Careful scheduling is required to ensure that the tournaments following Major championships are not damp squibs. With so much energy expended by the players in the quest to win one of golf’s biggest prizes, fields can often be decimated the following week. However, that is not the case with the European Masters. Hosted by the incredibly beautiful Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club set high up in the Swiss Alps, the tournament has attracted members of both Ryder Cup teams and players who have won all over the world.
The top of the outright betting market incudes major names like Lee Westwood and Patrick Reed and those who had a good five days at St Andrews last week such as Danny Willett and Sergio Garcia. With the relative ease of this course coupled with the fact that the ball travels roughly 10% further due to the altitude, any one of those big names could fly through the field with a week of heavy scoring. Likewise players like Jamie Donaldson, Bernd Wiesberger and Alexander Levy.
Even if this event was played at sea level this would not be classed as a long course. At around 6,800 yards, depending on which tees and pin positions are used, even the shortest hitters on the European Tour can keep up with the pace of scoring. Take driving distance out of your thoughts for this week and instead concern yourself with players who hit accurate approach shots, have a delicate touch around the greens and can putt well.
Those sort of qualities can all be found in the game of Thongchai Jaidee. The 45-year-old is the most successful Thai golfer of all time and nobody has won more money on the Asian Tour. At only 5ft 7in, power has never been his strength. He is a player who plots his way around courses and as well as a demon short game he’s had to concentrate on hitting fairway woods and long irons as he plays on some very long courses. There are only three par fives on this par 70 track which should play into his hands. He looks a great bet at 25/1 with Ladbrokes.
Another player with great imagination around the greens is Victor Dubuisson. This year hasn’t gone as well as last for the mercurial Frenchman but his form has rebounded slightly in recent weeks. A missed cut at St Andrews was preceded by three finishes in the top 20 which could have been so much better if not for some costly mistakes. Dubuisson is a 28/1 shot with Bet365 which is decent value for an each-way bet paying five places.
The final player to add to your staking is Tommy Fleetwood. The 24-year-old has improved his final placing every time he’s played in the Alps culminating in a tied for fifth finish last year. Fleetwood is a very good chipper but given he hits three quarters of greens in regulation he doesn’t often need to get up-and-down out of troublesome positions. If Fleetwood has a good week with his putter, he’ll look a great bet at 25/1 with Bet365.