PGA European Open – September 5-8

Author
by Mark Knight
September 3rd 2019, 8:09am

Rory McIlroy ended up coming very close to going back to back last week. Eventually missing out on the win after a playoff won by Sweden’s Sebastien Soderberg.

This week we move to Germany – for the European Open, with a decent looking field.

Outright Winner

Some big-name American players are due to tee it up this week in Germany at the European Open – Patrick Reed, Xander Schauffele and Matt Kuchar being amongst them. Other notable names to look out for this week include Paul Casey, Thomas Pieters and Bernd Wiesberger. 

Course – Green Eagle Golf Course

A long parkland (up to 7,830 yards) par 72 course. Water and huge bunkers to be found on 17 holes – with these defenses it is approach play that comes to the fore at this course. Despite its length, it does not merely suit bombers – but those with a strong approach game should prosper. 

With only 2 years of course form to go on – it is not straight forward to make a clear cut argument for a particular type of player. The yardage seemingly indicated that this should be a bomber’s track – but past winner McEvoy is one of the shortest drivers on the tour – he was able to get the win here by plotting his way round in meticulous fashion. 

Previous winners Richard McEvoy (2018) and Jordan Smith (2017) can be overlooked this week, with a combined 4 missed cuts between them over the last 2 weeks. Indeed, hot recent form from this field is hard to spot – so a chance is taken on a player who has played, somewhat surprisingly, this event for the last 2 years going well this week.

Patrick Reed and Rory McIlroy

Patrick Reed’s form at the course reads (9,19) – these 2 top 20 finishes do stand out as being as consistent as anyone else at this course. His recent form figures of (15,19,1,22,12,10) are pleasing to read. One of the most consistent players of the PGA tour comes to Germany this week in decent form, and with a recent victory under his belt, a confident approach to the week can be expected. 

A missed cut last week aside, Alexander Levy is another player that catches the eye this week. His own course form is as strong as Reed’s – if not better (13,2) and his recent form also bodes well (mc,5,18). Clearly this is a course that suits the Frenchman’s game. 

At a huge price, the Frenchman should be able to make his presence felt here in Germany. Looking more closely at the missed cut last week – Levy has never played well at Crans (last week’s venue), so this effort can be discounted and should not be a reflection on his chances to get the job done this week. His driving should set up his approach shots well, the accuracy off the tee here is something that should help secure a number of birdie opportunities. 

Our Pick

In an interesting looking event – the recommendation is to take Patrick Reed and Alexander Levy against the field.

The American Ryder Cup star has an excellent chance – given his pedigree and recent form, whilst the Frenchman’s course form simply cannot be ignored.