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BlogEuropean Masters Preview and Picks

Omega European Masters

September 1st – 4th, 2016

Crans-Sur-Sierre Golf Club

Crans-Sur-Sierre, Switzerland

Par: 70 / Yardage: 6,848

Purse: $2.94 million

with $490,500 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Danny Willett

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

This week’s field includes:

The field includes 12 of the top 50 and 15 of the top 100 in the latest Official World Rankings, with the highest rank player in the field being #11 Danny Willett.  The other top-100 players in the field are:#28 Chris Wood, #39 Alex Noren, #42 Andy Sullivan, #44 Thongchai Jaidee, #46 Lee Westwood, #48 Matthew Fitzpatrick, #55 Tyrrell Hatton, #61 Bernd Wiesberger, #82 Scott Hend, #85 Bradley Dredge, #86 Rikard Karlberg, #88 Andrew Johnston, #89 Marcus Fraser and #92 Victor Dubuisson.  Last year there were 17 top-100 and 9 top-50 players in the field.

The field includes 28 of the Top 25 on this year’s Race to Dubai money list.  Those players include #1 Danny Willett, #7 Chris Wood, #8 Tyrrell Hatton, #9 Lee Westwood, #12 Alex Noren, #14 Andy Sullivan, #Thongchai Jaidee, #19 Matthew Fitzpatrick, #21 Bradley Dredge, #22 Andrew Johnston, #24 Rikard Karlberg and #25 Gregory Bourdy.

The field includes 11 past champions: Danny Willett (2015), David Lipsky (2014), Richie Ramsay (2012), Miguel Angel Jimenez (2010), Alex Noren (2009), Brett Rumford (2007), Bradley Dredge (2006), Ricardo Gonzalez (2001), Lee Westwood (1999), Sven Struver (1998) and Matthias Gronberg (1995).

A perfect way for fantasy golfers to check on the past performance of all the players in the Omega European Masters field is our performance chart listed by average finish. One last way to check who is the best is through a special formula worked out in Golfstats that gives us the best average performances at the Omega European Masters  in the last five years or check out our sortable 8-year glance at the Omega European Masters.

A good cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmakers in England.

**NOTE**

One thing to look for is our new GOLFstats IQ.  For those that play in fantasy golf it’s a perfect way to help you pick those players in Draft Kings and Victiv games.  You can customize the list of those in the tournaments, to look back a couple or many years of tournament stats and you can go back a couple or ten weeks prior to the tournament.  On top of that, all the stats are fully sortable to help you pick your six players, we even give you their value for the week to help you chose.

That’s GOLFstats IQ, give it a try and tell us what you think of it

24/7 GOLF is no more.  We have retired the name and the app for a new and better app for golf.  So check out

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So if you own a Iphone or a Ipad we have developed a perfect app called GOLF IQ.

 

Time to look at our who’s hot and who isn’t:

Who’s Hot in the field for the Omega European Masters

Player Made in Denmark Czech Masters Olympic Men’s Paul Lawrie Matchplay PGA Championship Canadian Open British Open Scottish Open French Open BMW International U.S. Open
David Lipsky
(162 pts)
T3
(90)
6
(60)
DNP T33
(11.33)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
T28
(7.33)
DNP
Tyrrell Hatton
(135.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T10
(53.33)
DNP T5
(46.67)
2
(33.33)
T33
(5.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Paul Peterson
(132 pts)
T63
(0)
Win
(132)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Alex Noren
(124.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP 2
(66.67)
T49
(1.33)
DNP T46
(2.67)
Win
(44)
8
(16.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
David Howell
(115 pts)
DNP T3
(90)
DNP T33
(11.33)
DNP DNP T22
(18.67)
T45
(1.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Bradley Dredge
(114 pts)
2
(100)
T47
(3)
DNP DNP T79
(0)
DNP DNP T29
(7)
CUT
(-3.33)
T28
(7.33)
DNP
Thongchai Jaidee
(98.33 pts)
DNP DNP T15
(35)
DNP T73
(0)
DNP T22
(18.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
Win
(44)
T38
(4)
DNP
Gregory Bourdy
(98 pts)
DNP DNP T21
(29)
DNP T18
(42.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T25
(8.33)
DNP T18
(21.33)
Graeme Storm
(85.33 pts)
71
(0)
T7
(55)
DNP T17
(22)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
T9
(15)
DNP
Anthony Wall
(85 pts)
DNP DNP DNP Win
(88)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T39
(3.67)
T53
(0)
T59
(0)
DNP
Adrian Otaegui
(79 pts)
T3
(90)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T33
(5.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Andy Sullivan
(77.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T49
(1.33)
DNP T12
(25.33)
T6
(20)
T5
(23.33)
T21
(9.67)
T23
(18)
Joakim Lagergren
(74.67 pts)
5
(70)
DNP DNP T33
(11.33)
DNP DNP DNP T67
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Marcus Fraser
(73 pts)
DNP DNP T5
(70)
DNP T73
(0)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP T21
(9.67)
DNP
Paul Dunne
(73 pts)
T10
(40)
T16
(34)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
T13
(12.33)
DNP
Mikko Ilonen
(71.67 pts)
DNP DNP T21
(29)
T17
(22)
DNP DNP DNP T13
(12.33)
T25
(8.33)
69
(0)
DNP
Matthew Fitzpatrick
(71.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
5
(70)
DNP T9
(30)
T49
(1.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T54
(0)
Renato Paratore
(70.33 pts)
T18
(32)
T27
(23)
DNP T17
(22)
DNP DNP DNP T57
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Ricardo Gouveia
(70 pts)
T8
(50)
DNP 59
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T29
(7)
T16
(11.33)
T45
(1.67)
DNP
Robert Rock
(68.67 pts)
DNP T7
(55)
DNP T17
(22)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T59
(0)
WD
(-1.67)
DNP DNP
Lee Westwood
(66.67 pts)
DNP T27
(23)
DNP DNP 85
(0)
DNP T22
(18.67)
DNP T11
(13)
DNP T32
(12)
Paul Lawrie
(65.33 pts)
T15
(35)
T35
(15)
DNP T17
(22)
DNP DNP T63
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Richie Ramsay
(64 pts)
T26
(24)
DNP DNP T9
(30)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T6
(20)
CUT
(-3.33)
T56
(0)
DNP
Daniel Brooks
(61 pts)
T18
(32)
T62
(0)
DNP T9
(30)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
T33
(5.67)
DNP
Richard Sterne
(58 pts)
T10
(40)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T46
(2.67)
T13
(12.33)
T11
(13)
DNP DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

Who’s Not Hot in the field for the Omega European Masters

Player Made in Denmark Czech Masters Olympic Men’s Paul Lawrie Matchplay PGA Championship Canadian Open British Open Scottish Open French Open BMW International U.S. Open
Rhys Davies
(-30 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Bjorn Akesson
(-30 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Jens Fahrbring
(-30 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Edouard Espana
(-28.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP WD
(-1.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Rikard Karlberg
(-26.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-13.33)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Nathan Holman
(-23.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Soomin Lee
(-23.33 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-13.33)
DNP T79
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Eddie Pepperell
(-21.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T54
(0)
T45
(1.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Simon Dyson
(-20 pts)
T61
(0)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Victor Dubuisson
(-20 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-13.33)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP 66
(0)
DNP DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

The Buzz:

The tour moves on to Switzerland and the Omega European Masters.  Let me take a few paragraphs to tell you that this is a a special place and could be one of the most scenic stops in golf.  Of course your going to say that Pebble Beach isn’t bad, but the Golf Club Crans-sur-Sierre has a special appeal that makes it as pretty as Pebble.  It’s the Pacific Ocean which makes Pebble so special, at Crans-sur-Sierre it’s the scenic views of the Alps and the mountain tops of the Matterhorn and Mont Blanc that takes your breath away.

Ever since the Golf Channel started showing European Tour golf in the late nineties, I have been a fan of several events but the two that I have loved the most were the Dubai Desert Classic and the Omega European Masters.  Love watching them play golf from Dubai to Switzerland,  they became bucket places for me to go visit one day.  Three years ago I had a chance to join my wife on a trip to Switzerland and cross off one of those places off the list, Cans-sur-Sierre.

I saw it for the first time by accident.  I took a train from Venice to Geneva, and when the train was traveling between the Alps in the Rhone Valley, I saw what looked like structures at the top of one of those 8,000 foot mountains.  The closer I got, the more I realized they were big ten story structures, but by feeble mind didn’t know what they were.  I asked the train conductor, and he said it was the ski resort Crans Montana, but that never registered in my mind that it was the community of Crans-sur-Sierre.  A couple of days later my wife and I journeyed to see Crans-sur-Sierre and that was when it hit me that those buildings that I saw from the train was the site of my bucket list location.

What strikes one about the golf course is that it’s in the middle of town.  It’s much smaller than you can image it being but lovely anyway.  Walking the course you go out to the fourth hole, and you feel on top of the world.  I don’t think there is a prettier hole in all of golf, the hole sits on top of the bluff, looking to the Southwest way above the Rhone Valley with the Alps in front of you.  Just an awesome sight and something that every golfer should experience.

Changes to the Crans-sur-Sierre course:

The history of golf at Crans-sur-Sierra can be traced back to 1905. Arnold Lunn, who owned the Palace Hotel, was persuaded that the pastureland to the west of the hotel was ideal for a golf course. Two Englishmen Freemantle and Gedge were commissioned, and the first nine holes were opened in 1906 to be followed by the second nine in 1908.

The golf course was abandoned during World War I but was reopened in 1921 thanks to hoteliers, Elysée Bonvin (Hotel du Golf) and Albert Bonvin (Beauséjour). In 1924, the Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club was founded, with René Payot as its first President. Shortly after the opening, architect Harry Nicholson was commissioned to add improvements.

A large number of greens were remodelled and additional bunkering, thus creating the overall layout at Plan-Bramois that remained unchanged until 1997. In 1995 Severiano Ballesteros was commissioned to make it more challenging to the professionals on the European Tour and even more attractive for the many golfers that visit this resort.

After two redesigns, the course opened with new greens with various contours and slopes, new tee boxes installed and obstacles added or modified.

In 2013, it was announced that the course would undergo more renovation.  In the first year of a four-year project, the 10th, 12th, 13th and 17th holes of the course have been renovated to make the course harder and more gallery friendly.  Water will now come into play at the 10th, 12th and 13th greens making all of them more challenging.  For the 17th hole a stream crosses the 17th fairway about at the landing zone, so drives will have to be more accurate.  With the changes to the 13th green, it now will have room for over 3,000 spectators to look down on the action.

For this year’s tournament all the bunkers on the front none were updated and fairways at 1, 2 and 4 rebuilt.  The 9th hole has been redone with a new green that will be able to handle more people and be more attractive.  The 5th hole has been lengthened by 25 years so it won’t be pushover as it was in past years.  One other major change, the 14th hole had 38 yards taken off, and par reduce from 71 to 70.  The hole will be a brute at 559 yards.

Close to six million dollars is being spent on these changes over the four years.

Ryder Cup news:

Captain Darren Clark made his wild card picks of Martin Kaymer, Thomas Pieters and Lee Westwood.  Of the nine players that qualified, only four have previous Ryder Cup experience so the choices of Kaymer and Westwood makes sense, bringing experience to the team.  But I do wonder about the Pick of Pieters.  Yes he won last week at the Made in Denmark event, was 2nd in the Czech Masters and 4th at the Olympics but since March these are his only top-ten finishes.  On top of that Pieters has very little experience playing on American courses.  In Russell Knox he won just three weeks ago at the Travelers, but also has a win at the WGC-HSBC Champions in China back in November and was 2nd at the Irish Open just behind Rory McIlroy.  Who knows, maybe Clark felt a special feeling toward Pieters who plays regularly on the European Tour, while Knox plays on the PGA Tour.  Guess time will tell on this pick.

Here are some of the secrets of what it takes to play well at the Omega European Masters:

Key stat for the winner:

I don’t know if anyone noticed, but three of the last seven winners led the greens hit category, Alex Noren in 2009, Thomas Bjorn in 2011 and Richie Ramsay in 2012.  Last year and 2014 Danny Willett and David Lipsky were T-2nd so this must tell you something, look for a player that hits lots of green.

So I have to think that hitting a lot of greens is very important for this week.

Here are some more key stats to look to for this week:

  • Length is not an issue on this course since at just under 6,850 yards its one of the shortest on the European Tour.  But of those at the top of the leaderboard the last six years, hitting fairways is important.  The course is tight with a lot of trees running along the fairways, so if you miss the fairway the odds are you will be behind a tree, so yes you have to be straight.
  • Another thing to think about.  Crans-sur-Sierre is at 5,000 feet so the ball will travel about 10 to 13% further than sea-level courses.  So the 6,900 yard figure is misleading, the course will play closure to 6,200 yards for this year.
  • Water hazards come into play on 6 holes all of the back nine.  The course does have a lot of undulation and winds do pop up in the afternoon coming up the valley.  Weather can change drastically because of its location and several past events have had fog problems.
  • There are eight events left before the four tournament playoff series so this will be a perfect week for many to pick up more race to Dubai money.
  • The weather looks like it’s going to be good for all four days with temperatures in the low 70s each day.

Who to watch for at the Omega European Masters

Best Bets:

David Lipsky

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
T16 Win CUT T59

Other than Thomas Pieters, Lipsky could be the hottest man in Europe. Also helping his cause he won on this course just two years ago.

Tyrrell Hatton

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
3 T3

Has cooled down a bit but has played very well on this course, look for him to continue that trend.

Matthew Fitzpatrick

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
2 CUT

Was runner-up last year and just happens to be 11th in greens hit on the European Tour.

Best of the rest:

Lee Westwood

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
T37 T6 T23 T6

Past winner who would love to prove his pick to the Ryder Cup team was worth it.

Thongchai Jaidee

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
T50 T9 T35 T51 5 T21 T74

You never know when he will win but this is a course he can win on.

Danny Willett

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
Win T5 T26 T2 T25 T42 T23

Defending champion, hasn’t done much since winning the Masters and would love to pull himself back up in this event.

Bradley Dredge

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
T50 T61 CUT CUT CUT 2 T55 3 Win T15 T20

Did very well last year and was 2nd in this event in 2009.

Alex Noren

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
T27 T9 CUT Win CUT T66

Has played well of late.

Solid contenders

Bernd Wiesberger

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
T31 T13 T6 CUT

Player that hits a lot of greens and has done well in this event.

Andy Sullivan

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
CUT

Had a good stretch going over the summer, looking to attack this course.

Richie Ramsay

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
T10 8 CUT Win 34 CUT CUT

Another past champion that has seen his game getting good this summer.

Long shots that could come through:

Miguel A. Jimenez

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
CUT T5 T11 T9 Win 4 T3 CUT T37 T13 2

Has slowed down drastically on the European and PGA Tours, but this is an event that he can do very well at.

Robert Dinwiddle

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
First time playing in this event

One of those hidden names on the European Tour that does very well and has played well in this event.

Brett Rumford

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
T13 T15 T19 T65 T13 T32 T23 Win T44 T69 T56

Past champion that could do well this week.

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