European Tour Betting Preview: Oman Open
This week the European Tour goes back to the Middle East for the Oman Open. This will be only the third playing of the Oman Open, and is the first European Tour event (not including WGC-Mexico) since the Vic Open three weeks ago. Due to this, many players haven’t played an event since then. This could lead to some players being rusty, while others may feel rested and re-charged.
Course: Al Mouj Golf
Yardage: 7,365 Yards
Recent Winners: Kurt Kitayama -7 (2019), Joost Luiten -16 (2018)
One thing to note is that this course hosted a Challenge Tour event in 2013-17, so while it’s only been a European Tour event since 2018, some players may have more experience with the course going back to 2013. As evidenced by the gap in winning scores the last two years, this course can play hard, but there is scoring that can be done. The course is very open and has a links-feel to it in a desert setting. The Sea of Oman is in play on many holes, and off-the-tee game will definitely be key as bad tee shots could be very penal -- while bombers who can keep the ball in/near fairways (and out of the water) can take advantage of the open feel of the course.
Last year, the wind played a big factor in the winning score being fairly close to par. The forecast for the week looks like this will be less of a factor, with gusts topping out under 15 MPH projected for Thursday-Friday, and under 10 MPH on the weekend. This means that players who will be finding fairways, hitting greens, and making birdies will be more valuable. Last year, Kitayama had to scramble well on Sunday to get the victory, this year that formula may not work as well and Joost Luiten’s play in 2018 may be more of the prototype.
The highest ranked player in the field is Shaun Norris, who is ranked 59th in the world currently. Other standouts are the two Belgians, Thomas Pieters and Thomas Detry, with Pieters having a sixth-place finish last year at this event. Martin Kaymer is also in the field making his first career start in Oman. Jorge Campillo has the best course history at this event, with a runner-up and fourth-place finish the last two years in Oman.
Adria Arnaus - Adri should be able to bomb away with the driver this week, and with the wind looking like it won’t be a big factor, he should be more likely to avoid disaster with a couple balls in the Sea of Oman. Adri is leading the European Tour in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee so far in this short season, he comes in having made three straight cuts playing similar venues in the middle east. I think Adri is poised for a big breakout year on the European Tour and he’s ready to find the winner’s circle.
Bets: To Win (+2200)
Jorge Campillo - As I mentioned above, Campillo has elite course history at this event with back-to-back top-five finishes. He isn’t coming in with great form, but that means his odds are a bit depressed and this is a guy who can pop out of nowhere. Last year, he came in with similarly shaky form and finished T2 to kick start a string of starts with five top-three finishes in a six-tournament stretch. We’ve also seen him seem to play well in weaker field events as opposed to the stronger tournaments, so maybe he comes into this week with a little confidence boost and relief that he isn’t playing against Rory and JT like he was last week at the WGC event.
Bets: To Win (+6000), Top-5 (+1500)
Nicolai Hojgaard - Nicolai is lower in the betting market than his brother Rasmus, due to Rasmus’ victory at the Mauritius Open, but Nicolai was the more decorated amateur and almost won last summer at the KLM Open, so I’m not understanding why the oddsmakers are giving so much more respect to Rasmus. Nicolai has not been playing great, but is definitely a talent to watch, has shown he can compete, and is motivated to improve his status to get more starts on the main tour as he’s been playing on Sunshine Tour the last few weeks. As far as someone deep on the odds board or low-priced for DFS lineups, I think he’s a decent flier with lots of upside and will be looking to one-up brother Rasmus this week.
Bet: Top-20 (+2200)