Our resident oracle is back with his tips for this week’s Omega European Masters.
Alex Noren at 10/1 is the favourite in the betting having won here in 2009 and 2016. He returns for a first start in Europe since a run which included a T6 at The Open, T10 in France and win at the BMW PGA. Tommy Fleetwood at 77% is the player who hits the most greens in the right number and all the statisticians and history say they always have the advantage here. Fleetwood has two top 10’s here and may well contend but at 12/1 he’s too short (for me) for an each way punt pre-tournament.
Docs Top 5 Best Each Way Bets
Adrian Otaegui 35/1
Adrian arrives at Crans Sur Sierre for the fourth time but is a different animal in 2017. Full of confidence after winning the Paul Lawrie Matchplay, the man from the Basque country is in the form of his career with five consecutive top-20’s on Tour including that win, a T5 at the European Open and T7 in France. All of those performances were built on strong tees and greens stats; two things that get you a long way in Switzerland.
Richie Ramsay 30/1
It has been a decent Summer for Richie since he hit form with a T2 at Portstewart, enjoying a solid T22 at The Open and T8 in Germany. Winner here in 2012 and two top-10’s since, says the Scot has the course management game required to contend again this week.
Ryan Fox 40/1
The son of the great All Black Grant Fox, Ryan impressed me hugely in Ireland this year. He was coming off a solo 6th in France and strolled to a T4 finish on links. Another T4 followed that in Scotland before the run broke with an MC at The Open. Since then Fox played the PGA Championship (T54) and an event in Fiji (T24) and he’s back this week in Europe. Sitting high up at 73.3% in the Tour’s GIR stats, the debutant still looks a juicy each way bet at 40/1.
Lee Westwood 30/1
Will the extra attention of 500 Tour starts give Lee Westwood the fillip he needs to really contend this week? After an improving T9 in the Czech Republic, just maybe. Solo fourth here last year and has five top-10’s from his 13 starts at the venue. Experience plays a bigger role on this course than any other Tour stop and besides Miguel Angel Jimenez, nobody in the field has more.
Jordan L. Smith 35/1
I’m discounting Jordan’s T60 at the Czech Masters last week as a bomb and gouge first week back. Before that we had him winning the European Open in Hamburg then finishing a smashing T9 at the PGA Championship. A T9 fairways, and T2 greens in regulation clip at Quail Hollow was exceptional and if he can re-find that careful mentality this week, he’ll be up there again.
Long Odds Glory
The great thing about Crans is that everybody in the field has a chance. It’s not about long driving this week which brings a whole glut of good iron players into the equation. Richard Bland at 66/1 and David Drysdale at 100/1 caught my eye as guys that might be eyeing a good paycheck. Ashun Wu at 100/1 is a debutant this week but might be worth a quid.