Review & Betting Guide for the Trophée Hassan II

Mikko Ilonen

Mikko Ilonen 16/1 © James Kennedy

The European Tour heads to North Africa for the 40th edition of the Trophée Hassan II. Morocco is becoming a great golf destination; hopefully you have read reviews of my trip to Marrakech and Essaouira, if not, please follow the links at the bottom of this betting guide where you will also find a link to this year’s Morocco Festival of Golf, which is definitely worth taking part in and represents great value for money and you get to play on some stunning courses.

Anyway back to the Trophée Hassan II, which was first played back in 1971 and was the vision of Morocco’s King Hassan to bring the best golfers in the world to Morocco each year to compete in a major golf tournament. Today it’s his sons who have taken up the baton and golf in Morocco, as well as the Trophée Hassan II are prospering from the Kings foresight.

David Horsey 16/1 © Pauline

David Horsey 16/1 © Pauline

Golf du Palais Royal in Agadir, was designed by Robert Trent Jones Snr and is regarded as one of his most impressive pieces of work. Defending champion Michael Hoey heads up this week’s field and said “the golf course only gets only a handful of games every year, so it’s very exclusive, the condition of it is awesome. It feels like a James Bond setting. You can see the palace from some of the holes and you try to see what’s going on, but the security is always pretty tight”. 

My tips to win:

Mikko Ilonen 16/1
 seems to enjoy teeing it up on the Golf du Palais Royal track and has had a runners-up finish here last year and two other Top 20 finishes in this event on this course. Mikko had two Top 5 finishes on the desert swing of the tour this year and I think will be looking for his first win this week.

David Horsey 16/1 is another player that likes the Golf du Palais Royal course, he won this event back in 2011 and had a runners-up finish here last year. David also managed a Top 15 placing when defending his title. Horsey should also come into this week in confident mood after having two Top 10 finishes in his last two events at the Africa and Joburg Open’s.

Michael Hoey 33/1 © Pauline

Michael Hoey 33/1 © Pauline

Another player who should come into this week in a positive frame of mind is Michael Hoey 33/1 after his runners-up finish at the Tshwane Open. Michael is another player who enjoys playing at the Golf du Palais Royal course and won this event in 2012 after a Top 20 finish the year before.

My each-way tips:

Englishman Danny Willet 40/1, followed up two Top 20 finishes at the Dubai Desert Classic and Joburg Open by withdrarwing from the Tshwane Open, but apart from that Danny has only been outside the Top 20 once this season at the Qatar Masters. Willet has only won once on the European Tour so far, but look for the Yorkshireman to add too that tally this year.

It’s been an up and down season so far for Jaco Van Zyl 40/1 who has had three Top 20 finishes, one being a Top 5 at the recent Africa Open. Jaco didn’t play in this event last year but competed the two previous years with a Top 25 and a runner-up finish, so he obviously enjoys the track and will be another player who should come into this week in a positive mood.

Richie Ramsay

Richie Ramsay 80/1 © Kevin Murray

My outside tip:

Richie Ramsay 80/1 (With SkyBet) has had three Top 20 finishes in this tournament over the last three years the event has been held at the Golf du Palais Royal. This will be Richie’s first tournament of the year on the European Tour which sees him coming back from a neck injury. Ramsay has made the top 30 on the money-list for the last two years and with the Ryder Cup being in Scotland, the Aberdonian will want to hit the ground running.

For updated betting odds during the tournament go to

Moroccan Golf Links

Morocco Destination Review

Morocco Golf Festival

Golf In Morocco: You Will Adore Mogador

TOPICS: Golf, Golf on the Web, Lifestyle, Off course, Tournament reviews and betting guides

ABOUT: James Mason

James Mason is a contributing writer for Golf Monthly magazine, producing destination reviews, technical and equipment reviews and blogs. He was also part of the judging panel for the 2010 Top 100 courses in Great Britain and Ireland. James has written equipment reviews and technical features for Greenside magazine, destination features for Golf World and Going for Golf magazines and interviews for Middle East Golfer.

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