Odds shown as:

Cazoo Classic Betting Tips: 7 picks for this week's DPWT event at Hillside

Cazoo Classic betting tips: 7 Bets for Hillside challenge.
Cazoo Classic betting tips: 7 Bets for Hillside challenge.

The last two weeks on the links in Scotland was the first third of a six-week stint of events in the UK for the DP World Tour. Over the next few weeks we’ll head back up to Scotland for the Hero Open at Fairmont St Andrews, then down to Celtic Manor for the Cazoo (Wales) Open, before finishing our journey in Northern Ireland at Galgorm Castle for the ISPS Handa World Invitational.

Cazoo Classic Tips

This week’s destination is Southport in the North West of England and the underrated gem of a course that is Hillside Golf Club. A course that hosted European Tour and prestigious amateur events in years gone by, as well as being a regular Open Championship qualifying venue.

We saw it host a tournament most recently in 2019, as it welcomed the players for the British Masters. A very UK links leaderboard unfolding there, as we finished with a Swede at the top, in Marcus Kinhult, with two Englishmen, Matt Wallace and Eddie Pepperell, along with two Scots, Robert MacIntyre and Richie Ramsay occupying the next four positions.

This week it plays host to the Cazoo Classic, an event that held its inaugural edition last year at the Jack Nicklaus designed London Golf Club in Kent. Where we witnessed Scotland’s Calum Hill pick up his first DPWT title, with a one-stroke victory over France’s Alexander Levy.

The Course

Designed by Fred Hawtree, this fabulous links course is located just a stone’s throw away from Open Championship venue Royal Birkdale and is in a part of England regarded as possessing the best stretch of links courses anywhere in the country.

With rave reviews, particularly about the back nine from the likes of Jack Nicklaus and Greg Norman, the course holds up well against its more famed neighbour and will be a treat for anyone that tees it up this week.

This par 72 will play a little longer than it did when hosting the British Masters in 2019, with around 150 yards added, now playing to 7109 yards. This not the only change since we were last here as it has undergone major reconstructions over the last couple of years at the hands of MacKenzie and Ebert. With much of the work being done on the front 9, to try and give it the same dramatic feel as the back 9, with dunes added around various holes to give this previously flat part of the course a similar feel to the second 9. In addition to this there has been the removal of some bunkers around the greens, replaced by closely-mown run-off areas instead.

Full details of renovations found here: https://www.golfcoursearchitecture.net/content/mackenzie-ebert-renovates-six-more-holes-at-hillside

It’s a course that offers great variety through its winding, protruding dunes. With narrow and wide fairways, some doglegging, complimented by equally varied greens. The main dangers around the course coming in the shape of penal pot bunkers, around both the greens and aside the fairways, rough that has been said to be particularly gnarly in places in preparation for hosting this event and water in-play on around 5 holes, including the burn running through some of the earlier holes on the course.

It provides a good, solid test of golf, shown by Marcus Kinhult’s winning score of -16 in 2019, with the runners up all shooting -15. Though with short par 5s, none measuring over 563 yards and an abundance of scorable, shorter par 4s, providing you can get your ball in play off-the-tee and avoid the troubles mentioned above, you can score well around here.

The Stats

Back in 2019 we found a leaderboard that was much more about accuracy than power and that aligns with my belief that you need to plot your way around this beautifully framed golf course.

That year’s winner, Marcus Kinhult relied on accurate ball-striking, where he ranked 9th in driving accuracy and 12th in greens in regulation, combined with a hot putter, ranking 2nd in the field.

It was a similar story for Eddie Pepperell, one of the runners-up, who ranked 6th in driving accuracy, 12th around-the-greens and 18th in putting, though also had to scramble well, where he led the field for the week.

Quality, accurate iron-play further evidenced amongst the top 4 there, as runners-up, Matt Wallace and Robert MacIntyre ranked 1st and 2nd in approach, whilst were 2nd and 23rd in greens hit. With MacIntyre also putting well, ranking 4th and driving it accurately, ranking 17th.

It’s a place where accurate ball placement off-the-tee is key, to give you the best view/angle into the greens, where you can then attack these pins in what are likely to be receptive conditions this week.

Though I feel finding fairways is key, I am, however, a little wary of focussing heavily on driving accuracy. As many of the longer and more inaccurate drivers in the field will be able to club down for position on many of these holes, with driver rarely being needed. Though it will most certainly be an advantage for those players of which accuracy is their bag.

Key stats: SG: Approach, Greens in Regulation

Secondary stats: SG: Putting, Driving Accuracy

Correlating Courses

Correlating courses is a bit of a rinse and repeat of the last couple of weeks. Exposed linksy setups are favoured for comparisons. Form in The Open, Scottish Opens or selected Irish Opens (2017-2019) could be key. As well as the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship and 2020 Scottish Championsip/2021 Hero Open, both taking place at Fairmont St Andrews.

In addition to this we have form in the Middle East, namely Qatar, Abu Dhabi and Saudi. Whilst in Europe, the Dutch Open, particularly the last two years, along with the Made in Himmerland and Czech Masters can all be considered as potential guides to players who can go well in Southport this week.

The Weather

Though going through a mini heatwave in the UK currently, temperatures are expected to fall to more comfortable levels by the start of the tournament. With some rain in the forecast prior to and during the event we can expect to find a receptive course, at least by the weekend and if the wind doesn’t get up to anything exceeding the mild breeze currently forecast, you would expect to find a course where the players can go pin-seeking.

The Field                 

For such a lovely golf course, it’s a shame it hasn’t been able to attract a better field. Robert MacIntyre and Oliver Bekker the two highest ranked players in the field at just inside the top 100, whilst Marcus Kinhult returns to the scene of his victory in 2019. It’s also good to see former #1 amateur, Takumi Kanaya accept an invite into the event.

Selections

Robert MacIntyre heads the market at 14/1 and with some improved approach play over recent starts could well be the man to beat this week with the strong performance he put up here in 2019 when finishing 2nd. Though I’m happy to watch on at that price.

He’s followed by a bunch of players around the 20/1 mark, of whom France’s Romain Langasque appealed most, though again, at the price I’m not eager to get involved, particularly as the irons aren’t quite firing as I’d like for this week.

Golf odds
Alexander Bjork each-way (8 places)
28/1
Odds correct as of 2022-07-19 13:00 Odds subject to change.

I start a little further down the betting with Sweden’s Alexander Bjork, who has recently combined his straight hitting and excellent short-game with some strong approach play and should relish a first spin around Hillside this week.

After opening the year with a solid 20th place finish at Yas Links in the Abu Dhabi Championship, Bjork’s year didn’t really kick on from there in the way he’d have wanted. He missed three of his next six cuts and only achieved a best of 33rd.

However since a missed cut in the British Masters at The Belfry, Bjork’s year has sprung into life. He followed that with a 23rd finish in the Soudal Open, then a best of the year 7th in the Dutch Open. Form has continued to look strong since, with top 25s in both the Porsche European Open and Irish Open. With a solid 42nd in the elite field Scottish Open two weeks ago followed by a narrow missed cut in The Open Championship last week.

The reason for this improved form has simply been down to better approach play, in which he’s produced his three best iron performances of the year over these last seven starts and now ranks 59th on tour in approach. When you combine this with his superb putter, in which he’s only lost strokes on the greens once this year and his straight hitting off-the-tee, we find a player ideally suited to this week’s test.

Bjork didn’t play here in 2019 though has stacks of correlating form. The best of which are 6th place finishes in Qatar and Himmerland, whilst that 7th in the Dutch Open this year should also read well. His 2nd behind Eddie Pepperell in the 2018 British Masters at Walton Heath could also prove a good pointer and further encouragement is found when looking at his solo Challenge Tour victory in the Le Vaudreuil Golf Challenge, on a course designed by Hillside’s original designer, Fred Hawtree.

With his suitability to this type of course and with the correct parts of his game firing, Bjork can build on some strong recent form by claiming a 2nd DPWT title this week.

Sami Valimaki each-way (8 places)
35/1
Odds correct as of 2022-07-19 13:05 Odds subject to change.

I went back and forth on Sami Valimaki this week. 35/1 is a huge drop on his prices over recent weeks, though this has been because of the quality of his form and we don’t need to go too far back to find him going off even shorter than this, when in fine form at the back end of 2020. He’s simply one of the most talented golfers in this field and with that in mind, as well as the fact he is priced bigger than many players who have achieved much less than he has in his short career so far, I felt it was a fair price.

Following a huge breakthrough year in 2020, that saw Valimaki win the Oman Open on just his 3rd start as a DP World Tour player and gain a further 6 top 10s throughout the rest of year, culminating in him reaching as high as #70 in the world, 2021 brought him back down to earth.

Every part of his game bar the putter deserted him last year and resulted in 13 MCs in 23 and zero top 10 finishes. He started 2022 in similar fashion, though started to show improvements around the end of March, where he begun to drive the ball much straighter and showed positive signs with his irons.

This resulted in a couple of top 20s, first finishing 16th at the Steyn City Championship, then was 18th at the Catalunya Championship three events later. Three missed cuts followed that but he has bounced back in a big way over recent weeks, with an excellent 4th place finish in the BMW International Open three starts ago, his best result since the 2020 Wales Open, followed by quality performances in strong fields at the Irish Open, finishing 30th and then the Scottish Open, where he finished 24th.

Over these weeks he’s started to finally put everything together, rather than finding bits and pieces intermittently. As he’s gained strokes in approach, around-the-greens and on the greens in each of those three events, whilst also showing a great combination of accuracy and length off-the-tee. Most impressive was the way he signed off the Scottish Open in style, shooting -4 and leading that incredible field in approach in the final round.

The Oman Open should act as a decent piece of correlating form, as with Qatar and all over the Middle East, it was at an open, exposed venue. Whilst that strong finish at the Scottish Open last time out should point further to his suitability to this type of test.

Valimaki was a #10 amateur and started the winning habit quickly as a pro, picking up four titles on the ProGolf Tour in 2019. With his renewed form and an ability to win far outweighing many in this field, he looks a big danger on the DPWT for the rest of the year.

Ewen Ferguson each-way (8 places)
75/1
Odds correct as of 2022-07-19 13:05 Odds subject to change.

Ewen Ferguson has enjoyed a successful return to the DP World Tour this year. Picking up his first title in Qatar at the end of March, this straight hitting, strong iron player can double up on that victory this week at Hillside.

What was most impressive about that win from Ferguson is that he had to overcome some seriously tough mental blows to get there. Not only did he blow the Kenya Open just a few starts earlier when in a commanding position entering the final round, he was still completely winless as a professional following a string of 2nd place finishes on the Challenge Tour last year. It showed great mental strength and you’d hope would set him up well when in those positions again going forward.

Though he hasn’t managed to contend since, his form has remained solid enough, missing just three cuts in nine, although just one top 25 at the BMW International Open is a little underwhelming.

Though going through a down period with his irons four to seven starts ago, he’s regained his form in that regarding, gaining strokes in his last three starts and it remains a standout area in his game as he ranks 2nd in GIR and 27th in approach play this season. Also possessing a high level of accuracy off the tee, ranking 17th.

The short-game is the achilles heel, though there have been much more positive signs in recent weeks, including him gaining strokes around-the-greens in the Scottish Open last time out and though still losing overall on the greens, there are plenty of positive rounds mingled with negative ones, similar to the level of his putting before he found a strong week on the greens in Qatar.

That win in Qatar should act as a great guide to this week. Whilst as a Scot it isn’t a surprise that his form on the links is strong, as he’s finished top 20 in both the Alfred Dunhill Links and Scottish Championship. Indeed he possessed a strong links record in his amateur days, including winning the Boys Amateur at Royal Liverpool in 2013.

Ferguson finally realised some of that potential this yea  in Qatar and with his irons back firing, he looks a big price on a course that looks sure to suit this week.

Eddie Pepperell each-way (8 places)
75/1
Odds correct as of 2022-07-19 13:10 Odds subject to change.

Eddie Pepperell was 2nd here in 2019 and though not quite kicking on from a best finish of the year when 14th in the Dutch Open four starts ago, following it with three missed cuts, those performances haven’t been without positives.

The last few years have been a real struggle for this former top 50 player, who looked set to be a real force on the DP World Tour and beyond going forward when winning two titles in 2018, in Qatar and at Walton Heath in the British Masters, following that with a superb 3rd place finish in THE PLAYERS Championship in 2019. With two years where he’s failed to record a single top 10, he now occupies 617th position in the world rankings.

The reason for this fall has been the disappearance of his previously elite level iron game, though there have been positives this year. This started with small gains in missed cuts in Kenya and Qatar earlier this year, which led to a superb performance in approach in his 15th place finish in the ISPS Handa Championship, where he ranked 2nd in the field.

He then gained again in approach when finishing 48th in the British Masters and when producing that best finish of the year, when 14th in the Dutch Open.

This continued into the first round of the European Open, where he had his best ball-striking round of the year, all the more remarkable as he stated on Twitter he was using the clubs for the first time, though he missed the cut thanks to a poor second round.

Two missed cuts have followed in the BMW International Open and Irish Open, with his approach play looking off in each round, though he has offered encouragement in other areas. Driving the ball straight, ranking 13th on tour in driving accuracy this season and seems to have found something with the putter, gaining strokes in three of his last four starts having struggled on the greens in virtually every start prior in 2022.

I’m hoping Pepperell can keep that going this week, as well as hopefully finding something with his new irons in the three weeks since he’s last played. With some strong form at the course, having finished 2nd in 2019 and an abundance of correlating form, that includes that win in Qatar, a 6th in The Open and plenty of top 10s around the links of Scotland and Ireland, he should feel more comfortable here than just about anyone else in the field.

Santiago Tarrio each-way (7 places)
90/1
Odds correct as of 2022-07-19 13:10 Odds subject to change.

After an incredible run on the Challenge Tour last year, that including two victories amongst multiple other top 5s, Spain’s Santiago Tarrio earned himself some starts on the DPWT at the end of last year and a full tour card for this year.

Though taking the opportunities well at the end of last year, when finishing 15th in Northern Ireland and 3rd in the Hero Open, Tarrio has struggled to get much going in the first part of this year but has started to re-find his feet over recent months.

A strong run of form started when he was 21st in the British Masters and since then he’s maintained his form. Just two missed cuts in his last eight DPWT starts, which includes two top 20s, the best of which is a 4th place finish in the Scandinavian Mixed, where he led the field in approach, though a 16th in the Irish Open is almost equally as encouraging, owing to the relative strength of the field.

Most recently we’ve seen him finish 60th and miss the cut in the two co-sanctioned events with the PGA Tour the last two weeks, though those are easily forgiven and I prefer to concentrate on the improved form he’d shown on the DPWT prior.

Improved approach form is what has engineered his improvement, as he’s gained on his last four starts, ranking 20th in GIR and 35th in approach for the season. Combine this with the great level of accuracy he possesses off the tee, seeing him rank 16th in driving accuracy, we find a strong ball-striker who looks set to take to Hillside.

He hasn’t played here but that 3rd at the Hero Open last year represents a strong piece of correlating form, taking place on the modern links of Fairmont St Andrews. With the quality of ball-striking he’s currently showing I’m expecting Tarrio to bounce back from an underwhelming trip stateside to put up an impressive performance this week.

Alfie Plant each-way (7 places)
300/1
Odds correct as of 2022-07-19 13:10 Odds subject to change.

Finally I’m going to take a punt on a player who won just a couple of starts ago, albeit at a lower level and possesses a strong book of links form going right back through his amateur career, Alfie Plant.

That victory for Plant came in the Open de Bretagne, his 2nd Challenge Tour victory in France following winning the Open de Provence last year. It’s a win that was preceded by three missed cuts and has been followed by a further two but the confidence comes from the course there in Bretagne.

Pleneuf-Val-Andre is an open, exposed links like course and has amongst its past champions, the name of Eddie Pepperell, providing a strong form-line between that course and here at Hillside.

The link to Pepperell goes right back to Plant’s amateur days, where the year prior to Pepperell winning the British Masters at Walton Heath, Plant picked up the prestigious European Amateur Championship at the very course.

This not the only notable links victory for Plant in a strong amateur career that saw him rise to #26 in the world, as he also won the Lytham Trophy at Lytham St Annes in 2016, another notable correlation coming there in the shape of Marcus Kinhult winning that title the year prior.

His strong links form isn’t tied only to amateur events, as he picked up the title of Low Amateur in the 2017 Open Championship at Royal Birkdale, which should give him a huge amount of positivity when heading back to this part of the world.

Plant showed with that most recent win that missed cuts don’t matter when he turns up at a course which suits his eye and suits his game. He’ll find that very much on show this week at Hillside and can take advantage of a weak field to put his name in and about the top of the leaderboard.

Golf betting tips
Alfie Plant to finish in the Top 20
11/1
Odds correct as of 2022-07-19 13:15 Odds subject to change.
Advert Disclaimer
Bettingodds.com is a free online resource which endeavour to provide helpful and useful content and odds comparison to its visitors. Please be advised that Bettingodds.com accepts affiliate commission from the companies appearing on the site, and agreed commission levels impact the location and order in which the companies (and/or their products) are presented on the website. Any ratings that appear on this site is determined by our subjective opinion of the brand but also based on market share and reputation, each brand's conversion rates, commission paid to us and general consumer interest. Company listings on this page don't imply our endorsement. We do not feature all providers on the market. Except as expressly set forth in our terms and conditions, all statements and warranties regarding the information presented on this page are disclaimed. The information, including odds, which appear on this site is subject to change at any time.
Bet £10 Get £30 In Free Bets (APP Only)
#AD New UK, IE & Malta customers only. 18+. Min £10/€10 first deposit using Debit Card or Trustly. Place a bet of £10 at min odds of 1.5. Free bets expire in 90 days. Full T&Cs apply.
Bet £10 Get £30 In Free Bets
#AD 18+. Play Safe. New customers using Promo code H30 only, Min £10/€10 stake,  min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 2 x £15/€15, free bets credited after  settlement of first qualifying bet, free bets will expire 30 days after  the qualifying bet is placed, payment method/player/country restrictions apply.
Welcome Offer
#AD Bet £10 & Get £50 in Free Bets for new customers at bet365. Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.
Bet £10 Get £60 in Bonuses
#AD New UK customers only. Register using the promo code BETFRED60, deposit and place first bet of £10+ on Sports (cumulative Evens+) within 7 days of registration. First bet must be on Sports. £20 in Free Bets to be used on Sports, £10 in Free Bets to be used on Lotto and 50 Free Spins (20p per spin) credited within 48 hours of bet settlement. Further £20 in Free Bets credited 5 days after settlement. Bonuses have a 7-day expiry. Payment restrictions apply. SMS verification and/or Proof of I.D and address may be required. Full T&Cs apply.
100% Up To £50 Welcome Bonus + 25 Spins
#AD 18+ begambleaware.org; New bettors get 100% of deposit up to £50; Once per household; Min deposit £15 (no Skrill/Neteller); Wager a total of 8 times deposit + bonus, with max qualifying bet stake equal to your initial bonus amount; Bonus expires after 60 days; Min odds of 4/5 on singles, or 2/5 per leg for acca; Some bet types excluded; Free spins validity: 7 days; Free spins max. winnings = £100; See full terms; Terms apply.
Bet £10 & Get £30 In Free Bets + £10 Bonus
#AD Promo code: 30FB • Min deposit £10 • A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 • Min odds 1/2 (1.50) • Free Bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days • Free Bet stakes not included in returns • Casino Bonus must be claimed within 7 days and expires after 14 days • To withdraw any winnings from the Casino Bonus, wager the Bonus amount 40 times within 14 days • Withdrawal restrictions, payment methods, country & Full T&Cs apply. 18+ & Begambleaware
Bet £10 Get £20 In Free Bets
#AD Min stake £10. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). First bet only. Free bets expire in 7 days. Cashed out bets won’t apply. Payment method restrictions. Online UK customers only. 30 days to qualify for £20 in Free Bets. 18+. T&Cs apply
Bet £10 Get £30 In Free Bets + 100 Free Spins
#AD 18+ New customers only. Opt in, bet £10 at odds 2.00+ within 7 days, no cashout. Get 3x £10 Free Bets, set events at odds 2.00+. Plus 100 Free Spins on Big Bass Bonanza, no wagering. Free Bets and Spins expire in 7 days. Card payments only. T&Cs apply. Please gamble responsibly.
Bet £20 & Get It Back As CASH If It Loses
#AD New customers only. Place your FIRST bet on any Football market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £20. Only deposits made using cards will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply.
Bet £10 Get £30 In Free Bets
#AD Place a min £10 bet on the Sportsbook on odds of min 1/2 (1.5), get £30 in Free Bets. Rewards valid for 30 days. SMS verification required. Only deposits via cards will qualify. T&Cs apply. Please Gamble Responsibly
£40 In Bonuses
#AD Place a qualifying £25 fixed odds bet at odds of 1/2 or greater. Qualifying bet cannot be placed in-play or cashed out early. A first free £5 fixed odds bet will be credited upon settlement of the qualifying bet. 4 x following £5 free fixed odds bets will be added to your account on consecutive days. Free bets and spins must be claimed within 28 days of opening. Free bet/spin stake not included in any winnings. Ts&Cs Apply. 18+ begambleaware.org