European Masters Preview

Author
by Mark Knight
August 27th 2019, 7:34am

With no PGA tour action this week, after the culmination of the Tour Championship last week, we focus on the main event on the European Tour this week – The European Masters, held in Switzerland.

Euro Masters Winner

Course – Crans-sur-Sierre. A 6,848 yard par 70 course. A compact, tree-lined course with tiny greens - one of the most spectacular golf courses on either the PGA or European tour. With spectacular Alpine views and a range of quirky holes – including a number of drivable par 4s and 3 par 5s that all offer eagle chances, we could see a relatively low winning total this week.

Rory McIlroy with FedEx Cup

Rory McIlroy, fresh from a $15m payday in Atlanta last week, heads the field here. He has played here before and has rock-solid course form of (3,7,2) – but with his latest appearance coming in 2011 and coming here on the back of one of the biggest moments in his career to date he can be overlooked at the current price of 4/1.

Top Ten Finish

The fact that Rory has traveled to the event with his family poses a question as to how seriously he is taking the event. If he does give this week his full attention he could blow away a mediocre field – but the price is too short to have much confidence in, so we look at alternatives for the best value bets this week. 

Matthew Fitzpatrick is a 2 time champion here and has overall course form that reads (1,1,7,2,MC). The missed cut can be forgiven, seeing as it was 5 years ago – long before Fitzpatrick had established himself as a real force to be reckoned with on the tour.

His latest 2 outings here have resulted in victory – and with no one else in the field showing form anywhere near as strong – he is taken to complete the hat-trick this week.

Matt Fitzpatrick

Fitzpatrick was unlucky not to get the win last week in Sweden, finishing a close 2nd. This week he can go one better. His 2 victories here both came in playoffs – showing he has the nerve to get the job done, and clearly also showing that he knows this course inside and out. Fitzpatrick is available at a price of 8/1, a fair price given his strong course form – coupled with solid recent form figures.

His main challenger could be the in-form Bernd Wiesberger. The Austrian powerhouse has not played in this event since 2017 but comes to Crans a completely different player from the player he was then.

Already a winner this year, he is a danger to the market leaders given his strong GIR (greens in regulation) statistics. He has a 6th placed finish here in his locker and has shown consistent form throughout the 2019 season so far.

Our Pick

With such small greens to target this week approach play will be a key facet – and Bernd Wiesberger has the ideal game to ensure he gives himself plenty of birdie opportunities.

At a price of 33/1, he is value to make the frame, and should be backed each way to challenge Fitzpatrick on Sunday afternoon.