Both of this week’s events were won by someone trading at a triple-figure price last time. Daniel Berger won the 2020 edition of the Charles Schwab Challenge, when it restarted the PGA Tour season following a break of 14 weeks due to the pandemic and an out-of-form Bernd Wiesberger won the 2019 edition of the Made in Himmerland. The 2020 edition of that event, which was formerly known as the Made in Denmark, was cancelled because of the pandemic. Both men went off at 120.0119/1.
I had three outsiders in mind for each event and I’ll start with the Made in Himmerland…
Razor-sharp short game the key to success in Denmark
As highlighted in the preview, the two courses that appear to correlate best with this week’s venue are the Diamond Course in Austria, home of the Austrian Open, and Golf Du Palais Royal in Morocco, which hosted the Trophee Hassan II between 2011 and 2015 and the three I like all have form at either or both.
Pablo Larrazabal has form figures in Austria reading MC-10-32 but he was leading after round one when he was tenth and he has figures in Morocco that read 44-9-4-MC-3. He was also fourth in his only previous appearance at Himmerland in 2019. He missed the cut last time out in the British Masters but he ranked first for Scrambling when 12th in the Tenerife Open in his penultimate start and the number one scrambler has finished inside the top-six in all five editions of the Made in Himmerland.
Ashun Wu, who won the Austrian Open five years ago, ranks 11th for Scrambling on the European Tour and although he missed the cut here in 2019, he was 23rd on debut two years earlier when he posted two good and two not so good rounds (71-65-73-67). He was 21st in the British Masters last time out and I can see him contending.
I’ve backed both of those at a big prices but the only official bet is on Nicolai Von Dellingshausen who has course form in Austria, and just the right skillset. Unfortunately, my enthusiasm is tempered somewhat as just like Larrazabal and Wu, he’s been assigned an AM-PM draw over the first two days and looking at the forecast, that doesn’t look ideal.
Von Dellingshausen has missed his last two cuts but prior to that, he contended again in Austria, finishing 24th, a year after finishing 15th, having led with a round to go, and he was second in the Tenerife Open three starts ago. In addition to scrambling, putting has been pivotal in past renewals here so given the 28-year-old German currently ranks fourth for Scrambling and first for Putt Per Round, averaging a staggering 25.13, he looks a perfect fit.
Von Dellingshausen played here in 2018 on the Challenge Tour when a poor first round saw him sitting in a tie for 99th but after a 64 in round two and a 69 in round three, he sat ninth with a round to go before a 75 on Sunday saw him finish 29th.
Back 1 u Nicolai Von Dellingshausen @ 300.0299/1
Place order to lay 10u @ 10.09/1 & 10u @ 2.35/4
Back 1u Nicolai Von Dellingshausen @ 7/1 Top 20 (Sportsbook)
Back 1u Nicolai Von Dellingshausen @ 5/1 Top 30 (Sportsbook)
Mitchell drift too big to ignore
Matt Kuchar was going to be a pick in the Charles Schwab Challenge but his price has tumbled from the 130.0129/1 available yesterday morning to around 80.079/1 so my two off the tee at Colonial are Keith Mitchell and Patton Kizzire.
As highlighted in the preview, missing last week’s gruelling USPGA Championship is probably going to be a bit of a plus this week in Texas and neither of my two teed it up at Kiawah Island. Both should arrive nicely refreshed.
Other than finishing seventh in his only appearance in the John Deere Classic, an event that appears to correlate nicely, Keith Mitchell doesn’t exactly scream Colonial winner. With only one previous appearance (64th last year) and at the age of 29, he doesn’t fit the profile of the majority of winners here but he’s drifted to a price that’s simply too big to ignore given his recent form.
Mitchell played really nicely at the Wells Fargo Championship in his penultimate start, leading by two with a round to go before finishing third and he signed off the Byron Nelson last time out with a 66 to climb from 56th to 26th. A slow start there was to be expected after the disappointment of defeat the week before but the rest since will have recharged his batteries and he won’t care a jot how windy it gets. Mitchell has been allocated what looks to be a slightly favourable early draw on day one and that’s also the case with Kizzire.
Terrific Texas form a pointer for Patton
At 35, and with five previous tournament appearances, Patton Kizzire fits the bill a bit better than Mitchell, although his course form figures aren’t brilliant. He’s only made the weekend twice and he’s only once broken 70 around Colonial (68 in round three in 2018) but that doesn’t unduly bother me. He’s very much an in-and-out performer and there’s no reason why the venue shouldn’t suit him given his short game skills and often brilliant putting.
Kizzire has finished 11th, ninth and third in his last three starts in Texas and if he picks up from where he left off at the Byron Nelson last time out a fortnight ago, where he ranked fourth for Strokes Gained on Approach and Putting, he should be in-the-mix. Odds at in excess of 200.0199/1 look generous.