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Vincenzi’s LIV Golf Hong Kong betting preview: Trio of major champs primed for big week

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LIV Golf is set to begin its fourth event of the season at Hong Kong Golf Club in Hong Kong, China. This marks the first time that LIV Golf will travel to China for an event.

Hong Kong Golf Club is a par 70 measuring 6,710 yards. LIV will be using the “Fanling Course” for the event.

While speaking with Asian Tour player Travis Smyth, he gave me a rundown on what it takes to be successful at Hong Kong Golf Club.

“Hong Kong golf club, it’s pretty old school, like super short and tight. And I, I don’t think it falls into like a bomber’s hand. I think you’ll see a lot of guys hitting it to roughly the same spots on the majority of the holes. There’s a few holes where Bryson will be able to unleash a few but not many. When I played here, I hit Hybrid on Par 4’s off the tee maybe like seven times.”

Travis also said that the tight fairways and penal potential misses will keep the bombers at bay.

“It’s just that sort of course you’re hitting it like anywhere from 220 to 240 off the tee. And then from there you have a range of holes where it’s like kind of some sort of wedge or nine. It’s not very long.”

Around the green game will also be tremendously important at Hong Kong Golf Club.

“The greens are small as well and it’s usually quite hard to get up and down if you miss the greens. Someone like Cameron Smith I could see doing really well there. He played well in the international series. but just someone that’s, you know, pretty dolled in with their, their scoring clubs, he’s probably going to do well there.”

Players dialed in with their game from tee to green with control over the golf ball should fare extremely well.

“You can’t really scramble from the trees either. So, you really just have to. I’d, yeah, just whoever’s the best ball striker that week, you can’t really strap it around and fake it around there. You got to hit it straight. The tree lines are dead, there’s some hazards and stuff. It’s a short, tight quirky course, not what any of these guys are probably used to.”

Despite it being short, don’t be surprised if it gives players some real trouble.

“It should be fun viewing because there’ll be a lot of opportunities. They’ll feel like they can go low around there because it’s short but, you know, you make a few bogeys, and you get quite frustrated, and you start pushing off the tee and find some trouble and stuff. It can eat you up as well.”

Smyth finished 2nd at Hong Kong Golf Club to qualify for the 2023 Open Championship at Royal Liverpool.

Past Winners at Hong Kong Golf Club

  • 2023: Ben Campbell (-19)
  • 2022: Wade Ormsby (-17)
  • 2018: Aaron Rai (-17)
  • 2017: Wade Ormsby (-11)
  • 2016: Sam Brazel (-13)
  • 2015: Justin Rose (-19)
  • 2014: Scott Hend (-13)
  • 2013: Miguel Angel Jiminez (-12)

The top of the board once again will be a major threat this week. Jon Rahm is still in search of his first win on LIV and has been knocking at the door in each of his first three starts. Brooks Koepka hasn’t yet contended but is playing steady golf and has yet to shoot a round outside of the 60’s this season. Joaquin Niemann is the hottest player on the planet and has shown no signs of slowing down.

However, on a golf course that can neutralize the big hitters, this is an event that seems a bit more up for grabs than we’ve seen in the first three LIV events.

LIV Golf Stats YTD

 

2024 LIV Hong Kong Picks

Cameron Smith +2000 (Bet365, BetRivers)

It’s been a slow start for Cam Smith this season. In his three starts on LIV, he’s finished T8, T15, T41 and has yet to look like the Cam that is one of the best players in the world. Hong Kong Golf Club should be the perfect course fit to get the former Open Champion out of his slump.

Hong Kong Golf Club is tight off the tee, and many players won’t be able to hit driver. That will neutralize some of the best drivers of the golf ball in the field and propel players like Cam, who are almost unbeatable from fairway to green. Cam’s driver has been a weakness throughout his career, and it’s been especially pronounced this season. He’s tied for 51st in fairways hit thus far on the season. Taking driver out of his hand this week could be exactly what he needs to get on track.

Despite the poor tee balls, Smith still ranks 1st in putting and 5th in birdies made. He’s also a great scrambler, and with small greens at the course, having to get up and down is inevitable. If he can play from the fairway this week, he should have a major advantage in the other facets of the game.

Louis Oosthuizen +2000 (DraftKings)

Louis Oosthuizen should be an absolutely perfect fit for Hong Kong Golf Club. The South African has been remarkably consistent over the past few months dating back to the fall, where he won two consecutive DP World Tour events and also finished 2nd at the International Series Oman. In his three LIV starts this year, Louis has finished T8 at LIV Mayakoba, 50th at LIV Las Vegas and T2 at LIV Jeddah.

Louis is relatively short off the tee and that won’t hurt him this week. He is one of the best putters and scrambler on LIV, and his silky-smooth swing looks as dialed in as ever at the moment. He’s yet to win a LIV event, but a victory for Louis seems imminent.

Patrick Reed +5000 (FanDuel)

Patrick Reed is another play who’s yet to win a LIV event but has been a winner throughout his entire career. The former Masters champion should love Hong Kong Golf Club as it will play to his strengths on and around the greens.

Reed played on the Asian Tour this fall and finished T15 at the Hong Kong Open and T7 at the Indonesian Masters. The experience in Asia this season should be a benefit for Reed acclimating to the travel and conditions this week.

The 34-year-old should benefit from taking driver out of his hand and similar to Smith, can beat anyone in the world if the tournament become a short game competition.

*Featured Image and Stats Image courtesy of LIV Golf*

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  1. P

    Mar 6, 2024 at 11:49 am

    You have to put Gooch and CH3 in there, as those guys pretty much hit straight bullets and don’t bend the ball that much, which will work great on tight courses as they have proven

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19th Hole

Delta Airlines issue apology after video of employees mishandling golf bags goes viral

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This week, a video of Delta Airlines employees mishandling the golf bags of the East Tennessee State men’s golf team went viral.

The official team X account posted the video, captioned “Nice of @Delta to handle our clubs with such care…”

The video already has more than 8 million views on X.

In response, Delta issued an apology to the golf team.

“We apologize to the ETSU Golf team and ask for a mulligan on how their equipment was handled. We’re in direct contact with the Bucs to ensure they have what they need to successfully compete in the NCAAs.” Anthony Black, Delta Airlines spokesperson.

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Ben An shares his thoughts on LIV pros not being able to play in the Presidents Cup

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While speaking with GolfWRX, Ben An discussed whether or not he believes LIV players should be allowed to play in the Presidents Cup.

“Well, it would be a great addition to the team, but I feel like we’re missing Cam (Smith), (Joaquin) Niemann and maybe Dean Burmester. He’s been playing great and I saw last week he was playing some good golf.”

An added that the absence of the LIV pros is also a blow to the U.S. side as well, but that the rules are the rules.

“But, you know, it’s just the, just the rules of now, right? You know, it sucks for not having the team, but it’s kind of the same for the U.S. team, right? They’re missing a few players as well.

“We need to have a win in our national team, but it’s up to Mike and the PGA tour to decide. So it’s run by the PGA Tour, not the PGA of America, like the Ryder Cup.”

However, An stated that he doesn’t expect any changes to the rules for the upcoming 2024 Presidents Cup.

“So, you know, as of now, I mean, this year, I don’t see it happening. But hopefully, like I said, we’ll figure something out, we’ll figure this merger, or something out in the next few years and hopefully see them in the team because they, like you said, they’re great players, they will miss out.

“But I think even the teams we have right now, I think it’s pretty good. Playing in Canada will help us this year, you know, we’ll see what happens…We’ll miss them, but hopefully we have a strong enough team to compete against the U.S. team this year.”

Check out the interview in full below.

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19th Hole

Xander Schauffele reveals how his group chat ribbed Scottie Scheffler following arrest

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After Xander Schauffele’s wire-to-wire victory he went on Barstool Sports’ “Pardon My Take” to discuss his first major championship victory.

Among the other topics explored was Scottie Scheffler’s arrest on Friday of the tournament.

Schauffele shared that Scheffler received some friendly ribbing from the members of their group chat about the world number one’s mugshot.

Xander added that the group chat includes himself, Scheffler, Gary Woodland, Patrick Cantlay, Jordan Spieth, and Justin Thomas.

One of the co-hosts, PFT Commenter, told Schauffele that they should have changed the group photo in the chat to Scheffler’s mug shot photo, to which Xander replied that they already had.

“You gotta change the picture of that group chat to the mug shot,” PFT said.

“Obviously that happened,” Xander replied.

Despite the stress that the arrest undoubtedly caused Scottie, he clearly is keeping his sense of humor about the situation.

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