The Omega European Masters | Thursday 23 July - Sunday 26 July | Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club
After an exciting finish to the Open Championship things aren’t slowing down as the European Tour heads to the Swiss Alps for the Omega European Masters, an event which has traditionally been held later in the year but which now finds itself in the unenviable position of following a Major. Despite the fact that the Open only finished on Monday a host of great golfers have made the trip to Crans-Montana and this looks like it will be a tournament to keep a close eye on. Situated in one of the most picturesque settings we’ll see all year, this tournament has always been a firm favourite and this year promises to be no different.
The contoured fairways make it difficult to navigate around the course while the greens are small and difficult to hit at the best of times. This problem is going to be made even worse at this time of year when the course is drier than usual so accurate iron play will be key when attacking the pin. Having said that, there are plenty of birdies to be made and those who manage to take advantage of the higher altitude and longer hitting are generally the ones who do well here. There are no shortage of talented golfers participating this week and I foresee a big name winning, the issue is going to be finding which one.
To Win Outright
Sergio Garcia 6/1
Danny Willett 16/1
Bernd Wiesberger 16/1
Patrick Reed 18/1
Jamie Donaldson 22/1
Romain Wattel (70/1 a win, 15/1 a place)
Although the new time slot means that conditions will be different to what they usually are, Romain Wattel is difficult to ignore this week because he loves the course. Over the past few weeks he hasn’t been playing at his best but we’ll choose to ignore that and rather focus on the positives, such as the fact that he’s managed a second place finish here in the past and yet he can still be backed at 70/1. On his day Wattel can hit the ball as accurately as anyone on the Tour and I have a feeling this week he’ll play some great golf on a course that suits his game to a tee. Each way at this price is always a good bet, get on while you can.
Danny Willett (16/1 a win, 7/2 a place)
I said it would be difficult to look past the favourites this week and although Wattel was an exception to that, Willett certainly isn’t. Like Wattel, he loves the course and has posted some great finishes, including a T2 and, more recently, a T5 in 2014. That course form is also backed up by some solid current form. He finished just outside the Top 5 in the Open against stiffer competition than he faces here and with that in mind Willett looks a great bet.
Tommy Fleetwood (25/1 a win, 11/2 a place)
A disappointing display from Fleetwood last week has done nothing to dampen my confidence that he will do well this time around because he has the ability to hit even the smallest of greens and that’s going to stand him in good stead on a course notorious for possessing a number of those. Although his game didn’t look to be at its best last week he did play some good golf leading up to the Open and I’m hoping this week marks a return to form for a talented player. I reckon this time around Fleetwood can go one better than the fifth place finish he pulled off last year and will be backing him each way.
Sergio Garcia (6/1 a win, 13/10 a place)
At one stage last week I found myself wondering if this would be the year that Garcia finally broke his Major drought but that was not to be and his struggle continues for another few months at least. That being said, he’s never been one to let a lost Major get in the way of his game and he’ll come out swinging this week. Garcia is another one of those who love this course and a win in 2005 has been followed by a host of Top 5s. Garcia is difficult to ignore this week and is the favourite for a reason, he’s going to be in contention come Sunday and will be difficult to beat.