With the PGA Tour yet to start the new season, several Americans head over to Europe to compete in the Porsche European Open. Xander Schauffele, runner-up at the Tour Championship, is joined by Patrick Reed and Matt Kuchar in Germany. Paul Casey is also in action this week at Green Eagle.

The lengthy 7,544 yard par 72 course is no pushover, with five par threes and five par fives on the parkland layout, which has water in play on most of the holes. Richard McEvoy won last year shooting 11-under-par with Jordan Smith prevailing on 13-under in 2017.

Schauffele is respected as a world class player but the 6/1 favourite looks short enough at a course he is not familiar with while Casey and Reed also fail to appeal at single figure prices.


Pieters can threaten another win

Thomas Pieters ended his long wait for a fourth European Tour title last month and the Belgian could be holding more silverware aloft this weekend. After a three year trophy drought, Pieters claimed an overdue victory at the Czech Masters. This huge talent could be ready to push on now and will be determined to make next year’s Ryder Cup team after his heroics at Hazeltine in 2016.

Pieters produced a noteworthy performance last week at the Omega European Masters with 12th place – at a course where he has previously struggled having failed to finish inside the top 50. A closing bogey free round of 65 was the perfect way to head into this week’s tournament at a track which should suit his power game. Pieters, who has won all of his titles in August and September, is 30-under-par for his last eight rounds and is backed to challenge in Germany at 14/1.

HAMBURG, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 04: Thomas Pieters of Belgium lines up a putt on the 9th green during a preview day of the Porsche European Open at Green Eagle Golf Course on September 04, 2019 in Hamburg, Germany. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

Adri Arnaus merits support again this week after another excellent showing in Switzerland. The powerful Spaniard finished with a flourish at the European Masters as a final-round 64 led to sixth place. It was his fifth top ten of an increasingly impressive maiden European Tour season and he will have taken inspiration from fellow Challenge Tour graduate Sebastian Soderberg’s breakthrough win on Sunday.

Arnaus won the Challenge Tour Grand Final last November and it would be a surprise if the 24-year-old fails to clinch a victory on the European Tour soon. With three runner-up finishes already this season, Arnaus, who is ranked second for strokes gained off the tee this season, has been knocking loudly at the door and is close to getting off the mark. Second place at the Czech Masters last month was his latest near miss and it could pay off to stick with him. Arnaus, who has the distance off the tee to take advantage of the par fives, should take to Green Eagle and can contend again at 33/1 each way.


Levy can land another title in Germany

Alex Levy should also come into this week’s tournament with plenty of positive vibes after winning the European Open three years ago in Germany. This came at a different course but he is also proven at Green Eagle, having squandered a golden chance to win in 2017 before losing to Smith in the play-off. The Frenchman returned last year, in poor form, but still managed to finish 13th in Hamburg.

Levy’s season has not gone to plan so far although there are signs he is starting to rediscover the form which has seen him win five European Tour titles. The 29-year-old halted a run of missed cuts with a top 20 at the Czech Masters, before opening with a 63 on his way to fifth place at the Scandinavian Invitation at the end of last month. Levy can feast on the par fives and threaten a second win in Germany at 33/1.

VIRGINIA WATER, ENGLAND - MAY 24: Alexander Levy of France plays out of the bunker onto the 12th green during day one of the 2018 BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth on May 24, 2018 in Virginia Water, England. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

Renato Paratore won his first European Tour title, at the age of 20, two years ago and the talented Italian could be back in the hunt again for his second win this weekend. His best finish since victory at the Nordea Masters came at this course last season, with a tie for second in Hamburg. Paratore returns in better form this time around and will be confident of another strong showing.

Paratore comes in off four successive top 40 finishes and has not recorded a round over 72 during this run. He is 42-under-par for his last 16 rounds and looks close to putting together a big week. A tie for 12th in Switzerland on Sunday was a solid warm-up and he heads to a course where he excelled last year with renewed confidence. Paratore has been popular in the market but still warrants support at 50/1 each way.

Soderberg’s win last week showed there is always room for a shock winner and Christofer Blomstrand could go well at a big price in Germany. The Swedish golfer should be relishing his return to Green Eagle after securing his best European Tour result here last season. Blomstrand finished just one shot behind winner McEvoy in a tie for second place.

Blomstrand is plying his trade on the Challenge Tour and the 27-year-old comes in off his best performance of the season after a tie for third at the KPMG Trophy on Sunday. He found top gear in Belgium with a birdie blitz, including a final round 63 as he shot 22-under-par. Taking inspiration from compatriot Soderberg, Blomstrand can bring this momentum to Germany and threaten the each way places at 150/1.


Thomas Pieters Each Way

Adri Arnaus Each Way

Alex Levy Each Way

Renato Paratore Each Way

Christofer Blomstrand Each Way

Odds are correct at the time of posting

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