The European Tour returns to a familiar venue for the Cazoo Open and with a familiar name in tow as football legend Gareth Bale lends his support to the Celtic Manor event.
Host of two events on the UK Swing last year, the Newport venue is primed and ready to provide what is sure to be a tough test for a field full of potential first-time winners.
With that extremely useful recent course form to review, I have picked out three players I fancy to go well in Wales this week. But first…
Venue: Celtic Manor, Newport, Wales
Date: 22-25 July 2021
Course stats: Par 71; 7,493 yards
Course summary: This purpose built Ryder Cup venue, and host of the 2010 tournament, is a true test for the field. Length, water hazards, forced carries and a variety of risk reward opportunities will ensure there is plenty of drama, while four par-5s will give the players opportunities to claw some shots back.
Purse: €1.25 Million
Defending champion: Romain Langasque (-8)
Cazoo Open TV coverage
Thursday: Sky Sport Golf from 11am
Friday: Sky Sport Golf from 11am
Saturday: Sky Sport Golf from 11am
Sunday: Sky Sport Golf from 11am
Cazoo Open betting tips
Bazza’s Banker: John Catlin @ 40/1 with Bet365
Catlin was one of the top players on the European Tour last season, and while his recent form has been patchy at best, he has a great chance to get back to winning ways at a course where he has played well before. Catlin won twice in quick succession last year, and followed up with a win in Austria just three months ago, so it is no surprise he is one of the favourites here. Catlin has the perfect game for this ‘second shot’ course, as evidenced by a 6th-place finish at the Celtic Classic here last year. The American currently ranks 10th for Driving Accuracy, 11th for SG: Tee-to-green and 21st for SG: Around-the-green. If the putter gets hot for Catlin this week, he could be about to grasp his fourth European Tour title in under a year.
The outsider: Connor Syme @ 45/1 with Bet365
Syme is one of the few players who performed well in both tournaments when Celtic Manor hosted back-to-back events last year, with a pair of top-8 finishes. That to me says he likes the course, and it is not surprising to see why when you look at how well his stats match the challenge provided. The Scotsman is gaining strokes on the field off the tee, on approach, and when putting this season – while he also played some of his best stuff on this course last season. At a reasonable price, he certainly offers some each-way value in a weak field.
The long shot: Jack Senior @ 90/1 with Bet365
Senior has played some excellent golf of late, making the weekend at the Open Championship and finishing in the top-10 in Scotland prior. The Englishman also played in both events here last year, with a best of 22nd, and that course experience should be valuable this week. In Scotland, Senior ranked 2nd for SG: Off-the-tee and 11th for SG: Putting, which is a real indicator that he is playing some of his best golf at present.
For more prices visit Bet365.