Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Omega European Masters 2014

With the Ryder Cup qualification period over, players will now focus on some decent tournaments between now and the Final Series with the first of those coming this week at the always anticipated European Masters at Crans-Sur-Sierre in Switzerland. Played at altitude, this course usually suits those who drive the ball well and make birdies. The winning score didn’t really change for last year’s event following course renovations so we can expect a winning total in and around -20 to be good enough again. Thomas Bjorn aims to win his third title in four years but he has plenty of competition to deny him. Miguel Angel Jiminez will try to win his second title and he hasn’t far to travel this week from his new home in Austria. Recent Czech Masters winner, Jamie Donaldson will also be looking forward to this one.
Darren Clarke has six TOP10s in his 15 visits and who is to say he can’t contend again this week especially after a good effort in Italy, having finished in the TOP20. Recent putting work may come to fruition any given week soon, and on a track he knows well, he is definitely a consideration for each way, TOP10, TOP20 picks.
Darren has put a lot of effort in this year with his fitness programme, and his new physique has seen him gain a lot of comment and well wishes, which is truly going to motivate him to better things in the very near future – it could even inspire him this week at triple figures! Best price this morning @ 125/1 each way and 11/1 TOP10 with BetVictor cannot be ignored.
Two previous winners of this event have suddenly come back into form of late and could be worth keeping an eye this week and they are Bradley Dredge and Richie Ramsay. The Scotsman won in 2012 but has missed the cut three times in his four other appearances so it remains to be seen if he can capture that 2012 form when returning on the back of his T4th in Turin.
Dredge, one of the tours best putters, is having an excellent spell of late having finished runner up in consecutive weeks in Denmark and in the Czech Republic. He won here in 2006, was runner-up in ’09, and 3rd in ’07. He also has a 4th in his locker from ’02. He missed the cut on his last three visits though but I can ignore these easily on the back of recent form, and pending price, he’s a great each way bet or TOP10 this week. @ 40/1 I'm happy to get on board.
Ross Fisher has shown signs recently that his game is beginning to come together again and despite a mixed bag in the final round in Turin on Sunday, the Englishman signed off with a T7th placing. His previous TOP10 came at Fota. Ross was T5th on this course last year which included a third round 63 but had left himself too much to do after an opening 71. If he can find himself a favourable draw with an early Friday tee time ideally, I expect Ross to be challenging this week for his 2nd win of 2014.
Frenchman, Victor Dubuisson was 3rd here last year finishing one shot too many to make the playoff. His length off the tee is of big advantage here and he can turn his 2014 Major form (2 TOP10s at The Open & PGA) into a win. Dubuisson has 5 TOP10s in his 13 starts on the tour this season so is in fine form and he’ll be keen to have a good tourney under his belt before teeing it up for Europe in Gleneagles at the end of the month. At 14/1 I think the price is fair, but I'm happy to leave out given that the Frenchman is still a bit doubtful with his back injuries of late.
Staking Plan (7 pts)
1 pt e/w B. Dredge @ 40/1 BetVictor
1 pt e/w R. Fisher @ 45/1 Bet365
0.5 pts WIN D.Clarke @ 125/1 BetVictor
2.5 pts TOP10 @ 11/1 Skybet

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