After the disappointment of the washout at the Madeira Islands Open, the European Tour moves on to the – hopefully – sunnier surrounds of Morocco for the Trophee Hassan II. Not only is there prize money and points for the Race to Dubai on offer at Golf du Palais Royal but a number of players in the field can secure themselves a place at the Masters with a good enough performance this week.
A quality field will descend on Agadir including last year’s champion Alejandro Canizares. The strength of the field and the layout of the course are making it difficult for the bookies. They all have George Coetzee at the top of the market at 16/1 but the prices of the next 10 or so players vary quite a bit between firms. Luckily for us, the amount of class in the field means we can have a good crack at finding a winner.
Let’s start with the 2013 winner of this tournament, Marcel Siem. That victory looked as though it would be enough for him to qualify for the Masters but he agonisingly missed out. A repeat of his victory would guarantee a trip up Magnolia Lane for the German and that is well within his reach. Siem has only played four times this season, missing the cut in his two European Tour events before bouncing-back and performing admirably at Pebble Beach and Doral. He can drive the ball over 300 yards which is always a help but he may need to tone that down a bit to maintain accuracy around this links course. Coral are offering the best value on Siem to win at 25/1 which is good value for an each-way bet.
Another man who can make the field at Augusta by winning in Morocco is Alexander Levy. The 24-year-old is just one of a group of young French golfers who are making their way on the European Tour. If Levy manages to get to the Masters and has a good week, he has a chance of bursting through at the highest level like his good friend Victor Dubuisson. In order to do so, he will need to improve on his form at Golf du Palais Royal. In two starts here he’s placed 35th and 37th but those came before his two wins on the European Tour last year. Levy is a good scrambler and tends to place better when his short game is on point. In the dunes and hills of the course this week, scrambling could be a key indicator so get on him each way at 25/1 with Ladbrokes.
The final player to consider this week is Tyrrell Hatton. The 23-year-old had a great start to his season when finishing sixth at the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship but has since seen a slide in his form. He also didn’t have a great week in this tournament last year. However, he shot a decent 69 in his third round last year a repeat of which would be very handy indeed. Unsurprisingly, his performances are better when his driving accuracy is on point so perhaps it is worth seeing the strength of his game off the tee on Thursday before getting involved at 66/1 with Betfred. If you do take the early price, he has the game to get his first European Tour victory.