The European Tour returns to Crans-sur-Sierre - who does our tipster think will win?
Omega European Masters Golf Betting Tips 2021
Omega European Masters Golf Betting Tips 2021
Any Ryder Cup captain would be delighted to have a golfer in his side who scored a perfect five-out-of-five when he last played in the match and Padraig Harrington is no exception.
So he will be hoping that Francesco Molinari can stake a late claim to one of his three wildcard picks when the little Italian stages a last-ditch campaign to retain his Ryder Cup place in the next three weeks.
Frankie will need to step on the gas in this week’s European Masters at Crans-sur-Sierre in the Swiss Alps, next week’s Italian Open in Rome and the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth if he is to convince Harrington as he has done little to advance his cause so far this year.
It would be an amazing coincidence if he were to force his way in by repeating his 2018 Wentworth triumph because it was his elder brother Edoardo’s victory in the final counting tournament in 2010 that convinced captain Colin Montgomerie to give him the final wildcard in the squad that won at Celtic Manor in 2010.
However, the European Masters and his home Open (he’s twice a winner of that, in 2006 and 2016) will be far easier to win if only he can recapture even half of the mesmerising golf of his annus mirabilis, 2018.
What a year that was! Open champion, first European to win five points in a Ryder Cup, Wentworth winner, crowned European No. 1 and a first victory on US soil in the Quicken Loans National, not any old victory either but one by eight shots.
Arguably the best golfer in the world that year, he looked like carrying that form into 2019 when he led the Masters by two with seven to play.
Then the notorious short 12th claimed another victim, he visited the water again on the 15th and, confidence shattered never fully to return, he watched as Tiger Woods claimed his 15th and almost certainly final Major.
The following year he transplanted his family to California and has never threatened to win anything since.
There were three encouraging top-tens on the PGA Tour early in the year and, more recently, a 13th in Jon Rahm’s US Open but far too many missed cuts as well, seven of the last nine if you include the Scottish Open.
But there are good rounds in the 60s in there and the man can still play.
Now, returning to Europe, he’s a 40/1 shot in a modest field at Crans headed by another Ryder Cup candidate in Bernd Wiesberger.
Molinari has never won there but only five in the line-up have and only two, another Ryder Cup hopeful Danny Willett and Richie Ramsay, have much chance of doing so again.
It’s a risky wager and maybe a week too soon but at the very least looks a bit of value as is the 2012 champion Ramsay who will be galvanised by the recent back-to-back victories of fellow Scots Grant Forrest and Calum Hill.
True, Ramsay is winless since 2015 but he’s in his best frame of mind for a long while thanks to five good finishes on the spin, fourth in the Irish Open, ninth to Hill last time out in the Cazoo Classic and 15th in the Scottish the best of them.
Willett, Henrik Stenson and Martin Kaymer are three more Major champions looking for inspiration and hoping to catch Harrington’s eye.
Stenson botched a big chance last week when, disputing the lead with three non-winners in Johannes Veerman, Sean Crocker and Tapio Pulkkanen, the 2016 Open champion was surprisingly the first to crack, dumping his tee shot in the water and double-bogeying the 16th.
It was the first time he had looked like winning in an age – his US form so abysmal that he hasn’t played there since June – and the lack of trust in his game showed.
But even fourth there, ninth in Ireland and 11th reads better than Willett’s recent record.
The Yorkshireman’s missed cut last week was unexpected but he has a course victory over Matt Fitzpatrick and Tyrrell Hatton back in 2015 on the plus side.
Kaymer came with a late rush in Munich but just failed to snatch his first win since 2014.
Missed the cuts in the Scottish and The Open on his two latest outings and, like Stenson, looks as if he can only win if someone gives it to him.
With Wiesberger and Sam Horsfield failing to convince under pressure, I would far sooner be on Hill, a fine swinger who shrugged off the disappointment of coming up short in his own country at Fairmont St Andrews by making no mistake at the London Club the following week.
His game looks good for this tricky 6848-yard par 70 test at altitude where a good caddie handing you the right stick is the 15th club in the bag. It’s brain over brawn this week, as back-to-back Crans winner Fitzpatrick demonstrated in 2017-18.
Frenchman Victor Perez is on Harrington’s short list but is doing precious little to justify it and birdie machine Rory Sabbatini, the Olympic silver medalist for his adopted country Slovakia, makes more appeal.
Rasmus Hojgaard, the 20-year-old Dane who showed superstar potential with two wins last year, wasted a good opportunity last time out when failing to cash in on a tidy 54-hole lead at the London Club. He has time on his side and will definitely come again.
Belgium’s two Thomases, Detry and Pieters, South Africans Dean Burmester and Justin Harding, Richard Bland, fifth here in 2016 and playing with much confidence since winning at the 478th attempt in the British Masters, and Sunday’s 25/1 winner Veerman are in with a shout too – and don’t discount golden oldie Thomas Bjorn who got the taste back of being a winner again at the weekend, albeit on the Legends Tour.
Check out how the GM Tipster is getting on this year on our Golf Betting Tips homepage.