The “European” Tours world domination continues this week as it moves from Australia to China for the BMW Masters tournament in Shanghai, where the Lake Malaren Golf Club plays host to some of the Tours top players for the first ever European Tour Final Series.
This Jack Nicklaus designed course uses all the natural beauty of the area, but while aesthetically pleasing to the eye the course is designed to test the professional golfers armory of shot making skills.
Nicklaus pulls together all the natural beauty of the land he was given and uses them to great effect in his design, which includes the indigenous trees and plants as well as streams and lakes, and of course the natural rolling topography where he uses the change in elevations to great effect.
My tips to win:
It’s hard to predict how Ross Fisher 25/1 is going to react after his sudden death play-off defeat at the Perth International last weekend. Hopefully he will see it as a progression and take the positives from the week. Ross has made the Top 10 four times from his last five events and three of those were Top 5 finishes. I think it’s only a matter of time before he picks up a winners check and what better time to do that than at the start of the European Tours Final Series events.
Will Henrik Stenson 13/2 add the European Tours Final Series to his FedEx Cup victory? The way the Swede finished the FedEx Cup series you would have to say yes. Henrik has been in great form this year and deservedly took the FedEx cup winning twice and adding another six Top 10s along the way. And just to show he was a man for the big occasion he finished all the majors in the Top 25 with Top 5 finishes in The Open and US PGA Championship.
Martin Kaymer 16/1 hasn’t had a win this year but the German has shown some great consistency and looks to be getting back to playing some of his best golf, and if you look at his scoring he had just one very low round over the four days from winning titles. Martin has played fourteen events this year and has only been outside the Top 15 six times and he has had six Top 10 finishes. It would be fitting if Kaymer kept his best golf for the European Tours first Final Series.
My each-way tips:
It has been interesting watching Peter Uihlein 40/1 fulfill his much lauded potential after he competed in the 2011 Walker Cup at Royal Aberdeen winning both his single matches. Peter than turned professional and opted to play on the European Challenge Tour, instead of his home PGA Tour and when he captured his first win at the 2013 Madeira Island Open, he was able to play the full Tour and in his last three events has had two runners-up finishes. It’s starting to look like the lad from New Bedford, Massachutes is about to turn that potential into victories.
I am not sure how much the pressure of being defending champion got to Shane Lowry 40/1 during the Portugal Masters but the Irishmen promptly missed the cut after I tipped him to do well. But I am going to stick with Shane, I did feel that he was coming back to form with a couple of Top 10 finishes leading up to the Portugal Masters and Lowry also had a Top 5 finish at this event last year firing a second round 64 along the way.
My outside tip:
I must say I was surprised to see Mikko Ilonen 125/1 this far down the betting odds and promptly stuck a pound on him each-way on him before putting this guide up. Mikko has gone off the boil a bit, but in a limited field to dismiss someone who has won once and had two runners-up finishes so far this year could prove to be the bookies folly. I am sure the Fin himself would take umbrage at being pinned at this price. Hopefully Mikko will want to prove himself and make us a little cash while doing so!
For updated betting odds during the tournament go to planetgolfreview.com