The wait is nearly over for the finale to the Ivobank PGA EuroPro Tour as the players face the daunting Les Bordes Tour Championships in France.
[url=http://www.skybet.com/skybet?action=GoEvEv&id=11471030]Skybet have opened a market on the winner in Loire Valley[/url]and made Matthew Ford (pictured), Jamie Moul, Simon Thornton and Noel Fox the joint favourites at 18-1. [url=http://www.matchroombets.com/articleDetail.asp?articleID=811]Sky Sports Tour commentator and presenter Sam Pigott gives his views in this video,[/url] while three other key men behind the tour give their views on who could come out on top next week…
Eddie Hearn, Tour Managing Director:
Dale Marmion (25-1) has fallen away slightly in the last couple of events but he has bundles of class and will make an impact on the Challenge Tour next year. Marmion hits the ball well enough to get to grips with the lengthy track in France and as he showed with his phenomenal 62 to win at Whittlebury Park, he can deliver moments of magic like the 170 yard seven iron for the eagle that put him well ahead.
Alan Murray (20-1) has been the model of consistency this season and is a must pick as an each-way bet. Seven top ten finishes from 13 events is a fine return and shows that he is always there or thereabouts. He might not hit the ball as far as some of the bigger men on the Tour, but for solid golf on a tough course, look no further than the Irishman.
Danny Nickless, Tour Operations Manager:
Chris Hanson (40-1) has had a steady season if not spectacular but at La Cala he showed some good form by finishing 6th for his 4th top ten of the year from 12 events. Chris has only missed two cuts all season which makes him a very steady performer. He is due a really good week and at Les Bordes driving the ball well is so important and Chris is one of the best I have seen. He will be trying so hard to break into that all important top five to set up his 2009 and at 40-1 is a fantastic bet.
Also Damien Mooney at 33-1 is great value having only played five times this year but finishing 5th, 3rd, 8th and 4th he will no doubt be a contender come Wednesday afternoon in France.
Simon Golding, Sky Sports EuroPro Tour presenter:
I have always thought of the Tour Championships as a tournament that does offer an opportunity for one of the EuroPro ‘outsiders’ to come to the fore – or for an experienced campaigner (Andrew Willey 2007) to finally make that break. Think about, Noel Fox (18-1), Dale Marmion (25-1), Alan Murray (20-1) and Lloyd Kennedy (20-1) have been thinking about top five and that Challenge Tour card for a long time now – Murray since May. Daniel Gaunt (25-1) is under real pressure in what may be his last year as a playing Pro. You have to be a very experienced player to cope with that reward being within touching distance for so long and to not let it get to you mentally. Those guys must be feeling the strain and they must be tired after a long season. I also do not think Tour Championships is easy to win if you don’t have at least one win under your belt already and knowing what I know about Les Bordes, simply that it is a demanding track, it doesn’t seem like the place to pull off the big first win. It’s tough to look past the top three but my calls are as follows:
Matt Ford at 18-1 is good value. He is in form and has proved to himself that he can win and then follow that up with a good performance. He must be heading to Les Bordes in a good frame of mind and he will not be as mentally drained as some of the other players.
Lloyd Kennedy has proved he has a big time mentality – that demolition job he did on the rest of the field at Maylands last year is still being talked about. If he gets his preparation right for Les Bordes maybe he is the better pick over Ford.
From outside the top names:
A beast of a course needs a bull of a man. Damien Mooney hits the ball a country mile, or in the case of Les Bordes even more country kilometres. He has the game, the strength and the temperament 33-1 is a very good price for such quality.
Anthony Tarchetti (66-1) for me has this one feature to his game that can make the difference – if the greens are good and his wand is hot there is a capability to string birdies together. That might prove interesting.
Tom Haylock (40-1) has been knocking on the door time and time again. Like John Parry (22-1) he has a swing that has little chance of going wrong and he also has the distance off the tee. Can he convert if gets into a decent position again?
If I have to pick one player who will carry my 10 Euro note from those above. Simple, theory, heart and sport science goes out the window. Big course + big man + winner = Damien Mooney .
Date Posted: 13/10/08