Well… We nearly did it. Our NB selection Bradley Dredge held the lead heading into the final days play in Denmark, and despite a final round of 4 under par, this was only good enough for a solo 2nd place finish. I was obviously a little disappointed with this, as it panned out exactly as I had imagined, but to me, unfortunately, it was clear to see the defensive nature Bradley approached the final 9 holes, in what was an effort to secure his playing rights, the polar opposite to eventual winner Thomas Pieters, who rightfully put everything on the line in an effort to get picked for the Ryder Cup.
We will keep knocking at the door, and the winners will come. On to this week, and the write up below inclusive of selections:
Deutsche Bank Championship, PGA Tour – 10 pts Outlay
at TPC Boston, 7,297 yards, par 71 – Friday September 2nd to Monday September 5th
In the New England countryside about midway between Boston and Rhode Island, the original 2002 Arnold Palmer Design creation stood just five years before Gil Hanse and consultant Brad Faxon were brought in for a thorough remodel. Fairways and greens were re-graded as Hanse/Faxon introduced “chocolate-drop” mounds and grass bunkers to give the course more of a regional feel. The Deutsche Bank Championship has been part of the Labour Day calendar since 2003, offering a traditional Monday finish to take advantage of the holiday.
While there figures to be a change at the top of the FedEx Cup table following The Barclays, Day has appeared close to regaining the form that made him dominant in the spring.
Runner-up at the PGA Championship, the Aussie was lurking in the top 10 at the midpoint at Bethpage Black. Stenson, whose Claret Jug and Olympic silver medal made him perhaps the summer’s most consistent golfer, will warrant watching if he tees it up at TPC Boston. His WD at Bethpage Black came after an opening 74. Rory McIlroy, now down to No. 5 in the Official World Golf Ranking, hasn’t had a top-10 finish on U.S. soil since the Memorial Tournament in May. The FedEx Cup trimming down now moves to the top 70 in points for the BMW Championship.
NAP – HIDEKI MATSUYAMA 40/1 (Bet365, SkyBet & WilliamHill) 2.5 pts EW
Has some of the most impressive set of long game statistics I have ever seen assembled come this late stage of the golf season, and these must pay off sooner rather than later should he managed to get a few more putts to drop. Sitting in 4th place on tour for strokes gained off the tee and also in 2nd place for strokes gained with approaches to the green mean that Hideki Matsuyama, despite poor putting, is in 4th place also for birdie average. A quite deadly combination of statistics there that should him going close again, with a top 5 finish in the year’s final major and also a 3rd place at the recent Wyndham.
NB – JIM FURYK 45/1 (Bet365, BetFred & BoyleSports) 1.5 pts EW
With a delayed beginning to the season due to a long layoff with a wrist injury, Jim hasn’t wasted any time in getting back to the type of player he was before the injury. The type of golf being played at the moment by Jim Furyk has to be up there with some of the best being played currently, two top 10 finishes in his last three events, including the incredible round of 58 at the Travelers are a clear indication of just how well Jim is playing. Having missed the begging of the season, Jim is almost forced to have to perform well this week, should he wish to extend his season any further, as he is ranked outside the required top 70 for next week. With a 4th place finish here at TPC Boston last year, Jim obviously has the required skill set to be competitive here again.
IWAC – BROOKS KEOPKA 45/1 (SkyBet, BetFred & StanJames) 1 pt EW
With 2 runners-up finishes, a third place and a further seven top 10 finishes to his name this season; all that is missing from the form book is that elusive win! There are good current signs for all to see recently too, with Brooks finishing inside the top 10 in two of his last three PGA Tour starts, including a 4th place at the USPGA. Statistically, Brooks Keopka has the all round game, being right up there in off the tee, approaches to the green and putting statistics on tour.
Omega European Masters, European Tour – 10 pts Outlay
at Crans Sur Sierre Golf Club, 6,848 yards, par 70 – Thursday September 1st to Sunday September 4th
At almost 5,000ft above sea level, the stunning surroundings of the Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club in Switzerland provide some of the most majestic views for golfers and fans alike on the European Tour. The Omega European Masters will be staged for the 70th time at the stunning Alpine venue, and will remain host until 2022 after the existing deal with title sponsors Omega was extended by five years. Famous in the winter months for its ski fields, Crans-sur Sierre closes under several feet of snow, however, summer provides perfect playing conditions for some of the world’s best golfers, and when you add the snow-capped Swiss Alps as your backdrop, it makes for one incredible tournament.
After the memorable pictures of Himmerland Hill in Denmark last week, look out for the picturesque par three 13th hole, which also provides an amphitheater, not to mention a spectacular backdrop, for fans to watch the action unfold.
Headlined by Masters Champion and the man defending this week, Willett; the 28-year-old currently leads the Race to Dubai and is ranked 11th in the Official World Golf Ranking. Having secured two European Tour titles already in 2016, he will bid to become the first player since the late, great Seve Ballesteros in 1978, to retain the trophy and will be bidding for an Omega double after winning the Omega Dubai Desert Classic title in February.
The Englishman will be joined in Crans Montana by his compatriots Lee Westwood, who won the Omega European Masters in 1999, Chris Wood, the 2016 BMW PGA Championship winner, and Matt Fitzpatrick, who has registered another European Tour victory at the Nordea Masters since that runner-up finish here in 2015.
Meanwhile, American Bryson DeChambeau will compete in the event for the first time. The 2015 US Amateur Champion has made an impressive start to his career, finishing a highly creditable fourth place at the RBC Heritage just weeks after turning professional. The 22-year-old shone again in June at the US Open Championship at Oakmont, where he finished tied 15th on a very demanding layout.
NAP – MATTHEW FITZPATRICK 20/1 (Coral, Ladbrokes & BetFred) 2.5 pts EW
Last year’s runner up, Matt arrives back here to a course he openly loves. His 16 under par total last year included rounds of 69, 65, 64 and a 66, showing great low scoring consistency around the Crans Sur Sierre course. With two top 10 finishes to his name already this month, I’d be surprised not to see Matt in contention once again. Also, with Matthew Fitzpatrick set to be a rookie at the upcoming Ryder Cup, he will keen to show his game is in good shape ready for the off.
NB – BERND WIESBERGER 30/1 (BetFred) 1.5 pts EW
With a number of solid finishes to his name at this event behind him, Bernd arrives here off the back of a good showing at the recent event at the Olympics. Being an Austrian himself, and this event being from Switzerland, the impact of the before mentioned altitude differences will not be as big of an adjustment as it will be for most this week, in terms of club selection and the extra distances the ball will travel.
IWAC – TOMMY FLEETWOOD 66/1 (Coral, BetFred & BoyleSports) 1 pt EW
Somewhat of a horse’s for courses selection here, which sometimes do pay dividends! However, there are signs of recent form too, to aid the chances. When doing the homework behind this week, at the odds available Tommy Fleetwood was the one name that leaped out to me. Three times inside the top 20 including 5th and a 9th place finishes at this event around the same course all within the last 4 years, show a clear liking towards the conditions and set up of this Crans Sur Sierre course. A top 20 finish also, at this year’s recent Czech Masters could point towards another more than respectable performance this week.
NOTE: As per usual, please do be careful and aware of who you are betting with for the golf, amazingly a lot of the higer profile companies change week by week on what place terms they offer. This week at The Deuche Bank Campionship StanJames are still offering 1/4 odds for places in the top 6. For the European Tour event, PaddyPower are offering top 7 places at 1/5 odds. All odds include in the above artivle are simply the highest odds available at the time of writing sourced via OddsChecker.com.
This Week’s Outlay – 20 pts
Thanks again to everyone for passing on your positive comments over my articles. Hope you have a nice week, and good luck to all those following,