This is a good time of year for the European Tour. At some stages during the season the golf is fairly low quality as the stars of the game go out to compete for the riches on offer in the PGA Tour. But this week we are in the middle of three top class tournaments in the Tour’s desert swing. After Rickie Fowler showed just how good he is when in contention in Abu Dhabi last week, some of the finest players in the game have descended on Doha Golf Club for the Qatar Masters.
Since it was first won by Andrew Coltart in 1998, the Qatar Masters has remained in Doha and become an integral part of the European Tour season. The 7,400 yard, par 72 course has undergone a series of changes as the tournament organisers have sought to improve the quality of the playing surface of one of the oldest grass golf courses in the Middle East. The players competing this week will notice minor changes but they’ve still got to cope with a number of bunkers, water hazards and natural rocky areas. They’ve also got to cope with the desert wind which has had a dramatic effect on this tournament in its past.
The past two champions of the Qatar Masters, Branden Grace and Sergio Garcia, are vying for favourite status with the bookies this week. Both of them have decent chances of winning but at 15/2 with Coral for Grace and 9/1 with BetVictor for Garcia, there are others in the field who offer more value.
The first of those is Bernd Wiesberger. The Austrian pushed hard to win the 2015 renewal of the Qatar Masters but came up just short, eventually settling for a share of third place. It was a combination of Wiesberger not taking his chances and Grace playing some awesome stuff in the home stretch that took the tournament away from the 30-year-old but this time around the tables could be turned. He combines awesome power with a solid short game and at 28/1 with BetVictor he offers good value.
Next, consider another big odds option in the form of Matthew Fitzpatrick. The young Englishman narrowly missed out on being named the European Tour rookie of the season after claiming more top 10 finishes than any other player in 2015. A slight man, Fitzpatrick utilises a low ball flight which gives him a bit of extra distance on firm golf courses and will have the added benefit of lessening the effects of the wind. He’s got to consider himself a top class player now and can win a top class event at 25/1 with BetVictor.
The final betting tip for the week is the ‘Belgian Bomber’, Nicolas Colsaerts. The 33-year-old’s game is based around smashing the ball past his playing partners with brute force before delicately placing the ball on the right part of the greens. It was a fairly forgettable season last year for the popular Colsaerts but he has the tools and the laid back mentality to bounce back this year and should be considered a good outsider for an each way bet at 80/1 with Bet365.