The British Masters made a triumphant return to the European Tour last year. After a break between 2009 – 2014, Sky Sports and the European Tour revamped the event to take it around some of the best courses in Britain. They also decided to let a big name local player host the British Masters and this week it’s Luke Donald’s chance to host after Ian Poulter made such a good job of hosting last year.
Donald is hosting the British Masters at the Grove in Hertfordshire. The course has only been open since 2003 but in that time it has developed into one of the most well regarded venues in the area. Just three years after opening, the Grove hosted the WGC-American Express Championship showing just how much of a high class venue this is. Tiger Woods won that week in 2006 and a few of those who took part are also in the field this week.
In the years that have passed, the Grove’s par has come down 71 but it still poses the same sort of all-round test as it did 10 years ago. There are long par fours, short par fours, a selection of doglegs and big, tricky greens which tend to run very fast. Kyle Phillips did his best to ensure there are no easy sections of the course so anybody aiming to win this week will need to maintain maximum concentration levels.
Fitzpatrick Can Defend
Matt Fitzpatrick’s maiden European Tour win came at the British Masters last year. The Englishman was the youngest player in the field but he showed a remarkable maturity to hold off a strong chasing pack by two shots. It’s always tough to defend a title, especially at a different course but Fitzpatrick offers real appeal at 40/1 with Bet365.
He’s a class ball striker who will be able to change his strategy depending on the situation and will enjoy the atmosphere around the course. Fitzpatrick has played a great deal of quality golf at parkland courses and should be there or thereabouts come Sunday.
Sullivan Can Smile His Way to Victory
Andy Sullivan may have striped his first tee shot at the Ryder Cup down the middle of the fairway but there’s no doubting that nerves got the better of the Englishman at Hazeltine. It also seemed as though Sullivan’s form dipped off as the pressure ratchetted up ahead of the tournament as well so we could be about to see him hit top form as he relaxes. The Grove is the sort of course that should suit Sullivan down to the ground and he looks a good bet at 40/1 with Ladbrokes.
Can Pepperell In Need of Some Form
Eddie Pepperell is a smart guy so he knows that time is running out in order for him to claim a spot in the top 110 positions in the Race to Dubai. The young Englishman has had a poor season so really needs results and fast. Thankfully for all of his fans, Pepperell knows just how to score well at parkland courses so is worth a risk at odds of 250/1 with Coral.