The grandstands are just starting to be dismantled at Royal Birkdale after the Jordan Spieth’s incredible win at the Open but the attentions of all on the European Tour have turned to this week’s Porsche European Open.
It is only seven years ago that the European Open vanished from the European Tour schedule. It is, therefore, testament to everybody involved with the tournament that it is so highly thought of now that this week’s renewal has attracted stars from the PGA Tour to make a rare European Tour appearance. Patrick Reed, Jimmy Walker and Charl Schwartzel are all in the field this week but to have any chance of winning they’ll have to outperform a host of European Tour stalwarts and deal with the incredibly challenging North Course at Green Eagles Golf Courses, Hamburg.
The official yardage for this week’s host venue is 7,582. That makes it one of the longest courses that these players will face all year long but there is more to the North Course than simply being long. Tough driving holes, well guarded greens and numerous water hazards all add to the challenge and suggest that this week’s winner will need a combination of technical skill and mental fortitude.
Levy Can Launch a Strong Title Defence
Alexander Levy had to come through a playoff with Ross Fisher to win the 2016 European Open and he is back in the field one year on to defend his title. If you look at Levy’s four European Tour wins, they all came at courses that provided plenty of scoring opportunities. The Frenchman has a chance to show that he is more than just a flat track bully at the testing North Course this week.
Levy likes to play golf at full tilt. No coach is going to recommend that their students copy his unorthodox swing but the way that he attacks courses is certainly admirable. While others will be wary about the dangers lurking in the North Course, Levy will look to score wherever possible and that approach could pay dividends for Levy who is 25/1 with BetVictor.
Dunne Trending to Breakthrough Win
Paul Dunne captured the golfing public’s imagination in 2015 when he challenged for the Open. Two years on and he’s been unable to land a maiden win on the European Tour but there are signs that he is getting closer to something special.
Dunne was in contention to win both the Open de France and the Scottish Open over the past month and having put on a fair amount of muscle, he’s now got the power needed to cope with the North Course’s distance. At 33/1 with Ladbrokes, Dunne is ready to challenge once again so make sure to back him each way.
Bjerregaard Can Harness Power for Strong Showing
Like Dunne, Lucas Bjerregaard is yet to make the European Tour breakthrough that has been predicted for so long. The Dane is the epitome of a modern, athletic golfer with all the power in the world but so far stringing together four top quality rounds has eluded him. With his power giving him a real edge, this could be the week that Bjerregaard’s fortunes change at 100/1 with Betfred.