Starts - 9th July 2020
Course - Diamond CC
Par -72 (36-36)
Length – 7,458 yards
Overall Profit/Loss: -2pts
Six to Watch
T4th Darius Van Driel - 80/1
T8th John Catlin - 66/1 (No Place)
T18th Adrien Saddier - 50/1
T18th Bernd Ritthammer - 100/1
T62nd Alexander Knappe - 150/1
MC Sami Valimaki - 33/1
In-Play bets: -2pts
17 July 2020 (-2 Points)
1pt Each Way (1/5 1,2,3,4,5) Allan John- 200/1 @ Sportingbet
Diamond CC was the host of the Lyoness Open from 2010-2017 and latterly the Shot Clock Masters in 2018. It was designed by Jeremy Pern and opened in 2002. Water is in play on half of the holes and notably on two of the par 3s on the front nine (the 2nd and 6th), which are played to island greens.
The first 6 holes offer players a chance to make birdies and and the final holes also offer opportunities, particularly with back to back par 5s at the 15th and 16th. The holes in the middle offer a harder test and if you are betting in running be aware you may wish to lay.
Significant Info To Be Aware Of
With this being the first event back on the European Tour we will likely see quite a range of preparedness.
We should also be alert to the possibility that some players may drop out should they test positive for Covid-19.
Continue to exercise caution at the outset and keep a watching brief in play.
In general its not been a course that is favourable to first time winners, with each of those from 2010-2016 having won prior to winning here. However, Dylan Frittelli and Mikko Korhonen were both first time winners on the European Tour in 2017 and 2018.
Winning scores at Diamond CC over the last six tournaments have ranged between -12 and -17. We shouldn't expect a score anywhere in the twenties this week. It is worth mentioning that in 2018, Mikko Korhonen won with a score of -16 but only one other player made it into double digits under par.
Driving Accuracy is important. Three of the last four winners have ranked inside the top 20 for driving accuracy for the week, whilst none have ranked inside the top 30 for Driving Distance. The sole player not to finish inside the top 20 for Driving Accuracy was Ashun Wu in 2016 and he had a great week on the greens (ranking 2nd putts per GIR).
As you'd expect at a course with water on half the holes and smaller than average greens, you need to be an accurate iron player as well as an accurate driver. The last four winners have ranked 4th, 19th, 10th and 6th for Greens in Regulation. As Matthias Schwab alluded to above, we are looking for a fairways and greens type player.
Third round leaders don't have a great record here, with only two players managing to convert a lead since 2010. Eventual winners have come from as far as six shots back and it's a course where a player can quickly make group up on the leaders. That said, in 2018 Mikko Korhonen put on a commanding performance and wasn't challenged. Overall, opposing the final round leader is a fine strategy.
Six To Watch
Third round leaders don't have a great record here, with only two players managing to convert a lead since 2010. Eventual winners have come from as far as six shots back and it's a course where a player can quickly make group up on the lead
Sami Valimaki - 33/1 @ BetVictor
Sami is a proven winner in lower level events. He's not played at Diamond CC before but he ranked 41st in driving accuracy on the European Tour before the break and warmed up with a win in a warm up event in Finland organised by Mikko Ilonen. If he gets a sniff of a win he's one to be relied upon.
Adrien Saddier - 50/1 @ William Hill
Adrien is as low as 30/1 at some bookmakers as he seeks to build on his stellar play before the break. He posted a 3rd place finish and 12th place finish in his last two starts on the European Tour before the break and we saw how previous form carried over with Daniel Berger on the PGA Tour a few weeks ago at the Charles Schwab Challenge. Adrien's recent interviews have been interesting as he has spoken about not wanting to rest on his laurels and to use the upcoming events to qualify for the US Open.
John Catlin - 66/1 @ BetVictor
It is interesting that John tees it up here given he was in Thailand at the start of the Corona outbreak and has been warming up by playing mini-tour events in the USA more recently (posting a couple of top 10s at the end of June on the Golden State Tour). He's an accurate driver and proven winner in Asia, having won four events on the Asian Tour since 2018.
Darius Van Driel - 80/1 @ William Hill
We've missed the 100s that was on offer yesterday but 80/1 still represents a fair price for a player who is more than capable of competing at this level. He has won in each of the last two years on the Challenge Tour, including in Austria at the Euram Bank Open in 2018. He also finished runner up to Guido Migliozzi in last year's Belgian Knockout on the European Tour. Darius got engaged during the break - keep an eye on the loved up Dutchman this week.
Bernd Ritthammer - 100/1 @ Betfred
Bernd recorded three wins on the Challenge Tour in 2016 to earn promotion to the European Tour in 2017. However, it's been a yo-yo couple of years for him since. That said, he posted a 2nd place finish toward the end of 2019 at the Porsche European Open which hinted at a return to form. He's a player who is capable of a good finish in this field.
Alexander Knappe - 150/1 @ Betfred
This is very much a curve ball selection and Alexander only just got the nod over Lars Van Meijel. Like Bernd Ritthammer, Alexander had a stellar 2016 season winning twice and almost breaking into the top 100 in the world. It has been a rockier path since then, but he's an accurate driver who won a warm up event in Germany at the end of June.