European Tour: British Masters Preview

Golfer admires shot

Tommy Fleetwood will host this week’s event from Hillside GC. Hillside Golf Course is quite an intriguing beast. The front nine is a beautifully manicured links experience that is very reminiscent of many of the elite Open course. 

The back nine more closely resembles a wild Irish course and is considered quite a challenge. It is a coastal course that is located between a vast expanse of dunes and indigenous pinewoods. It actually has more trees than your traditional links course. The course is not overly long and will clearly be suited to those crafty links specialists that live for these events.

2019 European Tour
British Masters hosted by Tommy Fleetwood
Hillside GC Southport, England
Thursday 12 May - Sunday 12 May 2019

This event comes at a curious time in the calendar due to the rescheduling of the US PGA Tour. Next week’s PGA Championship at Bethpage Black will clearly have an impact on the fields on both sides of the Atlantic this week. The British Masters actually started life way back before World War II. The Dunlop Metropolitan Tournament was first played in 1934, and it later morphed into the Dunlop Masters in 1946. The event had the distinction of broadcasting British televisions first ever live hole-in-one- courtesy of links legend Tony Jacklin. This event was one of the most lucrative tour events throughout the 80’s but slowly started to lose significance in the contemporary age. 

Tommy Fleetwood has battled to really land the killer blow this season and will be hoping to utilize this event as the ideal preparations ahead of next week’s PGA Championship. He will be joined by an impressive English contingent, with fellow Ryder Cupper Tyrell Hatton an obvious one to watch. Eddie Pepperell would have felt desperately unlucky not to make the European Ryder team last year and will return to defend his title. Elsewhere, the likes of Erik Van Rooyen and Jordan Smith bring strong form to Hillside.

Past Winners
2018: Eddie Pepperell (-9)
2017: Paul Dunne (-20)
2016: Alex Noren (-18)
2015: Matthew Fitzpatrick (-15)

Outright Betting (To Win)
Tommy Fleetwood (13/2)
Tyrell Hatton (18/1)
Eddie Pepperell (20/1)
Matt Wallace (20/1),
Jordan Smith (25/1)

Value Bets

Victor Dubuisson
To Win (40/1), To Place (17/2)
The 2014 Ryder Cup hero has slowly been working his way from a major back injury that seemed to potentially threaten his career. He just finished outside the top 10 of the China Open, which was his 4th top 20 finish since returning from that terrible injury layoff. He finished inside the top 10 at the 2014 Open at nearby Hoylake, which really underlines his ability in links conditions. He has hit about 70% of all fairways this year, making this his most accurate driving campaign since that breakthrough 2014 campaign. This should come in handy on a typically tricky links layout. He just seems irresistible at 40/1, especially when you look at the positive signs in China.

Paul Dunne
To Win (66/1), To Place (14/1)
Irishman Paul Dunne is clearly always to be factored in when links courses are considered. He memorably shared a three-way lead at the 2015 Open Championship, only to fade away poorly in the last round. The 2017 Trophee Hassan II runner-up obviously has history in this event. He won the 2017 British Masters at Close House, actually setting a record score to par and beating Rory McIlroy by three shots. He teamed up with fellow Irishman Gavin Moynahan to win last year’s GolfSixes event and he will no doubt be gearing up for a big week.  He also finished in a tie for 7th at the 2017 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. 

The Man to Beat

Ryan Fox
To Win (40/1), To Place (17/2)
While I was tempted to go for another British player, I have instead opted for a selection slightly outside of the box. The New Zealander actually won his first ever professional event earlier this year when he captured the World Super 6 title. But it is his form on seaside links courses over the past few years that makes him such a compelling choice. He has four top sixes in his last eight starts on the British seaside links. That includes a 2018 Irish Open playoff defeat at Ballyliffin. 

Written by Damien Kayat for Hollywoodbets

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