The Nordea Masters | Thursday 04 June - Sunday 07 June | PGA Sweden National
The European Tour heads to Malmo this week for the Nordea Masters and after last week, where both Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler failed to come to the party, a lot of golf punters will be looking to find some value in a tournament that could throw out a few surprises. This will be the second year that PGA Sweden National will host the event and once again the Lakes course has been chosen ahead of the PGA National Links course. This will come as a relief to the field, a few of whom encountered the dreaded Derby Downs last week, as it is said that the the Lakes course is far more manageable than the Links. Given the name it will come as little surprise that there is a vast amount of water that comes into play throughout the course and the first step in winning will be keeping wayward tee shots to a minimum and avoiding the wet stuff. Bunkers also litter the course and come into play on almost every hole so approaches have to be accurate. No-one will be able to keep it out of the sand completely so scrambling will also be a key factor. Overall this promises to be an exciting affair, let’s hope we do better than last week and find a winner.
To Win Outright
Henrik Stenson 9/2
Joost Luiten 18/1
Alex Noren 20/1
Thongchai Jaidee 20/1
Emiliano Grillo 25/1
Eddie Pepperell (40/1 a win, 88/10 a place)
Having seen how Eddie Pepperell played last week I’m amazed that he is available at such long odds and for me he represents one of the best value bets of the tournament. Perhaps I’m placing too much emphasis on one week of golf but in difficult conditions against tough competition he really came into his own and he’ll arrive in Sweden brimming with confidence. He hardly put a foot wrong last week and if he plays with that kind of consistency against this weaker field he could go all the way. Each way is my bet here.
Thongchai Jaidee (20/1 a win, 44/10 a place)
Based on his performances in the Irish Open and the PGA Championship, Thongchai Jaidee cannot be ignored and I’m surprised that he’s available at this price, especially when you consider the fact that he won here last year. He’s come into some form over the past few weeks and a runner-up finish and Top 15 in successive weeks, both against stiff competition, make Jaidee a valuable prospect. Beating Henrik Stenson this week may take some doing but Jaidee looks to be one of the few who can pull that off.
Maximilian Kieffer (40/1 a win, 88/10 a place)
Much like Jaidee, Kieffer arrives in Sweden this week carrying the perfect mix of current and course form. He’s yet to miss a cut this season so you know when you back him you’ll at least be getting your money’s worth. On occasion, he’s even looked like winning. Encouragingly, he looked to be in great shape last week in Ireland where he finished just inside the Top 10 and he pulled off a Top 10 on this course last year. There’s no reason to not have a go on Kieffer this week and at this price the reward will be well worth any risk.
Rafael Cabrera-Bello (30/1 a win, 66/10 a place)
Cabrera-Bello will be one of the only players wishing this event was being hosted at the Links course because over the past few years he proven himself to be a bit of a specialist. That held true last week when he finished fourth at the difficult Derby Downs and there’s a lot that he’ll take away from that performance, which should stand him in good stead here. His accurate iron play ensured that he rarely missed a green in regulation and his putting only let him down on the odd occasion. On this course he should do well if he repeats that performance and I’m backing him to beat Stenson this week.