The Saltire Paul Lawrie Match Play has been part of the European Tour for each of the last two years and for its third renewal it switches from the links of Scotland to Germany and Golf Resort Bad Griesbach.
There may be a big change in venue but there is no change in the format of the tournament. The WGC Match Play has shied away from a true knockout match play format due to worries about big names going home early and annoying the sponsors. However, the Paul Lawrie Match Play is not so accommodating in that regard. The 64 players taking part know that if they lose their first match they will have to book their flight home, simple as that.
Paul Lawrie is a very popular player on the European Tour and his pull has been able to attract some big players to the field this week. We’ve got former Ryder Cup participants in the form of Nicolas Colsaerts, Edoardo Molinari and Jamie Donaldson as well as some of the most exciting players on the European Tour who are still looking to make their mark. No matter whether players are experienced or still up and coming, they all enjoy playing match play golf and it is certainly a game type that helps to provide drama for those tuning in.
Bad Griesbach is making its debut as the tournament host but it has itself been part of the European tour for the past couple of years as the venue for the Porsche European Open. The Beckenbauer Course measures 7,188 yards and was very scoreable in the past couple of years. With players favouring aggressive golf, expect to see matches which swing this way and that over the coming week.
Change in Format Can Herald Change in Fortunes for Colsaerts
Nicolas Colsaerts is hands down one of the most talented players in European golf. The Belgian has as much power as almost anybody else in the world and his iron play and touch around the green combine to make him a potent threat on most courses. However, he does have a problem when it comes to stringing together four consistent rounds.
Whether it’s a lack of consistency with his game or a lack of concentration, it’s been a long time since Colsaerts really challenged in a stroke play event despite playing some great golf at times. Match play could be the perfect antidote for his current woes. There is no time to get complacent and he knows that aggressive golf is the way forwards. Colsaerts has strong match play pedigree and looks a good bet at 28/1 with Coral.
Return to Bad Griesbach a Plus for Bland
Richard Bland has had some agonisingly close calls in his search for his first European Tour title. The Englishman is very popular on tour and his phone would blow up should he get that long awaited win. It could just happen for him this week.
Bland finished in the top 10 on both of his previous appearances at Bad Griesbach and is no stranger to match play golf. So, back him to win at 25/1 with Ladbrokes.