Justin Thomas leaped to the top of the FedEx Cup rankings on Monday when he completed an incredible fifth win of the PGA Tour season. He and the rest of the 70 players who have qualified for the BMW Championship get to put their feet up for a week while the attentions of the golfing world are turned to the Swiss Alps for the Omega European Masters.
Traditionally, the European Masters is one of the most prestigious tournaments on the European Tour. With a list of winners that includes Seve Ballesteros (three times), Nick Faldo and Colin Montgomerie, this is an event with a rich history.
It’s also held at one of the most beautiful golf courses on the planet. Set in the mountainous town of Crans-Montanta, the Crans-Sur-Sierre Golf Club is a 6,848 yard par 70 layout. The course plays even shorter than its official yardage due to the effects of altitude and for that reason power is of little benefit in Crans. It’s all about accuracy here with anybody who hits a high percentage of the small, well protected greens sure to have an advantage. Having a confident short game is also a major plus to scramble for par when necessary and, as Alex Noren showed with his win last year, a good week with the putter gets you out of all sorts of bother.
Donald’s European Return Can Spark Upturn in Fortunes
Luke Donald is not the first world class golfer to lose their way after altering his style to try and find some extra distance off the tee. The Englishman got to number one in the world thanks to a game on and around the greens that was unmatched but golf has been much more of a struggle for him in recent years as an attempt to add power has caused havoc with his driving.
There have been some encouraging results over the last couple of years but Donald is still outside the top 100 in the world. There have been some encouraging performances in more recent times for Donald, primarily at courses which place a premium on accurate play. That’s certainly the case at Crans-Sur-Sierre and as a former champion here, Donald knows just how to get the job done which makes him look dangerous at 80/1 with Betfred.
Dubuisson Another Who Can Return to Form in the Alps
Victor Dubuisson never had much of a problem with power so his loss of form in recent years has been much harder to fathom. Despite winning the 2015 Turkish Airlines Open, Dubuisson’s game has never reached the heights of his successful Ryder Cup debut in 2014.
Like Donald, Dubuisson is a classy ball striker and there have been some positive results mixed in with some absolute dross. The Frenchman’s ball striking, in particular, has returned over the last few months even though he never seems too far away from a ruinous stretch of holes. Dubuisson has a third place finish to his name in the European Masters and if he can keep the bad holes off his scorecard and remain patient, he could be in for another strong showing so back him each way at 80/1 with Coral.