The iconic Brabazon Course at the Belfry stages this week’s UK Championship, the final event in the UK swing of the European Tour’s list of rescheduled tournaments. The Brabazon Course is best known for hosting several Ryder Cups, but it has also hosted several European Tour events over the years.
The trouble for punters is the latest spell of tournaments on the Brabazon Course were held between 2001 and 2008, meaning many of today’s European professionals hadn’t even started their careers, while only a couple of the older generation have posted any worthwhile form here.
Lee Westwood’s form on the Brabazon Course is the standout in the field, as the former European number one won here in 2007 before finishing second when trying to defend the title a year later. 25/1 was available early doors but he’s not as good a player as he was over a decade ago.
The bookies have made Thomas Pieters the favourite this week and the Belgian has the power and class to claim this title. But a lack of concentration and occasionally wayward drives may not be the ideal recipe for success this week. At 28, Pieters still has the time to fulfil his potential but there are plenty of youngsters who seem hungrier for success.
Rasmus Hojgaard is a player that has taken up the mantle of being one of the most prodigious young talents around and the 19-year-old has already achieved more than many European Tour professionals achieve in their whole careers. He also doesn’t have the scars of many the older players, but 16/1 looks short odds even for a player as talented as him.
Recent winners Andy Sullivan and Romain Langasque will be full of confidence, while Haotong Li will surely be lifting another trophy soon. Lots of top-class European Tour winners also return from the US this week, such as Matt Wallace, Bernd Wiesberger, Martin Kaymer, and Danny Willett. Victor Perez should also enjoy this drop-in-class and his power-hitting should be an asset.
But Pablo Larrazabal is this week’s value tip for the UK Championship. He finished tenth on his course debut in 2008 and, as a Spaniard, he is sure to have great memories of Seve Ballesteros knocking his tee-shot onto the driveable and iconic par-4 tenth hole during the Ryder Cup. I’m recommending having a £10 each-way at a big price.
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