The Czech Masters | Thursday 27 August – Sunday 30 August | Albatross Golf Resort
The second installment of the D&D Czech Masters tees off at the Albatross Golf Resort in Prague this week and although it will be eclipsed by the Barclays, which boasts a field full of talent, it is by no means a tournament to be ignored. A half decent field has assembled for this one and although none of the very big names are participating, it looks like there is a lot of value on offer. With the favourite, Victor Dubuisson, available at 12/1 there’s no harm in backing four or five players each way this week and that’s exactly what I’ll be doing.
Last year we saw that the par 72, 7,466 yard course plays as long as you would expect and is a true test of one’s golfing ability. The fairways give way to thick rough which is going to be difficult to get out of and whilst there weren’t many trees to be found a year ago, more have been added to increase the challenge. The same can be said for bunkers, so the ability to get out of the sand and scramble will be vital in shaving shots off final scores. Keeping the above in mind it is clear that accuracy off the tee will be the most important factor to consider this week as well as the ability to hit it long, which will help in making those elusive birdies. Overall this is going to be a very tough test mentally and a cool head under pressure will be vital. So who has what it takes to win in the Czech Republic?
To Win Outright
Victor Dubuisson 12/1
Kristoffer Broberg 16/1
Eddie Pepperell 18/1
James Morrison 18/1
Bradley Dredge 22/1
Matthew Fitzpatrick (25/1 a win, 11/2 a place)
As the season progresses it is becoming more and more difficult to ignore Matthew Fitzpatrick and with the form that he is in at the moment it seems almost certain that he will win before the year is over. He’s been as consistent as anyone else in this field over the past three months or so and not only has he rarely missed the cut, he’s managed a handful of Top 10s and a second-place in the process. With that kind of form he’s difficult to ignore but add to it his ability to find the fairway and you have a real prospect on your hands. Fitzpatrick should go close, I’m backing him each way.
Bradley Dredge (22/1 a win, 48/10 a place)
Last week Bradley Dredge looked to be at his best in Denmark and I’m hoping for more of the same this week in the Czech Republic. Sure, he’s been known to blow hot and cold but against this field he’s tough to ignore, especially at this price. Last year he managed to finish as runner-up so the course clearly suits his game. It’s going to be difficult to find someone who offers more value than Dredge this week.
Eddie Pepperell (18/1 a win, 39/10 a place)
Eddie Pepperell has not won on the European Tour yet but this is the time of year that maidens are broken and he could lift his first trophy on Sunday. He arrives in the Czech Republic having played fairly consistently over the past few weeks and knowing that the course suits his game as he finished in the Top 5 here last year. The price seems a bit on the short side for someone who has never won on the Tour but obviously the bookies realise that this is a relatively weak field and Pepperell could outshine them all. If he does I don’t want him to win without my money, I’m backing him each way.
Kristoffer Broberg (16/1 a win, 7/2 a place)
On Sunday, Broberg shot the lights out and closed with a final round 62 to finish runner-up in the Made in Denmark and although that may have been too little too late it was an outstanding display of golf. If Broberg plays anything like that this week he will have a serious chance of winning here and whilst I am somewhat concerned that he hasn’t won in a while, a quick look at his card from Sunday has put my mind at ease. The 16/1 is a little short for my liking but if he wins I certainly won’t be complaining. I’m backing Broberg each way.