A combination of weeks off, World Golf Championship events and the Masters means it’s been a while since there was an event on the European Tour. But, the action returns on Thursday with the Trophee Hassan II.
Initially the tournament in Morocco was viewed almost as a secondary event on the European Tour when it became part of the schedule in 2010 with only bit part players competing. However, it’s grown in popularity with both players and fans over the years. Last year’s renewal certainly helped with the tournament’s image as Jeunghun Wang somehow battled back to beat Nacho Elvira in a playoff.
We can’t predict what sort of finish awaits this year but we do know what sort of challenge the eventual winner will have to overcome. The Red Course at Royal Golf Dar Es Salem is hosting the Trophee Hassan II for the third time. The course can stretch out to an intimidating 7,615 yards and, unusually, plays to a par of 73. Wang and Elvira could only get to five under par which shows the difficulty of the layout that requires a challenging mix of both power and accuracy off the tee.
Wang Capable of Defending Against this Standard of Opposition
Those in the know had tipped Wang as a potential winner on the European Tour thanks to the form he showed on the Asian Tours. Few people, however, thought that he would kick on as he has. The South Korean followed up his Trophee Hassan II win with another victory the very next week and added a third European Tour title at the Qatar Masters, his biggest career win by some distance.
Wang missed the cut at the Masters but don’t let that put you off. Few players get to grips with Augusta the first time they play there and if anything it will allow him more time to prepare for his title defence in Morocco. At a generous looking 22/1 with Sky Bet, Wang has more than enough to defend his title against this calibre of opposition.
Fresh Levy Can Bully His Way to a Third European Tour Title
The recent break to the usual European Tour schedule has been used by many players as something of a midseason break. Players like Alex Levy who didn’t qualify for the recent huge tournaments have been able to take a rest from the rigours of competitive golf and get some quality work in with their coaches.
Levy’s last appearance came at the Maybank Malaysia Championship where he finished fourth and he’ll have been chomping at the bit to compete again after that impressive display. The Frenchman is something of a flat track bully and if he gets an early head of steam he should be challenging on Sunday at odds of 40/1 with BetVictor.
Elvira To Go One Better?
It’s never easy returning to a tournament where you had a disappointing finish previously but Nacho Elvira has the chance to exorcise some demons this week. The Spaniard has gone close to winning his first European Tour title since last year’s dramatic finish in Morocco and if he improves on recent form he’ll have another chance at 60/1 with Bet365.