The Porsche European Open | Thursday 24 September - Sunday 27 September | Beckenbauer Golf Course
This week the Porsche European Open tees off in Germany for the first time since 2009 and it looks like it’s going to be a competitive affair. With the limited field participating in the Tour Championship a host of big names have made the trip to Germany this week to battle it out at the Beckenbauer Golf Course.
Although they’ll all be hoping to win, they’ll also have their eye on the 17th and the hole-in-one prize on offer, a Porsche 911 Carrera Cabrio. That alone seems reason to have made the trip to Germany and it comes as little surprise that this week we’ll see a number of Ryder Cup players in the mix. So what will it take to win here? This tough 7,200 yard, par 72 layout is located on the floodplains of the River Rott so on most holes water is in play, making accuracy off the tee a must. Wayward drives will more than likely make their way into the water so these will have to be avoided at all costs. There are also a number of bunkers littering the course so even those who manage to keep it on the fairway could have a tough time avoiding these with their approaches. As usual, players who rank highly in GIR% as well as those strong out the sand will fare well. That being said, the course isn’t difficult to the point of being unfair and there are a lot of birdies to be made so expect scores to be low. Overall this looks like it’s going to be a great event, get your bets on early.
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To Win Outright
Bernd Wiesberger 14/1
Charl Schwartzel 18/1
Hunter Mahan 18/1
Byeong-Hun An 22/1
Joost Luiten 25/1
David Howell (40/1 a win, 87/10 a place)
David Howell seems to be peaking at just the right time and although he’s struggling to string together four good rounds, when he fires it’s a thing of beauty. Last week we saw him pull off a devastating fourth round once again and he closed in Italy with a 66, the result of seven birdies and one lone bogie. With three runner-up finishes under his belt already this season he is certainly due a win and with the field this week being made up of some bigger names, Howell is available at a very decent price. I’ll be backing him each way this week, so should you.
Jaco van Zyl (75/1 a win, 16/1 a place)
Van Zyl won’t be the fancied South African in the field this week but he was impressive in Italy despite the fact that he hasn’t played in a while. He looked to be in great form in his second and third rounds where he shot 65 and 66 respectively, although he couldn’t continue that form on Sunday. Van Zyl is another player whose price seems hugely inflated so each way is tempting. Get on before Thursday, I have a feeling this price will be gone soon.
David Lipsky (66/1 a win, 14/1 a place)
Whoever wins here will need to be able to make a lot of birdies and Lipsky looks like he could do just that on a course that will suit his game to a tee. He hits his driver straight and he’s been hitting a lot of greens lately but more importantly, his putting has been phenomenal. He came T3 in Italy last week thanks largely to his ability with the short stick and although things will be more competitive this time around, I have a feeling he’ll be in the mix come Sunday.
Fabrizio Zanotti (40/1 a win, 87/10 a place)
Zanotti was the model of consistency in Italy last week and that saw him finish a respectable T3, his second Top 5 finish in recent weeks. His iron play seems to be where his strength lies and that will go a long way this week as avoiding the greenside bunkers could be easier said than done. Zanotti is not a name you hear often on the Tour but he has come into his own over the past month or so and seems to be going from strength to strength. He’s definitely got a few more Top 5s in him this season, let’s hope he can also pull off a win or two.