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BlogEuro Masters Preview and Picks

Omega European Masters

September 7th – 10th, 2017

Crans-Sur-Sierre Golf Club

Crans-Sur-Sierre, Switzerland

Par: 70 / Yardage: 6,848

Purse: $3.08 million

with $514,344 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Alex Noren

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 16 of the top 103 in the latest Official World Rankings, with the highest rank player in the field being #12 Alex Noren.  The other top-103 players in the field are: #16 Tommy Fleetwood, #30 Tyrrell Hatton, #33 Bernd Wiesberger, #47 Ross Fisher, #48 Matthew Fitzpatrick, #56 Danny Willett, #60 Lee Westwood, #69 Jordan L Smith, #70 Chris Wood, #73 Alexander Levy, #86 Dylan Frittelli, #91 Joost Luiten, #97 David Horsey, #98 Scott Hend and #103 Luke Donald.

Last year there were 15 top-100 and 12 top-50 players in the field.

The field includes 9 of the Top 25 on this year’s Race to Dubai money list.  Those players include #1 Tommy Fleetwood, #5 Alex Noren, #8 Ross Fisher, #10 Bernd Wiesberger, #16 Jordan L. Smith, #18 Alexander Levy, #21 Ryan Fox, #22 Richie Ramsay and #24 Fabrizio Zanotti.

The field includes 12 past champions: Alex Noren (2016 & ’09), Danny Willett (2015), David Lipsky (2014), Thomas Bjorn (2013 & ’11), Richie Ramsay (2012), Miguel Angel Jimenez (2010), Brett Rumford (2007), Bradley Dredge (2006), Luke Donald (2004), Ricardo Gonzalez (2001), Lee Westwood (1999) 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.

Another cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmaker in Las Vegas.

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

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

Player Czech Masters Made in Denmark Fiji International Paul Lawrie Matchplay PGA Championship WGC Bridgestone Barracuda Championship Porsche European Open British Open Scottish Open Irish Open French Open
Haydn Porteous
(232.33 pts)
Win
(132)
T6
(60)
DNP T17
(33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T36
(4.67)
T32
(6)
Adrian Otaegui
(217.33 pts)
DNP DNP DNP Win
(132)
DNP DNP DNP T5
(46.67)
DNP T19
(10.33)
T20
(10)
T7
(18.33)
Jordan L Smith
(164.67 pts)
T60
(0)
DNP DNP DNP T9
(60)
DNP DNP Win
(88)
DNP T58
(0)
T20
(10)
T30
(6.67)
Julian Suri
(164 pts)
T34
(16)
Win
(132)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T16
(22.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP
Chris Paisley
(150 pts)
DNP T3
(90)
DNP T5
(70)
DNP DNP DNP T55
(0)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Marcel Siem
(141 pts)
DNP T10
(40)
DNP 2
(100)
DNP DNP DNP T60
(0)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
T27
(7.67)
Lee Slattery
(139 pts)
2
(100)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T19
(20.67)
DNP T9
(15)
T30
(6.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
Tom Lewis
(136 pts)
T3
(90)
T49
(1)
DNP T9
(45)
DNP DNP DNP T66
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Jason Norris
(132 pts)
DNP DNP Win
(132)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Robert Rock
(128.33 pts)
DNP T10
(40)
DNP T5
(70)
DNP DNP DNP T71
(0)
DNP T9
(15)
CUT
(-3.33)
T30
(6.67)
Pontus Widegren
(125.67 pts)
T3
(90)
T23
(27)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T37
(8.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Wade Ormsby
(125.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
T6
(60)
T5
(70)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T14
(12)
CUT
(-3.33)
Richie Ramsay
(104 pts)
DNP DNP DNP T33
(17)
DNP DNP DNP T8
(33.33)
T22
(18.67)
T35
(5)
T2
(33.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Anthony Wall
(101.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP T5
(70)
DNP DNP DNP WD
(-3.33)
DNP T4
(26.67)
T20
(10)
WD
(-1.67)
Jazz Janewattananond
(100 pts)
DNP DNP T2
(100)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
David Horsey
(96.33 pts)
DNP 2
(100)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T43
(2.33)
T48
(0.67)
DNP
Tommy Fleetwood
(94.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T61
(0)
T28
(22)
DNP DNP T27
(15.33)
DNP T10
(13.33)
Win
(44)
Paul Dunne
(94.67 pts)
DNP T14
(36)
DNP T9
(45)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T26
(8)
T54
(0)
T13
(12.33)
Jamie Donaldson
(93.67 pts)
T25
(25)
DNP DNP T9
(45)
DNP DNP DNP T16
(22.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
WD
(-1.67)
T32
(6)
Ryan Fox
(92.67 pts)
DNP DNP T24
(26)
DNP T54
(0)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T4
(26.67)
T4
(26.67)
6
(20)
Johan Carlsson
(85 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP 3
(90)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T15
(11.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Thomas Detry
(83.67 pts)
T54
(0)
T14
(36)
DNP T9
(45)
DNP DNP DNP T37
(8.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T48
(0.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
James Morrison
(83 pts)
T5
(70)
T44
(6)
DNP T33
(17)
DNP DNP DNP T64
(0)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Nacho Elvira
(83 pts)
DNP T19
(31)
DNP T17
(33)
DNP DNP DNP T12
(25.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
T50
(0.33)
Jason Scrivener
(78.67 pts)
T5
(70)
DNP T47
(3)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T35
(5)
CUT
(-3.33)
T38
(4)
Callum Shinkwin
(78.33 pts)
T9
(45)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
2
(33.33)
T30
(6.67)
T66
(0)
Benjamin Hebert
(77 pts)
T54
(0)
T6
(60)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T47
(2)
DNP T45
(1.67)
T8
(16.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
Alexander Knappe
(76.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T5
(70)
DNP DNP DNP T12
(25.33)
DNP T26
(8)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Lee Westwood
(73.33 pts)
T9
(45)
DNP DNP DNP T67
(0)
T47
(3)
DNP DNP T27
(15.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T10
(13.33)
Alex Noren
(72 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T67
(0)
T28
(22)
DNP DNP T6
(40)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T10
(13.33)
Mike Lorenzo-vera
(71.67 pts)
T9
(45)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T62
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T3
(30)
Alexander Bjork
(69 pts)
T25
(25)
T31
(19)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T53
(0)
CUT
(-6.67)
T35
(5)
CUT
(-3.33)
T3
(30)
Matt Wallace
(67.33 pts)
T43
(7)
T6
(60)
DNP T33
(17)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
David Drysdale
(67 pts)
DNP T60
(0)
DNP T33
(17)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T27
(15.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
T4
(26.67)
T16
(11.33)
Scott Hend
(65.33 pts)
DNP DNP T24
(26)
DNP CUT
(-13.33)
T10
(40)
DNP DNP T54
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
T20
(10)
T32
(6)

How Player Rankings are Computed

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

Player Czech Masters Made in Denmark Fiji International Paul Lawrie Matchplay PGA Championship WGC Bridgestone Barracuda Championship Porsche European Open British Open Scottish Open Irish Open French Open
Jbe Kruger
(-36.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
T55
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Romain Langasque
(-29.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T58
(0)
T50
(0.33)
Niclas Fasth
(-27.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
T32
(6)
Pavit Tangkamolprasert
(-26.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Brandon Stone
(-23.33 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-13.33)
DNP DNP DNP T70
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Damien Perrier
(-23.33 pts)
T54
(0)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
T66
(0)
Brett Rumford
(-20 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T55
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Carlos Pigem
(-19 pts)
CUT
(-10)
T49
(1)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Danny Willett
(-18.33 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-13.33)
76
(0)
DNP DNP 76
(0)
DNP WD
(-1.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
Simon Dyson
(-16.67 pts)
T60
(0)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T71
(0)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
64
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)

How Player Rankings are Computed

The Buzz:

This is a special week in golf.  First there is no PGA Tour event as there is a week built into the schedule to accommodate having four FedEx Cup events.  Players didn’t want to play in four straight playoff events and then have to play in either a Ryder Cup or President Cup, so a “off” week is in the schedule.  So that benefits the other tours, but the European Tour and this week’s Omega European Open is really the only big time event that gives out world ranking points.

This event played in Switzerland has always had a tough time.  Since it’s up high in the 8,000 foot range, they can’t play it much later than the last week in September because of it getting cold.  So for years in was always a September staple, but that is a bad month with the FedExCup playoffs happening.  If you look at this year’s Race to Dubai list, just in the top-25, ten of the players like Sergio Garcia (#2), Jon Rahm (#3), Rafael Cabrera Bello (#4), Francesco Molinari (#6), Justin Rose (#7), Rory McIlroy (#9), Henrik Stenson (#14), Patrick Reed (#17), Charl Schwartzel (#19) and Branden Grace (#25) are participating in the FedEx Playoffs.  Even with the week off, none of them are going to fly 4,000 miles to play in a tournament in Switzerland.  So the answer was to switch this event to the week after the British Open and that proved to be just as terrible as players would take the week off because they needed to get ready for the WGC-Bridgestone and PGA Championship.  So neither solution worked and after two years in July this event is switching back to September.  Now the good news, come 2019 the PGA Tour is looking to end the season three weeks earlier on Labor Day weekend, so if this event can move to mid-September, they have a good chance of getting a good field, specially if this event leads into the Ryder Cup.

The tour moves on to Switzerland and the Omega European Masters.  Let me take a few paragraphs to tell you that this is 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 and Switzerland, so much that both became bucket places for me to go visit one day.  In 2011 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.

History of Crans-sur-Sierre and changes to the course over the years:

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 the 2015 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 was spent on these changes over the four years and since 2015 the course has played pretty much the same.

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 eight winners led the greens hit category, Alex Noren in 2009, Thomas Bjorn in 2011 and Richie Ramsay in 2012.  In 2015 Danny Willett and in 2014 David Lipsky were both T-2nd so this must tell you something.  This all changed last year as Alex Noren ranked T-26th, still in the eight years of stats being kept, five of the eight were either first or second and only three were out of the top-ten.  I would still say that greens hit is an important category because even though Alex Noren was T-26th in greens hit when he won last year, for the year he was 18th on the European Tour.  So 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 eight years, hitting fairways has mixed results with three players in the top-ten, .  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 8,000 feet so the ball will travel about 10 to 15% 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.  For this year the weather will be nice the first two days with highs in the mid-60s and no rain.  But the weekend will be dreadful, with showers and temperatures in the high 50s on Saturday but dropping to the high 40s for Sunday.  So look for a sturdy winner that can play under all conditions.
  • Also listen to a lot of player complaints wondering why this even it being played in September instead of July when the weather is much better.
  • There are eight events left before the three tournament playoff series so this will be a perfect week for many to pick up more race to Dubai points.

Who to watch for at the Omega European Masters

Best Bets:

Tommy Fleetwood

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T49 CUT T5 T9 T19

Played great at Crans-Sur-Sierre when the event was in September, look for him to carry on and do well this year. He is also 11th in greens hit another good thing for playing this course.

Alex Noren

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
Win T27 T9 CUT Win CUT T66

Good track record on this course including wins last year and in 2009

Scott Hend

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
2 CUT T26 T55 CUT CUT CUT

Was runner-up last year at Crans-Sur-Sierre, he was T-10th at the Bridgestone and showing on many occasions that he can play great.

Best of the rest:

Matthew Fitzpatrick

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T7 2 CUT

Has not had a great summer since finishing runner-up at the Nordea Masters back in June. But look for him to get better as his game is suited for Cran-Sur-Sierre with great results the last two years, also he is 10th on the European Tour in greens hit for 2017.

Luke Donald

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T4

If there ever is a course made for a player, that is what Cran-Sur-Sierre is for Luke Donald. Hard to believe that he only has played this event twice, winning it in 2004 and finishing T-4th in 2005.

Lee Westwood

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
4 T37 T6 T23 T6

Will be celebrating his 500th European Tour start this week, never forget about him specially since he has a great record at Crans-Sur-Sierre including a win in 1999.

Ross Fisher

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T58 CUT CUT T5 T64 CUT

Yes he has missed the cut in two of his last three starts but he was T-5th in 2013. He has had a rough summer and will be looking to regain some of the luster when he had seven top-tens in his first 14 events of the year.

Solid contenders

Bernd Wiesberger

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T41 T31 T13 T6 CUT

Has had mixed results at Crans-Sur-Sierre but he is 18th in greens hit and you never know when his game will start coming around.

Haydn Porteous

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
CUT

The hottest player in the field, he won last week’s Czech Masters and has all of the tools to do great this week.

Jordan L. Smith

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
First time playing in this event

He has a victory this summer in the Porsche European Open and will be playing in his first Omega European Masters.

Danny Willett

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T12 Win T5 T26 T2 T25 T42 T23

I know the year has been terrible, but he has a knack of doing well in this event and could surprise a lot of folks.

Long shots that could come through:

Adrian Otaegui

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T58 T53 T40

The last time he played he won the Saltire Energy, Paul Lawrie Match Play. Showing that it wasn’t a fluke he was T-5th at the Porsche European Open and was T-7th at the French Open. He has made three of three cuts at Crans-Sur-Sierre so he is our sleeper pick of the week.

Richie Ramsay

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T58 T10 8 CUT Win 34 CUT CUT

Has a great track record in this event.

Julian Suri

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
First time playing in this event

Another good pick, he was a winner two weeks ago in Denmark and has had a very productive summer. Playing at Crans-Sur-Sierre for the first time.

Chris Paisley

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
CUT T44 CUT

Another good long-shot, has had a great summer. Has two top-fives in his last two starts on the European Tour.

Comments

  1. Do you know if any first timers have won this tournament? I was thinking of playing Suri & Widegren on Draftkings, seem to be doing extremely well.

  2. David,
    The last time that someone won this event playing it for the first time was Ronan Rafferty in 1990. So that just goes to show it can be done, still it takes some local knowledge and experience to win at Crans-Sur-Sierre.

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