Golf: Opposable favourites and value to be found at the British Masters

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EUROPEAN Tour golf specialist Vince Blissett (@Vince_RFC) returns to share his thoughts on the upcoming British Masters.

British Masters | 28th September – 1st October 2017 | Sky Sports

Very close to some returns last week as George Coetzee managed to triple bogey the last hole to miss out on a place by a single shot.

This week it’s the British Masters, this year held at Close House just outside Newcastle. It’s a brand new course that hasn’t seen any tournament action, which is never helpful as a bit of guesswork is needed to try and figure it out.

Course background

From looking at the course it looks a very good test. It looks as though strategy is going to be key in getting around here with a decent score. Being accurate both off the tee and with second shots could well be important.

Parts of the course are very narrow with big trouble to be found if you go too far off line. There’s also some well placed horrible looking bunkers that will need to be avoided.

Finding the right parts of the fairways and taking chances with the putter when they come around is the way I’d expect it to be won. I could be wrong but it seems the best angle of attack.

The field

The field is very strong this week with plenty of depth to it. Rory McIlroy heads the betting at single figures after being given an invite when he failed to reach the Tour Championship finale last weekend.

He’s been very vocal about his injury troubles and taking a prolonged rest after the next two weeks to fully heal up, so along with his poor form is to be avoided.

Sergio Garcia should probably be the clear favourite after a 10th place at the Tour Championship last week and should be suited to the course. I’m never too keen on anyone travelling so far and teeing up again so quickly so I’ve ruled him out.

What the presence of those two does though is boost the odds of everyone else in the field and I’ve got four big prices to get involved with.

George Coetzee (50/1 Coral)

First up is the man who came so close to providing some returns last week in George Coetzee. I’m not normally keen on backing the same player two weeks in a row but the disappointment of last week could motivate him to go again.

It shouldn’t be forgotten that he still finished in a tie for seventh after third the week before so he’s in good form. Over the course of the season his DA and GIR figures are pretty average but the South African has ranked very well in both of those in the last two weeks and improved them both in Portugal.

The thing that let him down in Portugal was his putting, which is normally a strong area for him so there’s room for improvement. If that improvement does come, along with the upward trajectory of the rest of his game continuing, he may well be in contention again.

Due to the strength of the field the odds have gone up significantly from last week and at 50/1 looks a nice price.

David Lingmerth (50/1 Coral)

Next is another 50/1 shot in the form of David Lingmerth. The Swede has been playing on the PGA Tour all season, which means there’s a whole host of advanced stats to take on-board.

He made a return last week to play on the Portugal Masters and was a decent 20th. A little too erratic to contend on a regular basis but when things click he’s a very good player. When they do click it’s invariably due to his putting and accuracy of the tee.

Like Coetzee, the putter wasn’t firing last week but the accuracy was there, ranking third. Across the pond Lingmerth has consistently done well with the putter over the course of the season, ranking fourth in putts per-round, 12th in putting average and 19th in shots gained putting.

If he could just find the greens more often he could contend more often, hopefully this week may be one of those week.

Chris Hanson (125/1 Coral)

Two triple figure selections to round things off. It would be silly not to have at least one British player backed this week as it always seems that’s home grown players are in contention back on these shores.

Tyrrell Hatton, Chris Wood and Eddie Pepperell all came into my thinking at shorter odds but its Chris Hanson at 125/1 that stands out. The Yorkshireman has been very consistent the last few months without a proper breakthrough, I’m sure it’ll come and this week would be a very nice time.

His last five tournaments read 25-37-14-MC-19, most recent first. More often than not his all-round ranking has been much better than the finishing position suggesting he’s playing better than results suggest.

His DA and GIR numbers are consistently strong but the putting can let him down from time to time but if it clicks that 125/1 may look to big come the weekend.

Joakim Lagergren (175/1 Unibet)

Lastly, another Swede and the youngster Joakim Lagergren at 175/1. Tied ninth last time out at the KLM Open was his best result since January.

The bit in the middle hasn’t been great for him meaning his season stats aren’t very good but there might be signs of things picking up. The last two outings have seen him rank in the top 10 in putting average and the KLM also saw him rank 20th in GIR. He’s that price for a reason obviously but it’s worth chancing.

A few more bookies are going six or seven places than do in a normal week but as always I go with best price first, then the extra places. As it happens three of the four are top price with Coral who are seven places 1/5 terms.

Best Bets

British Masters – George Coetzee (50/1 each-way Coral)

British Masters – David Lingmerth (50/1 each way Coral)

British Masters – Chris Hanson (125/1 each-way Coral)

British Masters – Joakim Lagergren (175/1 each-way Unibet)

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