Omega European Masters Preview8 min read
Rory McIlroy ended the PGA Tour season triumphantly with victory at the Tour Championship and the world number two headlines this week’s field as the European Tour takes centre stage again with the Omega European Masters.
Crans-Sur-Sierre Golf Club hosts the European Masters and the Switzerland course is one of the most scenic settings to host a tournament. The 6,848 yard par 70 is not a long track but players will need to adjust to the altitude changes in the Swiss Alps. There are plenty of birdie opportunities at the tree-lined course with low scoring likely again this week.
McIlroy is the 4/1 favourite and has never finished outside the top seven in three tournament starts. The Northern Irishman played 31 holes on Sunday at East Lake though and could be jaded after jetting over from America so the FedEx Cup champion can be left out at short odds.
Fitzpatrick can threaten a three-peat
Matthew Fitzpatrick is going for a remarkable third successive title at the European Masters and the Sheffield golfer looks well placed to achieve this feat. Fitzpatrick absolutely loves competing at this quirky layout and has outstanding claims with his course form. The 24-year-old finished runner-up in 2015 before taking seventh a year later. His first victory came in 2017 after beating Scott Hend in a play-off and he also needed an extra hole to see off Lucas Bjerregaard last year.
It is not only his tournament record which is compelling though as Fitzpatrick has been in exceptional form over the last couple of months. The five-time European Tour winner finished second at the BMW International Open in June and was fourth in an elite field last month at the WGC in Memphis. He did nothing wrong when second last week, at the Scandinavian Invitation, as a final round 64 was not enough to edge out Erik van Rooyen. Fitzpatrick, who is a proven closer and heads to Switzerland confident of another title defence, has a massive chance at 8/1.
Another Englishman capable of getting into contention at a big price is Sam Horsfield. The 23-year-old has long been touted for a big future and showed signs of his ability during a promising first year on the European Tour last season. Horsfield finished in the top ten five times, including at the British Masters and Turkish Airlines Open as he threatened a maiden victory.
Horsfield failed to reach these heights in the first half of 2019 but his recent form bodes well for this week. A tie for third place at the Czech Masters was followed by tenth at the Scandinavian Invitation where he closed with a 62. Horsfield, who is 34-under-par for his last nine rounds, looks to be peaking and rates a tempting each way bet at 80/1.
Wu can contend at a big price
Ashun Wu has shown a real liking for Crans-Sur-Sierre on his two course visits and could go well again at three-figure odds. Wu tied for ninth on his first appearance here two years ago and proved this was no one-off with sixth on his return last season. The 34-year-old has yet to shoot over par in eight rounds at the course and is clearly comfortable at the track.
Wu is a three-time European Tour winner but so often comes into tournaments under the radar. This is the case again this week despite encouraging signs in Sweden. Wu was second heading into the final round, before a disappointing finish dropped him down to a tie for 20th. Wu, who was fifth at this year’s China Open, showed enough in his opening three rounds last week to suggest he merits support at 100/1 each way.
Adri Arnaus has drifted to a big price this week, off the back of a missed cut, and the powerful Spaniard should not be discounted. Arnaus has made a major impact during his first season on the European Tour and a first win does not look far away. The 24-year-old has finished runner-up no fewer than three times, twice following a missed cut, including earlier this month at the Czech Masters.
One of his second places came at the Kenya Open which significantly is played at altitude and suggests he should be comfortable in the Alps. Arnaus was also runner-up at Valderrama, a tricky tree-lined track, with the Spaniard showing his ability to adapt to different types of courses. He was also 11th last year in Switzerland on the Challenge Tour, prior to winning the Grand Final. Arnaus has all the attributes to triumph on the European Tour and looks over-priced at 100/1 each way.
Guido Migliozzi has also been wrongly dismissed this week and the talented Italian could cause an upset at huge odds. The 22-year-old has been a revelation in his first European Tour season, winning twice already. His breakthrough victory came in March at the Kenya Open, winning on a fiddly, tree-lined track at altitude.
Migliozzi followed this up in June by claiming the Belgian Knockout and this looks just the start for him. He won three times on the Alps Tour and the confident youngster will be expecting to push on for more success during the rest of the season. His last start at the Scottish Open was a solid effort, shooting 14 under par to finish inside the top 30 on a low-scoring course. Migliozzi comes in well rested and could pull off a surprise in the mountains at 200/1 each way.
Matthew Fitzpatrick Each Way
Sam Horsfield Each Way
Ashun Wu Each Way
Adri Arnaus Each Way
Guido Migliozzi Each Way