiting for an event to go to war with Daan Huizing and whilst he is at the base of the prices I cannot let him go off the back of that eye-catching effort when 7th last week in Italy.
A former winner of two top-class amateur championships and twice winner at this level, he had been disappointing until making his first cut of the year at the Swiss Challenge. Form since then has taken an upward curve, top-15 in Belgium and maybe significantly at that French event where a round of 62 is almost unheard of. Significantly it showed that the Dutchman was coming to terms with some new clubs that arrived in April and whilst he needed to wait three weeks for his next top-10, three rounds of 67 and a 66 show he is in rude health.
Huizing has a sliver of form in the 2015 Slovakia Challenge (missed cut last year but second round 67) and clearly likes it here, having course figures of 14/24/4. Efforts at Saint-Omer show him quite capable of playing the accurate golf he will need this week and whilst admittedly I was hoping for bigger than 33-1, such is his chance in a top-heavy event….
It is a struggle to look past the double-figure players this week given the criteria and 18-year-old Oliver Lindell makes the cut at 90-1 with one firm.
We were on Lindell in Denmark where he predictably missed the cut by a couple of shots but he is worth keeping on-side at this sort of price.
Very impressive throughout his junior and amateur career he is a proven winner one rung down, held in very high regard at home in Finland, and after a 7th in Italy last week needs to be kept on your lists for the foreseeable future. He is no good thing after a missed-cut here last year but golf is littered with excellent prospects who take their time finding their feet and it is simply a matter of when, not if.