Golf betting tips: Hero Indian Open
1.5pts e.w. Joost Luiten to win the Indian Open at 9/2 (General 1/3 1,2)
1pt e.w. Angel Hidalgo without the big three at 11/1 (Sky Bet 1/4 1,2,3)
Yannik Paul’s grip on the Hero Indian Open loosened quickly at the start of round three, but by the end of it he was back trading at a similar price despite seeing his five-shot lead narrowed to just a single shot.
The reason he’s considered to have done little to no damage to his prospects with a round of 71 is that the gap to fourth place is now six. That means that he’s out of reach if, for the third day running, he can beat par around the absurd and difficult DLF golf course.
Do that, and only Marcel Siem or JOOST LUITEN can realistically catch him, and these three proven winners probably have it between them.
Even allowing for the dangers posed by almost every hole and the fact that Thorbjorn Olesen has moved into the top five, it would take a lot to go wrong for all three members of the final group for anyone else to get involved.
Just as was the case last week, we shouldn’t waste too much time speculating. Paul looks a fair price at 5/6 and I’d much rather back him than Siem, but at 9/2 an each-way bet on Luiten is the advice.
Luiten is precisely the type of accurate, tidy operator who is favoured by this course and while his short-game can let him down, the rough around most greens has probably acted as something of a leveller. It’s notable that nobody at the top of the leaderboard has excelled in that department, despite the talk.
Playing on a career money exemption, a one-time ticket which can galvanise a player like him, Luiten has backed up last week’s third place despite the odd iffy chip and he’s hitting the ball supremely well. Seventh in fairways and sixth in greens tell us that, and it seems likely his lofty strokes-gained numbers are a broadly accurate indication of how he’s striking it.
Paul is the leader in greens and his approach play has been good all week, but there is just a slight doubt off the tee. He was extremely fortunate not to have to reload at the 10th, instead seeing his ball bounce back in play off a tree, and he just has one too many a wayward drive in him to be rowing in around this place.
The same applies to Siem, reborn as a world-class putter these days, and you have to go back to his last DP World Tour win in 2014 for a strong finish from a comparable position. Only once in the last eight years has he been this close with a round to go, and he ended up outside the top 10. Something similar wouldn’t surprise me.
It’s Siem who encourages me to believe backing Luiten with two places on offer is the way to go, as anything under-par is highly likely to return the place money and a small profit, while also ensuring that Paul has to produce something decent to fend off the proven Dutchman.
For my money this will go to Paul or Luiten and while again I believe BoyleSports underestimate the leader in their three-ball market (Luiten is favourite, but Paul has been the best player and was shorter in the pre-tournament betting), just as was the case with Olesen last week, I’ll stick to a small play on Luiten in the outright market.
On that, note that BoyleSports offer the same odds in their top continental European market and a third the odds for each-way bets rather than a quarter in their outright market, which is a little curious. That means we can take out all the Asian players on the fringes and further reduce the very small chance that one of them comes and steals it.
As was the case in Thailand, though, this title will go to Europe and I wonder whether Luiten might just reignite his career by picking Paul’s pocket. Come the fearsome closing stretch, they might just have it between themselves and 5/2 the dual forecast with Sky Bet should also be considered.
Sky Bet also offer a ‘without the top three’ market in which Olesen is favourite. That’s correct, but there’s a definite chance he empties out and despite his play of late, the odd big miss is always lurking.
At the prices, ANGEL HIDALGO is an 11/1 shot who holds appeal from just a shot behind, not least because it was at the similarly tough Valderrama that he toughed it out to secure his DP World Tour card late last year.
That was admirable and this quality iron player, also eighth behind Rory McIlroy in Dubai recently, could be the one to capitalise should Olesen struggle to go to the well again.
Posted at 1410 GMT on 25/02/23
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