The British Masters has lots of history but, due to a lack of sponsorship, it disappeared off the European Tour rota in 2008. This year, sponsored by Sky Sports, it returns at a completely new venue – the Marquess Course, Woburn Golf Club England.
The venue has received many comparisons to Wentworth, and the narrow, tree-lined course is likely to place an emphasis on accuracy, quality approach shots, and the “always required” hot-putter.
Unfortunately the event has failed to attract the likes of Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose or Henrik Stenson – but it’s bound to be a colourful event with Woburn touring pro Ian Poulter playing host. However, although Poulter would love to win his home-course event, he may find the role of host takes-up too much of his time and effort.
With loads of Ryder Cup points up for grabs, there’s sure to be plenty of other big names making maximum effort this week, but many of them haven’t got much Wentworth form to speak of. However, 3 of this week’s selections have plenty of Wentworth form, whilst the other has won two Open Qualifiers at the course.
Shane Lowry 2 points each-way @ 16/1 (Skybet, Paddy Power) ¼ odds 6 places
Great things have always been expected of the young Irishman after he won the Irish Open as an amateur, and he delivered in style when he won the Bridgestone WGC this year. He’s done some serious celebrating since, but looked ready for a big end-of-season when he posted 3 brilliant closing rounds at last week’s Dunhill. He’s also got a great record at Wentworth, and looks the value at the head of the market.
Luke Donald 1 point each-way @ 30/1 (Paddy Power) ¼ odds 6 places
The Englishman disappointed last week, but I’ve decided to give him one more chance as he’s a dual champion at Wentworth. It may be that the he’s lost a little love for the game, but just a sniff of success may motivate him as he’s desperately wants to play another Ryder Cup.
David Howell 1 point each-way @ 66/1 (Betfred) ¼ odds 5 places
A past Wentworth winner, this layout should be perfect for the short-hitting Englishman who struggles to compete on some of the bigger courses. He’s also one of the hottest putters on the planet when he gets on a roll.
Paul Dunne 1 point each-way @ 80/1 (Bet365) ¼ odds 6 places
Another young Irishman who is already being talked-up as a world-class player after two big showings at the Open Championship and last week’s Dunhill. He couldn’t quite keep it together over the final rounds there– but he hasn’t had that problem here, winning two Open Championship qualifiers with plenty of tour pros behind him in those fields.