Wednesday, 26 July 2017

European Open 2017 - Green Eagle GC, Hamburg

Having recharged my batteries following a family holiday in Lake Garda, Italy, I'm looking forward to seeing some golf action again having missed out on the Irish, Scottish and British Open the past three weeks. I must plan my holidays better next year ! The "links swing" is complete and we move back to Germany for a rescheduled European Open to be held at Green Eagle Golf Club in Hamburg.The course did host the 2010 ECCO Challenge Championship where Andreas Harto prevailed with a winning -8 total. A number of this week's entrants did play that tournament, notably Thorbjorn Olesen,Matteo Mannasero, Lucas Bjerregaard, Bernd Ritthammer,and Ben Evans to name just a few. Whether it's down to a reschedule straight after The Open or not, the field assembled for a European Open is quite weak where Charl Schwartzel heads the betting as a frail 12/1 shot from Patrick Reed (14/1).

From my research of Green Eagle GC, it seems like it's best suited to the bombers and indeed those that are considered ball-strikers. Measuring in around 7600 yards this week the course looks to play very long as suggested by Eddie Pepperell's comment on Wednesday morning that course is damp and hence a reduced Pro-Am would be in place. On this account I've looked at players who have some form and can get it down there off the tee. Despite the obvious chances of the South African and Texan at the head of the market, the tournament is quite open and we could see a surprise winner here.

From my shortlist published Tuesday, I decided upon 12 players who I thought might go well at Green Eagle. Of these, 8 represented some value. On reflection, I may have overpriced Jordan Smith at my tissue of 60/1 but I was quite keen on Romain Langasque at first. The Frenchman is 8/14 starts this year but he only snapped the run of 6 MCs last time out in Paris with a lowly 50th place finish. Currently ranked inside the TOP-20 on the European Tour for Driving Distance, perhaps this week's venue will suit and reignite his season. Marc Warren made the list but like Langasque, he arrives here in poor form having missed his last 6 cuts. The "links swing" should have brought about an upturn in form but it didn't and he can be dismissed on recent form.Same could be said of Ben Evans, as he too tees it up here on the back of missed cuts in Austria and Germany(BMW International) but if the course plays very long this week it might just be a track that he can contend on. He played in that 2010 Challenge Tour event here but missed the cut but should have the course experience to call upon.He's a small bet in the TOP-20 market at a nice 11/1 (12.00) for me.

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Tom Lewis is my only other pick this week ( I was keen on Thorbjorn Olesen in the outright market but he's a tad too low for me). The Englishman is slowly but surely putting some consistent results back into his season. He's 9/11, with 4 TOP-20s including a T-10 (Australian PGA) this season.He missed only his 2nd cut (excluding Perth Super 6) of the season two starts ago in Austria but that came after a solid spell in Portugal, Italy and Sweden where he finished 18-11-41. He bounced back from Austrian disappointment with a 44th finish at the BMW International, has rested since and should be ready to go this week. He averages over 300 yds off the tee which will suit him at Green Eagle as well as being 26th for GIR. It's the putter that holds him back so if he can have a good week on the greens he should be up there. He was top ranked for driving distance in Sicily last month where he averaged 320 yds in finishing 11th. Hoping for the same sort of performance this week and with form of late being decent Lewis is well worth a bet in the TOP-20 market here at 9/2 (5.50)


0.25 pts WIN T. Lewis @ 150.00
4.75 pts TOP20 T. Lewis @ 5.50
1.00 pts TOP20 B. Evans @ 12.00