The 2020 English Championship is this week’s European Tour golf tournament, and it takes place at the Hanbury Manor Country Club in Hertfordshire. The players are playing for a total prize fund of one million Euros, while there are still US Open places up for grabs in the UK mini order of merit.
Hanbury Manor looks a typical venue for European Tour tournaments played in the UK, as it’s a parkland course measuring just over 7,000 yards. It was originally designed by Harry Vardon as a 9-hole course, with Jack Nicklaus Junior overseeing its expansion to 18 holes. It promises to yield its fair share of birdies, with three reachable par-5s and two sub-400-yard par-4s offering decent big chances to get under par.
The main problem for punters this week is a lack of recent tournament play at Hanbury Manor, which hasn’t been used by the European Tour since 1999. The Senior Tour used it between 2016 and 2019, with David Shacklady posting a winning 54-hole score of –11.
The bookies have found a universal favourite in Thomas Detry this week, and it surely won’t be too long before the young Belgian converts one of the chances he creates for himself. But it’s worrying from a win point of view that, having got into contention last week, he bogeyed the last to blow his chances. He may suffer a golfing hangover from that this week.
Last week’s winner Sam Horsfield may have been suffering from another type of hangover on Monday morning after securing his debut European Tour win at the Forest of Arden. That victory may well be the first of many but, as Horsfield appears to wear his heart on his sleeve, it will be tough to go back-to-back after such an emotional rollercoaster.
Teenage sensation Rasmus Hojgaard is playing great golf and could easily pick up his second European Tour this week, while Lee Westwood should enjoy not having the pressures of being tournament host this week.
Matthew Southgate is a player that is overpriced on his best form and he’s our English Championship tip. 35th and 22nd in his last two tournaments, his tee-to-green game is looking good. He needs to role a few more putts in but there are some old form correlations between Hanbury Manor and the K-Club in Ireland, where Southgate put up the best performance of his career.
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