Euro Tour Returns from Break to Morocco

By Wes Reynolds  () 

After a three-week break, the European Tour returns to action in Morocco for the Trophee Hassan II. The tournament is hosted by Prince Moulay Rachid and named after his father, Hassan II, who served as King of Morocco from 1961 until his passing in 1999. The tournament favorite is Joost Luiten, with finishes of 9th and 13th the past two years here, at 14/1. The Dutchman is followed at 20/1 by Jorge Campillo and Jordan Smith.

THE COURSE

The Royal Golf Dar Es Salam Red Course plays host this week. It was designed in 1971 by Robert Trent Jones and re-tooled in 2016 by Cabell Robinson. Robinson made this course much more difficult as the last three winning scores have been -8, -9 and -5. The red course plays at a par 72 of 7,557 yards. The track consists of numerous dogleg holes and is tree-lined throughout. It also features extensive bunkering especially in the fairways, a Robert Trent Jones staple. GIR, Scrambling, Par 3 scoring will be important here as the Par 3s are arguably the most challenging holes on the course with three of them measuring over 200 yards.

RECENT HISTORY

2018: Alexander Levy 280 (-8), 25/1

2017: Edoardo Molinari 283 (-9), 150/1

2016: Jeunghun Wang 283 (-5), 50/1

Note that the 2017 tournament played as a par 73 when the other Molinari emerged victorious.

PICKS

Jorge Campillo 20/1

The Spaniard has seven finishes of second or third in his past three seasons on the European Tour. This year he already has two seconds in back-to-back weeks in Qatar and Oman, followed by a third in India three weeks later.

Christiaan Bezuidenhout 30/1

Three top 10 finishes in his past four starts. He was actually in the final group in this event last year before falling to inexperience.

Thomas Detry 30/1

He currently ranks first on the European Tour in Par 3 scoring and 12th in Par 5 scoring. The Belgian is also a pretty solid putter (35th Strokes Gained Putting).

Adria Arnaus 50/1

The 24-year-old rookie is quietly putting together a solid inaugural campaign on the Euro Tour. He won the final event on the Euro Challenge Tour in November to earn a spot on the main tour. With a finish of second in Kenya and sitting fourth after 36 holes in Qatar, it’s only a matter of time before he gets his first Euro Tour win.

Paul Waring 60/1

A potential horse for course here with finishes of ninth and third his past two trips to Morocco. He also had finishes of sixth and third in consecutive weeks in Abu Dhabi and Dubai respectively earlier this year.

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