The British Masters continues its resurgence this week after making its return to the European Tour Schedule in 2015, having been removed from it in 2008.
It’s a tournament that was first played in 1946, and it has been won by golfing greats such as Bob Charles, Tony Jacklin, Bernard Langer, Greg Norman, Ian Woosnam, Lee Trevino, Seve Ballesteros, Sandy Lyle, Nick Faldo, Colin Montgomerie and Lee Westwood.
Under its new guise, this year’s event will be hosted by the 2007 winner Lee Westwood, after the last two renewals were hosted by Luke Donald and Ian Poulter, and were won by Matthew Fitzpatrick and Alex Noren.
Westwood is hosting it at Close House Golf Club in Northumberland, where it will be staged on the Lee Westwood Colt Course which measures less than 100 yards short of 7,000 yards.
The course is much newer than the courses usually used to stage the event, as it was only opened in 2011, but the parkland course is expected to provide a low-scoring event that will thrill crowds and TV fans alike. However, if you’ve backed a player who needs a par on the last to win, it may be wise to hedge your bets on this 220+ yards par 3.
It’s not always easy to assess a course previously unused on the European Tour but, as Lee Westwood is renowned for his accurate tee-to-green game, it may be wise to think that any course he picks will make demands of a similar nature.
Rory McIlroy looks a big price at 8/1 in an average field and, though there’s sure to be plenty of takers at that price, his length off the tee may not be that much of an advantage on a course where the par-5s should be in range for most players.
Sergio Garcia is more tempting at 10/1 after finishing 12th and 10th on his last two starts but, he’s seemed happy to go through the motions rather than strive to get into contention of late. Meanwhile, the last two champions Matthew Fitzpatrick and Alex Noren may attract a little too much press coverage.
Therefore, the first player in this week’s portfolio is Tyrell Hatton. The youngster was electric in America earlier in the season and, after a summer slump, he showed he was on his way back with third in Switzerland three weeks ago. Absent since, he looks sure to have been working hard on his game with Ryder Cup Points up for grabs, and he’s finished 13th and 9th the last two years.
I also can’t let Eddie Pepperell go unbacked this week, as the once highly-touted youngster has been in fine form of late with a run of form of 5/3/3. He also nearly won a second British Par-3 Championship in the midst of that run, and he’s playing well enough to win.
The third and final recommendation this week is another English youngster in Jordan Smith. He’s admittedly been a little quiet in the last few weeks but, after winning an event in his rookie year, his class is there for all to see, and he’ll be keen to make an impact back in his own country.
2017 British Master Tips
Jordan Smith 2 Points Each-Way @ 60/1 Bet365, Unibet (50/1 with Paddy Power at 7 places)