It's another new tournament and another innovative format to look forward to on the European Tour this week. Barry Plummer previews the action

It’s the second of the Mediterranean Swing this week with the inaugural Cyprus Showdown and its unique format.

Cyprus Showdown: The details

Venue: Aphrodite Hills Golf Resort, Paphos, Cyprus

Date: November 5-8, 2020

Course stats: Par 70; 6,877 yards

Course summary: After a successful first week in Cyprus, the players tee it up again here in the Mediterranean sunshine. The course is a short, parkland track with generously wide fairways and large multi-tiered greens. Wind is one of the main defences on this course, but this was not a huge factor in last week’s event. 

Purse: $1 million

Defending champion: N/A (inaugural event)

Cyprus Showdown: The format

The Cyprus Showdown will be a completely brand new format for the European Tour. (Or, indeed, any tour.) So how does it work?

The 105-man field will play two rounds of stroke play, as normal, with just 32 players making it through to Saturday.

For the third round, the scores will be reset and all 32 will begin on a level playing field.

The top 16 players following Saturday’s play will progress to Sunday’s final round where once again the scores will reset for an 18-hole shootout to win the €200,000 first prize.

Cyprus Showdown: TV coverage

Thursday: Sky Sport Golf and Main Event from 9.30am
Friday: Sky Sport Golf and Main Event from 9.30am
Saturday: Sky Sport Golf from 10am
Sunday: Sky Sport Golf and Main Event from 9.30am

Cyprus Showdown: Staking plan

Wilco Nienaber – 1.5pt win @ 55/1 with bet365

One of the early talking points from European Tour players in the lead up to last week’s event was the distance Nienaber was producing off the tee at Aphrodite Hills. The young South African ranks 1st on tour for Driving Distance, so theoretically has a big advantage on a relatively short course. That didn’t exactly play out last week, with Nienaber finishing T53 thanks to a third-round 79. An impressive closing 64, as well as two solid early rounds, gives me enough confidence he can improve this time around. In an event with an innovative new format, anything could happen and Nienaber could certainly capitalise to grab his first European Tour victory.

Jason Scrivener-  1.5pt win @ 50/1 with bet365

Another player who produced a blistering final round 64 last week, Scrivener secured a T6 finish and with the course experience will surely improve on at a venue which suits his game. Scrivener ranks 14th on tour for SG: Off-the-Tee and is a consistent putter. His approach play also ranks among the top 50 players on tour, so I can’t see many reasons to oppose him after a great performance last week.

Marcus Armitage – 1.5pt win @ 45/1 with bet365

The popular Englishman enters this week’s event in arguably the form of his career, with recent results reading 23-7-10-12. Armitage impressed last week and would perhaps have challenged for his first win had he not hit trouble around the turn on Sunday. With an ability to shoot low, as evidenced by a second round 64, this new format could suit him perfectly. With a reasonable price based on his performance last week, I am backing Armitage to put on a show in the sun.

Joel Stalter – 0.75pt e/w @ 125/1 with bet365

Stalter stormed onto the scene in Cyprus last week, opening with a superb 65. A third-round 68 was sandwiched by two average efforts, eventually leading to a T41 finish. Having won fairly recently, the Frenchman knows what it takes to convert on the European Tour and four competitive rounds of course practice will certainly help. If we get a fast start from Stalter again he may well secure his place for the weekend, and from there he will have a great each-way chance at a great price.

For more prices, visit bet365.

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