Omega Masters Preview: Big Price Scalps in the Swiss Alps4 min read
The European Tour moves onto Switzerland for the Omega Masters set high up in the Swiss Alps at approximately 1500 metres above sea level. Alex Noren thrived at the course 12 months ago, beating Aussie Scott Hend in a play-off, and is the 9/1 favourite to go back-to-back and retain his title.
He is undoubtedly skinny at the prices for a man not sighted since finishing the back nine in 41 at the PGA Championship and he can’t be backed at a single figure price. We mentioned last week that Lee Westwood was the ‘best of a bad bunch’ in terms of the quintet at the head of the market for the Czech Masters and he looks a fair price at 28/1 to celebrate his 500th European Tour appearance with a win.
Each Way ¼ 1-2-3-4-5
The 44-year-old ran cold with the putter all week before bursting into life on Sunday, firing a final round 68 to finish T9 and is expected to build on that this week in Switzerland. He was brilliant tee-to-green with little success with the flat-stick and made par or worse at 7 consecutive par 5s before an eagle on the back nine on Sunday.
He must go close this week, and similar comments apply to Matteo Mannassero. The Italian was touted as potential world-beater after winning the PGA Championship at Wentworth in 2014, but has struggled thereafter and is now ranked 315 in the world.
He reached a low of 635 after missing the cut in 18 of 23 events in 2015 but is gradually coming back to form and put four solid rounds together last week in the Czech Republic. The same comments apply to Callum Shinkwin, who opened with a 66 before eventually finishing T9.
The 24-year-old really ought to have won the Scottish Open earlier in the season, when losing in a play-off to Spaniard Rafa Cabrera-Bello. He looks a serious talent and would have gone close in last year’s event were it not for a final round 74, after posted three rounds in the 60s beforehand.
As mentioned before, Scott Hend went close in this event last year. The big-hitting Australian has taken a couple of weeks since a disappointing weekend at the Fiji international and has clearly had one eye on the Omega Masters. He was unlucky to lose out to Alexander Noren in a play-off 12 months ago and is a big price if replicating last season’s level of form.