The European Tour's UK swing heads south and a first stop at the Forest of Arden for almost 20 years. Here's who we're backing for glory
The second stop of the European Tour’s UK Swing takes us to the Forest of Arden for the Hero English Open. This tournament was last played at the same venue in 2002, when Darren Clarke won his third English Open title, though the Northern Irishman won’t be in the Midlands to defend this week.
Venue: Forest of Arden Country Club, Birmingham, England
Date: July 30-August 2, 2020
Course stats: Par 72; 6,958 yards
Course summary: Designed by Donald Steele, this venue has hosted many tournaments in its history including the British Masters and the English Open. Tree lined fairways, thick rough, and multiple water hazards await the players here at this challenging course.
Purse: £1 million
Previous champion: Darren Clarke (-17)
Hero English Open TV coverage
Thursday: Sky Sport Golf from 12pm, Sky Sports Main Event from 3pm
Friday: Sky Sport Golf from 12pm, Sky Sports Main Event from 3pm
Saturday: Sky Sports Golf from 12.30pm
Sunday: Sky Sports Golf from 12pm
Hero English Open betting: Each-way tips
Ashley Chesters (80/1 with bet365) had an impressive tournament at the British Masters and represents great value here. Chesters ranks 1st in Driving Accuracy, a key measure on a tight track where the rough is long and thick. He also ranks 8th in GIR, therefore giving plenty of opportunities to birdie or better. If Chesters can produce the performance of his first three rounds at Close House, we will see him challenging again on Sunday.
Adrien Saddier (70/1) is another player who is accurate off the tee and statistically fits this course perfectly. The Frenchman, who has a 3rd-place finish already this season, ranks 15th in Driving Accuracy, 25th in Driving Distance and 6th in GIR. His recent form prior to a disappointing missed cut last week reads 3-12-18, so he is clearly a player in form and needs to put his second-round 75 at Close House behind him. If he can get the putter hot and continue to give himself opportunities on the greens, Saddier can go close here.
Richie Ramsay (60/1) arrives off the back of a T38 finish at the British Masters where he demonstrated some consistency with four rounds at even-par or better. Another accurate driver of the ball, ranking 23rd in this category, Ramsay has made four of his last five cuts on the European Tour. The Scotsman has a stronger short game than my other two selections in this bracket, but will need to ensure he hits GIR to give himself opportunities to score low. Ramsay will be a popular choice at this price, so take advantage while you can.
Hero English Open betting: The long shot
Joel Stalter (100/1) arrives here off the back of his first European Tour victory at the Euram Bank Open in Austria. Stalter won the event in style, with four under-par rounds including two 5-under-par 65s. With confidence high and clearly in good form, Stalter represents great each-way value if he can re-focus for this week’s event.
Hero English Open betting: Top tip
Andy Sullivan (20/1) produced a strong finish to secure a 4th place finish at the British Masters. The Englishman has made six out of seven cuts this season and holds three European Tour titles, so is more than qualified to take this event. Although not being the most accurate off the tee, Sullivan ranks 2nd in Stroke Average. With the strength of his approach and short game, Sullivan can be in contention if he finds the fairway from the tee and I am backing him to do exactly that after an impressive performance at Close House.
For more prices, visit bet365.