Challenge Tour Grand Final preview and best bets

Golf expert Ben Coley covers the Challenge Tour grand final as 45 players battle it out for promotion on the DP World Tour live on Sky Sports.

Golf Betting Tips: Challenge Tour Grand Final

2 points ew Jens Dantorp at 25/1 (General 1/5 1,2,3,4,5,6)

2pts ew Robin Sciot-Siegrist at 40/1 (BoyleSports 1/5 1,2,3,4,5,6)

1pt ew Simon Forsstrom at 50/1 (Unibet 1/5 1,2,3,4,5)

Sky Bet odds | Paddy Power | Betfair Sportsbook

Jordan Smith, Oliver Wilson, even Ben Griffin… recent weeks have given us fantastic stories, in wins and losses, from players who fought hard to achieve something that sometimes seemed so far away.

For Griffin, who opted for a post-round interview after dropping the Bermuda Championship, the ultimate goal remains elusive, yet here was a player who a little more than a year ago was working an office job and wondering if professional golf was even going to happen. succeed.

For Smith and Wilson, the opposing struggles—one to fulfill her potential, the other to rebuild her career—ended up in equally emotional victories, as both failed to fulfill their promises to themselves: whatever you do, don’t cry when you speak later for Sky Sports.

It’s these stories that make sport tick, and thanks to Sky Sports’ decision to broadcast this week’s Challenge Tour Grand Final for the first time, we’ll get more of them in the coming days. All 45 players who are going to Majorca have guaranteed that they will walk this way again next year, but none of them want to. The goal is to secure one of 20 DP World Tour cards.

A return to Club de Golf Alcanada, where Francesco Laporta triumphed at six under in 2019, should ensure that each of them has to work hard for it. This course is not long, but two of its par fives stretch over 600 yards and only one of the other such holes is a penalty stroke. The rest of Alcanada is sure to prove challenging provided there is some wind, and the forecast suggests we’ll get it from Thursday afternoon into the weekend.

Playing in the wind when you are under tremendous pressure is extremely difficult, in fact it is as difficult as golf. Just ask Griffin. It also tends to favor those who have been around the block and back, which is partly why old man Matthew Baldwin deserves his place at the head of the market.

Baldwin is still 22nd in the Road to Mallorca standings, and it’s hard to escape the fact that there is a divide in this field: those who are guaranteed or all but their tickets to next year’s grand tour, and those who have a target on their back, or on the outside looking in inside. Leaderboard Jeremy Freigburghaus can focus solely on winning the tournament, as can JC Ritchie and a few others, and that’s a huge benefit.

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Since David Drysdale won this from 45th place in the table in 2005, only one other player has triumphed outside the top 20, and that was two years later. We are therefore 15 years away from the last time a player ranked in Baldwin’s position managed to secure his secondary goal for the week and lift the Grand Final trophy, and if that continues we can rule out six players trading at 33/1 or shorter.

In fact, it makes sense to crawl further towards the top of the ladder when you narrow the field. Seven of the last eight champions have come from the top 10, the exception being No. 11, and those are players who don’t have to worry about the damage a bad week at the wrong time can do. It is a freedom that, on Sunday, could be decisive.

Best bet at prices is man at 10. ROBIN SCIOT-SIEGRISTwho has been a model of consistency and can be rewarded for it in the same way that Justin Suh was on the equivalent of the Korn Ferry Tour.

Sciot-Siegrist certainly doesn’t carry Suh’s potential, but he has won at this level and was a threat on the DP World Tour, competing at the 13th Beach when third. It is one of two top-10s and both came by the sea, the other in Mauritius at this time of year.

Coastal golf seems to suit the Parisian, as he was tied here three years ago. It was similar to a scary fourth place finish in the Olympic final, as he would have earned promotion if he had finished second himself, only to see Sebastian Heisele struggle to close and hand the ticket to Sebastian Garcia-Rodriguez instead.

Sciot-Siegrist started the week in 37th and, interviewed after his second round, made it clear that he knows exactly what it takes with only 15 cards available. That certainly explains the over-par back nine on Sunday as the birdies dried up on a course he said he likes a lot, and he will feel like he has a score to settle.

Nothing to worry about this time and I think Alcanada fits the bill really well. That ties in particularly well with Morgado and he is one of the few players in this field to have form there in Portugal, again demonstrating his effectiveness when it comes to splitting lanes.

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Four of his 14 career best fives have come since July to underline the fact that this has indeed been the best season of his career and, freed from the pressure that will weigh on some rivals, including a few with higher potential, this solid benchmark can to prove what everyone must win.

Further down the betting, Oscar Langden would be my pick of those in need of a big week. He fights in Morgado and boasts a progressive record of 20-17-15-10 in this competition, while the fact that he has returned from injury this year could help him see this as a free shot.

The same logic applies to SIMON FORSTROM and I’ll include the Swede despite the fact he’s down at 40, although I wouldn’t recommend him for anything under 40/1.

At least Forsstrom can focus on winning because that’s what he’ll probably have to do, while I like the fact that he’s only played in 10 events, fewer than anyone in the area, since he was in the Nordic Golf League until July.

Of course, qualifying for this was beyond his expectations and of all the 25 players currently shy of the required mark, he’s the one who should be delighted whatever happens.

The fact that he separates Alfie Plant and Felix Mory, who have played 23 and 25 events respectively, tells you how well Forsstrom has played and has been a regular on the leaderboard, sitting in the top 20 at the halfway mark on seven occasions during this spell. Three top-10s is a good return, with one of those coming two starts ago before he started well again at Frilford Heath.

A former Challenge Tour winner, he also boasts some of the best Morgado form in the field with 17th and 22nd to his name, so at 40-plus he could just do the unthinkable and win to earn DP World membership Tour for the first time in his career.

One man who had already been there did JENS DANTHORPE and he looks like a rock solid option from the top of the market.

Returning to form when fourth in Oxfordshire last time, Dunthorpe will be hoping it bodes well for a big week here, having claimed five top 10s at six Challenge Tours this summer, then making it seven from eight with another two at the DP World Tour.

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All four of his top-10s at that senior level were at sea, two of them at Hillside and Fairmont St Andrews during that stretch, and on the two Challenge Tours starting in Spain this year, he was leading for the first time through 54 holes, and then won the second – under difficult starting conditions.

He hasn’t made much of an impact on this the last two years, but keep in mind his starting positions of 27th and 14th, whether he’s looking over his shoulder or straining to sneak into the top 20. In 2016, he was a fast-finishing secondary when he would have done no less, while a year earlier, when tied for the lead in the fourth round, he stalled to narrowly miss the ticket.

This time he is fifth, with good pressure, and can focus on trying to finish the year at the top of the Road to Mallorca standings. Prolific in the Nordic Golf League where he won the Order of Merit in 2011, he is capable of winning his fourth Challenge Tour title and possibly graduating at the top of the class.

Dantorp is preferred to JC Ritchie, who has played better in Spain than most places in Europe and previously won the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit. With a second finals entry, he can improve on last year’s poor weekend when the pressure was well and truly on, but Dunthorpe’s form is stronger now and that influences the vote in his favour.

Other notables include the rest of the talented French crowd, with even outsider Pierre Pineau interesting after closing 63 last time and Jeong Weon Ko, the guy in 20th place. However, given the expected conditions, I expect to see experience play a big role in what is a welcome addition to the golf TV schedule.

Published at 15:55 GMT 10/31/22

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