With the US Open in Merion, Pennsylvania next week, most of golf’s super stars are taking a week off to prepare, so should we take a week off? Absolutely not – hopefully the weaker field this week will provide us with a better chance of picking the winner!
A course measuring just over 7’350 yards and with recent redesign from Miguel Angel Jimenez and local star Marcus Brier should provide a firm but fair test this week, the weather looks set to remain good for the week, meaning low scoring is a possibility on a course renowned for its silky smooth putting surfaces. This is the 4th consecutive year that the course has been used for this event, in the 3 previous instalments Bernd Wiesberger, Manuel Lara and Kenneth Ferrie have come out on top, and the likes of Danny Willett and Victor Dubuisson (neither of whom compete here this week) have shown strongly, this suggests a ball strikers track. When Wiesberger, Lara and Ferrie won they both ranked highly in GIR and putting for the week, it suggests finding the greens in regulation is more important than particular length or accuracy from the tee, although the wet weather may make length an advantage this week.
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An average winning score of -16 in the last 3 years suggests picking someone comfortable going deep into the red would be wise. Just 3 picks this week in a weaker field, one at a very large price!
Bernd Wiesberger – 13/2 Win
3 top 5’s in his last 5 starts, course form of 5th in 2011 and a win last year, combine it with the fact it is his home Open, it explains why Bernd is such a firm favourite this week. Wiesberger hits plenty of Greens and as well as being a long hitter (ranked 1st in driving distance in this event last year), this ball striking should once again propel him to the top of the leaderboard, with his recent and course form the confidence should be pumping through his veins.
Pablo Larrazabal– 14/1 Win
7 Top 20’s in his last 8 events for Pablo who is showing an incredible level of consistency, finished 19th here last year (while hitting the same GIR % as the winner Wiesberger), Larrazabal is most certainly due a win. Would be surprised if one of these top 2 selection does not take victory.
Lukas Nemecz (Am)– 750/1 EW
I can honestly say this is the biggest price I have ever out anyone up on, but in this weak field the selection has merit, Nemecs has good recent form on the Alps tour – including closing with a 65 in his last event to finish in 2nd. Bet Victor are also offering 40/1 for him to finish Top 10, also consider him as a Top 10 trading option, he is starting out at 61 on Betfair and has an early tee time which means he should avoid the forecast rain Thursday afternoon (assuming the event starts on time after torrential rain over the last few days), he should be high on confidence after that closing 65 in his last event.
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