After being removed from the European Tour schedule after the 2008 renewal, the British Masters made a welcome comeback last year when Ian Poulter hosted the events at Woburn. This year’s event is being hosted by Luke Donald who played well at this year’s venue The Grove when it was last used for a professional event in 2006. That was the WGC American Express Championship, which was won by 8-shots by an in-form Tiger Woods, with the likes of Adam Scott, Luke Donald and Jim Furyk amongst his nearest pursuers.
The course is a par-71 measuring 7,121 yards, and neither driving accuracy or driving distance are likely to be key-skills this week. The greens are tricky though, and hitting them in regulation, preferably in the right spots, will be much more of an advantage, whilst good scrambling skills will keep players in contention if they miss them.
Meanwhile, if you’re betting in running, players starting on hole-1 may well get off to a flyer, with holes 1, 2 and 4 providing excellent birdie opportunities.
Heading the market this week is Berndt Wiesberger, and the big Austrian is certainly hitting the ball well enough to contend. However, forecast tricky winds and tricky greens put me off. Next in is Alex Noren, who looked in brilliant form at Carnoustie on Thursday last week, but looked jaded by the end of the Dunhill Links.
The 20/1 to 30/1 bracket brings in the likes of the in-form Ross Fisher, last week’s winner Tyrell Hatton, Danny Willett, Chris Wood, and tournament host Luke Donald, however the first player in this week’s portfolio is Soren Kjeldson. The Dane could be ideally suited to a course where his pinpoint iron play will be rewarded, and he’s proven in windy conditions. He’ll also be hungry to prove that he should have been in the Ryder Cup Team.
One player who made the Ryder Cup Team, and will no doubt be keen to make the next one, is Andy Sullivan, and he’s another player who could get hot this week with the emphasis on second-shot prowess. His tee-to-green game was in excellent shape when last seen on the European Tour, and he can go well after taking a rest last week.
Thongchai Jaidee also catches the eye as he was in the top-10 in 2006 here, and he’s arguably got better since then, even though he’s well in his 40s. A regular winner in recent seasons, he looks a decent bet at 40/1.
Finally, one at double that price is Alejandro Canizares, and the Spaniard is also fancied to enjoy the generous fairways which will allow him to use his excellent iron-play, scrambling and putting to good effect.
2 Points Each-Way Soren Kjeldson @ 28/1 (Coral) ¼ odds 5 places
1 Point Each-Way Andy Sullivan @ 40/1 (Ladbrokes) ¼ odds 5 places
1 Point Each-Way Thongchai Jaidee @ 40/1 (Bet365, Betfred, Betvictor) ¼ odds 5 Places
1 Point Each-Way Alejandro Canizares @ 80/1 (Betfred, Betvictor, Ladbrokes, Coral) ¼ odds 5 places