The PGA Tour takes a two-week break before the revamped FedEx Fall begins but the DP World Tour action continues in Switzerland, featuring the stunning mountain vistas of Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club, which hosts the European Masters once again.
This historic event is always one of highlights on the DP World Tour calendar and this year’s tournament has increased importance for those aiming to make the European Ryder Cup team. Skipper Luke Donald is poised to name his six wildcard picks next Monday.
Omega European Masters predictions & betting tips
Omega European Masters best bet – Matt Fitzpatrick to win at 8/1
Matt Fitzpatrick is just outside the automatic spots but there’s no doubt that he’ll be on Donald’s team in Rome, so his decision to tee it up this week is more to do with a love for Crans-sur-Sierre than a desire to qualify for the European team.
This fiddly, tree-lined, alpine par-70 measures a shade over 6,800 yards and puts emphasis on tee-to-green precision, first in finding fairways and then in making sure approaches find small greens.
Fitzpatrick is a two-time winner, albeit in his previous guise as a shorter, accurate hitter, and he absolutely deserves favouritism even though he arrives having endured three weeks of action in the FedEx Cup playoffs.
The Englishman signed off his Stateside season by finishing runner-up behind Hovland at the BMW and ninth (13th in 72-hole scoring) at the Tour Championship, so he arrives in the mountains in solid form and ready to contend in a much weaker DP World Tour field.
He makes more appeal than the next few in the betting. Ludvig Aberg, the Hojgaard twins, Adrian Meronk and Robert MacIntyre are all playing with the added pressure of having to catch captain Donald’s eye.
Omega European each-way best bet – Alex Bjork each-way at 20/1
Matt Wallace chased home shock Czech Masters winner Todd Clements and will fancy his chances of going one better this week having finished second to Thriston Lawrence last season.
However, preference is for ultra-consistent Swede Alex Bjork, who is the fifth-most accurate driver on the DP World Tour this season and looks made for this assignment.
Bjork played superbly for the first two rounds of the Czech Masters at a much less suitable venue before falling away to finish in a share of 14th, but that was a solid effort in the grand scheme of things for a man who has chalked up six top-ten finishes in his ten events.
With the exception of the co-sanctioned Scottish Open and the Open Championship, Bjork has finished outside the top 16 in just one event since the start of April, and course form figures of 16-WD-28-13-16 are respectable for a man who is playing better than ever.
Omega European Masters best outsider punt – Yannik Paul to win at 33/1
PGA Tour pro Justin Suh is a surprise name on the entry list and he’s accurate enough to take to this test, but Yannik Paul looks equally likely to enjoy his Crans debut at slightly larger odds.
The German has a solid all-round game but his best attribute is arguably his approach play, which is among the best on the DP World Tour. He should be able to hit the right spots on these small greens having warmed up with a tenth-place finish in Prague on Sunday.
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