Re-Cap From The Open.
Wow, what an incredible week, what an amazing tournament and what a sensational performance from Jordan Spieth. I honestly can’t describe how impressed I was with the way he closed out the event and that extends right through to his winners speech and post tournament interviews. My heart obviously goes out to Kuch, I can barely imagine how low he must of felt after witnessing the Spieth bounce-back first hand and in effect watch the Claret Jug slip from his grasp so late on.
Anyway I could go on and on talking about all the incredible stories from the likes of Branden Graces record breaking round and of course the fantastic accomplishments of Alfie Plant, but no doubt like most of you I have well and truly had my fix of Major Golf for now at least and in some ways glad its time to get back to regular play and back to slightly more predictable eventualities.
Before I do move on, I want to throw out a big thank you to the Tour Junkies for inviting me on to their Pod for The Open and a massive thank you to everyone who download it and engaged with me throughout, I had a lot of fun, it made the relentless amount of research so worthwhile and after hearing about plenty of success off the back of it I’m so pleased I stepped a little outside my comfort zone to give you all I had and more.
With The Open now behind us and a series of links courses having been played across the British Isles, The European Tour heads back to Germany for the 35th edition of The Porsche European Open. This historic event has seen many great players lift the title, including Faldo, Woosnam, Kite and Norman. Thankfully this year a number of quality, entertaining players from both sides of the pond have stopped on for one more weeks golfing in Europe in hope to add theirs to a long list of illustrious names.
Green Eagle Golf Courses in Hamburg, Germany.
The North Course at Green Eagle is a beast of a course, it has the potential to be stretched out to as much as 7,831 yards and typically plays to a par of 73. The 16th hole off its very back tees measures a staggering 705 yards and most of its par 5’s measure well in excess of 600 yards.
However and possibly a shame, the European Tour have made several amendments to courses natural layout, reduced its length and consequently its par… It will now play as a par 72 and use only 7,582 of its possible yardage. I would of loved to see them all take it on in its full form. Don’t get me wrong I’m still looking forward to this and still rate the course very highly.
Water comes into play on nearly every hole and this perfectly manicured course will play extremely tough however they decide to set it up this week.
Normally I would suggest checking the weather at the very latest opportunity, however seeing as this is coming out to you all later than anticipated I thought it would be best to give you all an idea of what I’m seeing at this point.
So as it stands were potentially in showers Thursday afternoon and a breeze that’s very calm early hours building slightly into the afternoon. Then on the Friday their looks like play will be interrupted at points by thunderstorms again in the afternoon
Now after all that and sitting here trying to work out what half of the draw I like, I still cant make my mind up… Too many possibilities with unpredictable storms and pros and cons to both sides.
This week I’m simply going to take a punt, play the players I like and not be influenced by the draw.
Key Stat and Strategy.
Could be a very interesting week, I think it can be very easy to fall in to the wrong trap and pick players who’s form suggests should play well. However with the last 3 events all being played on links courses, it will be a very different style of course and very different set of attributes required for success.
Some players in the field are in the middle of or just about to start a short period of downtime, where possible I have tried to monitor or grab info on how committed to this event they are, a great example of this is Eddie Pepperal, he has something like 7 weeks off and consequently not overly interested in finding form at this point… needless to say I will be fading him and there are a few others out there that I have close eyes on.
This is undoubtedly a beast of course and there will be high emphasis on those skill sets off the tee, however with the substantial amount of water in play there will be a big demand for accuracy as well. Good ball striking and a tidy short game will be in demand, greens wont always be that easy to hit and with the length of some of the par 5’s outstanding wedge play will be required for their 3rd shot and scoring opportunities.
There is very little history to go by other than a challenge tour event played here a few years back, obviously data from this can be partially useful and there are a good few representing this week that have some experience here… however there have been a fair few tweaks and amendments made to the courses layout so in many ways I have found it more useful to study the course on its own merit and match that up as best as i can to players current form and attributes
Personally I will be fading all 3 players in this section, however If i was to be tempted by any of these then I would feel most comfortable playing Patrick Reed $11,400. His price may be somewhat extortionate considering the last 2 missed cuts (both on links courses). However after delving deeper into stats, compared to Schwartzel and Levy he presents a far safer play on a course that will demand a lot from those skills off the tee. His putting stats are also exceptional so any mistakes made out there could soon be rectified with a hot performance with the short stick. In addition ownership should be relatively low for this usually very popular play, thanks to those missed cuts and high price.
$9,000 – $10,000
Thorbjorn Olesen $9,900 – 3 top 10’s this year so far and knocking on the door for his 5th career victory on the European Tour. His last 5 starts have presented him with weekend golf on all occasions and we have seen him placed 4th at the Nordea Masters and 3rd at the French Open. Both of these courses had a high demand for driving ability and fantastic short game, we can expect more of the same here. Thorbjorn also has previous good history at this venue having placed T12 back in 2010 for a Challenge Tour event.
Joost Luiten $9,500 – If your looking for a cut maker in your line up with the potential to push for a top 10 on a course where scoring is highly unlikely to get out of control then look no further than Joost. I must admit his price is a little higher than I hoped it would be, but with 13/14 cuts made this year and the only miss coming from a poor draw in Sweden it could be very much justified.
$8,000 – $9,000
Alexander Bjork $8,600 – This course should suit his game perfectly, superb off the tee, maybe not the longest but certainly one of the most accurate, when he misses fairways which isn’t too often they are very rarely to far off line, His long iron play is also very solid as his short game.. No wonder we have already seen 3 top 10’s from this year so far and with this course playing similar in terms of attributes needed from France, I would not be surprised to see him finish among the top spots again.
Austin Connelly $8,500 – Very impressive young talent from Canada. Currently splits his time playing Challenge Tour and European Tour events. Will be buzzing and full of confidence after an outstanding performance at The Open, finishing T14. Prior to that his last 3 European Tour starts have seen him finish T20, T8 and T31. Good accuracy of the tee and all round solid game, course length worries me a little but should be outweighed by a hot putter and fantastic wedge game.
$7,000 – $8,000
Jordan Smith $7,900 – Love the course fit for Jordan.. He’s become more of a cut maker than a contender of late however there is potential there for a much better placing this time around, anyway even if he makes the cut and scores well on the par 5’s here then I still wont be disappointed with an average placing.
Bradley Dredge $7,900 – Very good off the tee, keeps the ball in play and strikes it well right throughout the bag, also got to take advantage that he’s a superb putter and should avoid disaster… (famous last words!!)
Tom Lewis $7,700 – Ridiculous amounts of potential and so close to finding that game that could see him pick up bigger cheques, similar pick to Jordan in terms of reasons to play.
Julian Suri $7,300 – I’m sure a few of you got burnt by Suri at The Open please don’t let this put you off him, a lot went wrong for him. Missing clubs, bad draw, bad luck and yet he still fought hard on Friday and only missed the cut by one in his first Open experience. Trust me this gu can play and he knows how to make scoring look easy, to get those valuable birdie or better points for me he’s back in with high ownership.
$7,000 or less
Have to be honest this week and tell you that there’s not many plays down this end that I really like, I have been working hard trying to get info on some real outside picks but there’s nothing there that I’m ultra confident in and consequently will look a little more balanced in my line up’s.
Those that interest me based on course fit, stats and maybe a slight hunch with one of them are:
Trevor Fisher $6,900 – Comfortably one of the better ball strikers out there, has that potential to go very low and even contend for top spots, that’s if he can get the short stick working and get a little luck here or there. Hits the ball a country mile when required but also has that wise head on his shoulders to reel it in if potential disaster looms.
Laurie Canter $6,900 – Fairly obvious pick having just played the open and finished T37, plenty of made cuts throughout the year and some decent placings thrown in there as well, enjoying his golf playing well and surely very confident right now.
Zander Lombard $6,600 – The big hitting South African hasn’t been playing too well of late and I’m sure some of my friends would disagree with this pick and in fact I’m not even suggesting you should follow suit with me, however I have a hunch that he could turn it around this week, he has the attributes to take advantage here, especially if it softens up, plays long and requires good carry distance. Anyway I’m going to have a small share in him and see what happens.
Gary King $6,400 – Really wanted to find out how he’s been playing and how practice has been going into this one. Is going to be crazy low owned. Has a game hidden in there somewhere that would be perfect for this course, but we just haven’t seen that form for months. Again a play I will have small shares in lower end gpp and take a punt that the games ready and equally as important, his mind..
Time for me to have a little break, couple of weeks off to play, practice and enjoy watching the Bridgestone and PGA Champs unfold. As always you can contact me through Twitter @AshleyMorrisson.
Very best of luck to you all and fingers crossed for even more green screens.