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PREVIEW: 2022 DP World Tour – British Masters

Damien Kayat previews the 2022 edition of the DP World Tour’s British Masters taking place at the Belfry in Warwickshire.

Thorbjorn Olesen - DP World TOur - ISPS Handa Championship
Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports

Damien Kayat previews the 2022 edition of the DP World Tour's British Masters taking place at the Belfry in Warwickshire.

British Masters Preview

2021/2022 DP World Tour
British Masters
The Belfry, Wishaw, Warwickshire, England
5th-8th May

DP World Tour touches down on British soil

Adri Arnaus made his inevitable breakthrough at last week’s Catalunya Championship, pipping South African Oliver Bekker to the post in what was a dramatic playoff.

It was an emotional day for local favourite Arnaus who finally managed to convert after five previous runner-up finishes. In fact, this was his third playoff in the span of seven months on tour.

The tour now moves to British soil for the first time in 2022, with Danny Willett once again hosting the British Masters at the Belfry. This event was first staged in 1946 and was known as the Dunlop Masters.

The tournament went into brief hiatus after Gonzalo Fernandez Castano won the 2008 edition at this week’s venue. But Sky Sports stepped up to the plate in 2015 and since then the tournament has been hosted by a bevvy of England’s finest golfing stars.

Who can possibly forget last year’s tournament, when Rickard Bland won his very first tournament at the 478th attempt? It signalled the start of an Indian summer for the English veteran and he could very well be one to watch again this week.

Iconic Belfry

This four-time Ryder Cup venue is quite simply one of the most iconic venues in British golf. It is pleasing to see the venue hosting events in back-to-back seasons. Perhaps it will once again become a mainstay in the European golfing landscape.

The Belfry is rather flat and predominantly tree-lined. Some of the fairways are extremely narrow and it’s little surprise that this course suits the more surgical operators.

Some of the Poa Annua greens are genuinely minute while others feature plenty of huge undulations. The greens are protected by plentiful bunkers so you simply have to hit good iron shots to compete this week.

Bland ranked 1st in Driving Accuracy last year and 2nd in Greens in Regulation. I think those could prove crucial stats this week.

Plenty of local interest this week

It’s a slightly sad indictment of European golf that two of the pre-tournament favourites this week are 49 years of age. It doesn’t exactly bode well for Europe’s chances of winning the Ryder Cup in Rome next year.

Still, it’s always nice to see Lee Westwood making an appearance in Europe. Richard Bland will do well to compete after such an emotionally charged victory last season.

Elsewhere, the likes of Adrian Meronk and Adri Arnaus bring great form into the week. Meronk has back-to-back 3rd place finishes while Arnuas obviously won last week’s playoff.

A strong British contingent could be in contention this week, with the likes of Robert Macintyre and Jordan Smith knocking on the door of late. It will also be interesting see how former Masters champ Danny Willett balances his personal game and the obligatory hosting duties.

Past Winners

2021: Richard Bland (-13) *playoff
2020: Renato Paratore (-18)
2019: Marcus Kinhult (-16)
2018: Eddie Pepperrell (-9)
2017: Paul Dunne (-20)

To Win Outright:

Adrian Meronk 22/1 | Robert Macintyre 25/1 | Sam Horsfield 28/1 | Jordan Smith 28/| Lee Westwood 30/1

Value Bets

Nicolai Hojgaard- To Win 40/1 | To Place 17/2

It almost seems like a tradition that I have to back one of these incredible twins every couple of weeks. Hojgaard has been extremely hard to predict of late as he battles to gain relevance in America. His first seven events of the year included victory in the UAE and six cuts. That’s the type of character we are dealing with. But he is coming off the back of successive made cuts in Spain. His T13 last week was a notable improvement on his T71 at the ISPA Handa Championship a week prior. His stats make for excellent reading when it comes to the Belfry. He currently ranks 15th for GIR and 8th for SG: Tee-to-Green this season.

Victor Dubuisson- To Win 125/1 | To Place 25/1

Here I’m opting for one of the more enigmatic talents in recent European golf history: Victor Dubuisson. The former Ryder Cupper prefers fishing nowadays as opposed to the pressure-cooker atmosphere of the golf course. But he is an unpredictable talent who can spring a result out of nowhere. Earlier this year he managed a tie for fourth alongside Viktor Hovland at the much more prestigious Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. So, he could represent decent value in this slightly star-starved field.

The Man to Beat- Robert Macintyre- To Win 25/1 | To Place 11/2

Robert Macintyre hasn’t always lived up to his enormous hype over the past two years. The 25-year-old Scot still only has one European Tour title to his name (he won the 2020 Aphrodite Hills Cyprus Showdown). But he has performed admirably this season in far stronger fields than this one. He shot four rounds of par or better en route to a 15th at Riviera. He also closed with a 69 for 23rd spot at Augusta. These are the type of performances that most of this field can only dream of. Furthermore, Macintyre has finished eighth in his only previous Belfry start.

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