Omega European Masters
August 29 to September 1st
Overlooking the Rhone Valley, this course faces the mountain range between Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn, making it one of the most beautiful golf courses in the World.
Great champions, Jack Nicklaus and the late Seve Ballesteros, have been involved in re-designs in recent years. A premium on accuracy from tee to green is an essential requirement and a course that cannot be overpowered, despite the fact the golf ball flies further through the mountain air at high altitude.
The course is actually under snow for approximately half the year but in the summer sunshine, it sparkles.
Predictions and Betting Tips
Rory McIlroy hotfoots it across the Atlantic Ocean to support his European Tour after winning the FedEx Tour Championship on the PGA Tour. McIlroy has played this course three times, with the last time eight years prior, in all of which he finished in the top 10.
Englishman, Matthew Fitzpatrick, has a remarkable liking for Crans-sur-Sierre, winning in the past two seasons. Prior to that, he was seventh in 2016 and second in 2015 to Danny Willett. His attempt for a noteworthy hat-trick of titles could hardly be better timed, having performed brilliantly last week in Gothenburg at the Scandinavian Masters.
Since winning the European Masters a year ago, he has not managed a win prior to last week. However, Fitzpatrick has been his usual model of consistency with five top 4 finishes in twenty-four tournaments worldwide.
Another Englishman, Danny Willett, is a player I really like this week. A prodigious talent that was harnessed young, winning the Masters in 2016 when Jordan Spieth imploded on the back nine of the Sunday.
The man from Sheffield then fell into a slump in form which reminded me of problems that affected other great players over the years. Willett’s huge forward press as a trigger to activate his swing has become so pronounced that it was putting weight on the back foot immediately.
This resulted in losing width in his swing, a problem that had afflicted other great players over the years like Seve Ballesteros, Henrik Stenson, David Duval, and Anthony Kim. Talent and hard work have got him into an incredible position in the sport, despite a swing that is not technically sound.
He has been working hard rebuilding his swing and looks more mechanical now. However, he still proved he had the ability to win at the end of 2018 in the DP World Tour Championship on the European Tour.
In recent months, there has been palpable improvement in Willett’s results with a promising 24th when a last round of 75 cost him a high finish at the FedEx Play Off Series at the Northern Trust.
Looking at his Twitter account, he took an impromptu family holiday to the Bahamas since and this could be ‘what the doctor ordered’ when he returns to action in Switzerland this week. A course specialist at Crans-sur-Sierre, the champion here in 2015 and two top 5 finishes gives us a solid each way wager this week.
Sergio Garcia has an affinity for this event and a love for the area over many years. The 2005 champion has missed the event in recent years, but this year’s scheduling has allowed him to tee it up.
He has his European home nearby in Crans Montana, which he now calls “Augusta’ after winning the 2017 Masters. After a tough season, it will be a refreshing change to be playing a home game this week and we can expect a strong effort from the Spaniard.
Pick – Matthew Fitzpatrick @ +800
Pick – Danny Willett @ +2800