Australian Open: Steve Palmer's preview, best bets, free golf tips
Jason Scrivener playing well enough to upset the Presidents Cup hopefuls
Steve Palmer's free golf tips, best bets and player analysis for the Australian Open at The Australian Club on the Australasian Tour.
When to bet
Tournament starts at 7.50pm Wednesday
2pts each-way 22-1 Sky Bet
1pt each-way 80-1 Sky Bet
Steve Palmer's top tip
Jason Scrivener 22-1
Jason Day and his troublesome back will not be appearing in the Australian Open or the Presidents Cup over the next fortnight, but tournament organisers will be satisfied with the line-up they have assembled in Sydney for the first of an Aussie double-header.
Paul Casey and Sergio Garcia have joined six members of the Presidents Cup Internationals side – Adam Scott, Louis Oosthuizen, Cameron Smith, Marc Leishman, Abraham Ancer and CT Pan – at The Australian, the oldest club in the country, which is hosting this event for the 21st time.
The course, a par 72 of 7,291 yards which was redesigned prior to the 2014 Australian Open, is not easy, with heavy bunkering, water in play on half the holes, and wind typically whipping across it, so anything double-digits under-par has a chance of being the winning total on Sunday. The 2014, 2015 and 2017 Australian Opens are the significant tournaments staged at The Australian since its latest revamp.
The names already mentioned will be tough to beat – and dual Aussie PGA champion Smith is the most appealing option of the market principals – but the best-value each-way selection in Sydney is Jason Scrivener.
Scrivener, who turned 30 in April, is entirely focused on this week, unlike most of those ahead of him in the betting, who are understandably letting their minds wander forward to the Presidents Cup, an event for which many pundits are giving the Internationals a good chance of finally ending American dominance.
Scrivener's sole target is to win his national Open for the first time and excellent form in the European Tour Final Series must have instilled great confidence for this downgrade to his home circuit. A tie for 21st in the Turkish Airlines Open was followed by third spot in the Nedbank Challenge and a closing 65 for tenth place in the DP World Tour Championship.
Scrivener banked half a million euros from his final three spins of the European Tour season and can attack the Aussie Open with freedom. Work with English swing coach Liam James has paid off and 32nd place was by far the Perth man's best ever Race to Dubai finish.
Results of 38-4-19 are solid from his last three Aussie Open starts and he won the NSW Open by six shots almost exactly two years ago just 50 minutes' drive west of The Australian.
Next best bet
Blake Windred 80-1
Another option at a bigger price is Blake Windred, who is competing at his home course this week. Windred, formerly ninth in the world amateur rankings, turned pro in September before winning his Stage Two event at European Tour Q School by five shots. The 22-year-old failed to succeed at Final Qualifying, but is clearly blessed with serious talent, underlined by four top-12 finishes as an amateur on the Australasian Tour, including fourth place in the 2017 NSW Open and third in the same event the following year.
Windred's form as a pro on the Australasian Tour is 8-7-46 and he could threaten the Stonehaven Cup in his home state on Sunday. Bets must be placed by 7.50pm UK and Ireland time on Wednesday night.
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