After a break for the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play and U.S. Masters, the DP World Tour resumes its 2022 season with its first events of the calendar year in Europe. Here is our ISPS Handa Championship Preview.
The ISPS Handa Championship in Spain takes place this week at the Infinitum Resort in Tarragona. It replaces the ISPS Handa Championship in Japan, which was originally set for February but was run as strictly a Japan Golf Tour event due to travel restrictions because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is planned to be a DP World Tour event in 2023.
This will be the first official DP World Tour event held at Infinitum, but it’s no stranger to most of the field, as it’s been a part of Qualifying School rotation since 2016.
The course is flat and while there is water involved on 14 of the 18 holes, it’s mostly well out of play. The course is fairly short (par 70, 6,963 yards), but it finishes long with two par fives among the final three holes. Expect scores to be low here for a field that will be competing for a 2-million Euro purse.
There are six DP World Tour winners from this season in the field, but Bernd Wiesberger is looking for his first win since his eighth tour triumph at the Made in HimmerLand last May in Denmark. The Austrian is the highest-ranked golfer in the field at 78, but he has struggled this season after a 12th-place start to 2022 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.
The Hojgaard twins are also among the favorites, with Nicolai Hojgaard having a win but less consistency this year, whereas Rasmus Hojgaard has been quite steady. In addition to making the cut at each DP World Tour event he’s entered this year, Rasmus Hojgaard also was sixth at the PGA Tour’s Puntacana Championship last month and was 18th at the Valero Texas Open the week before the U.S. Masters. Nicolai played three PGA Tour events over the past six weeks or so and missed the cut in each. He’s also missed the cut in three of four DP World Tour events, but he also won the Ras al Khaimah Championship in early February, so he’s a riskier play.
A pair of home-country golfers are next, including Adri Arnaus, who had three-straight top-10s earlier this year and was tied for runner-up at the MyGolfLife Open hosted by Pecanwood. He was also second at the Open de Espana in Madrid last fall, so he could be poised for a win on home soil.
Is a Spaniard who won the MyGolfLife Open hosted by Pecanwood this year and has a pair of other top-five finishes in his last four starts—the Raz al Khaimah Classic and last month’s Commercial Bank Qatar Masters.
Has two top-six finishes and is perfect in made cuts over six starts this season, and dating back to last year, he’s made the cut in 11 of his last 12 tournaments. He also was second at the Portugal Masters in the fall.
Is another Spaniard who, while not posting great results this year, does have a history at this course. He won Q School in 2018 and finished third in 2019.
Among the favorites, we like Rasmus Hojgaard along with Arnaus and Larrazabal to contend for the title on a course that will feature generous scoring conditions.
|GOLFERS||ODDS TO WIN 2022 ISPS HANDA CHAMPIONSHIP IN SPAIN|
|Joachim B. Hansen||+2500|
|Laurie Canter / Oliver Bekker / Sihwan Kim||+2500|