Lowry To Lead The Way At British Masters
The British Masters returns to the schedule this week after a seven year hiatus.
It was first staged in 1946 and ran until 2008 when the failure to find a sponsor led to it being removed from the European Tour calendar. It may not be as lucrative an event as it was during the 1980s, but the prize fund is respectable and the field, which comprises the bulk of last year’s Ryder Cup team, looks very competitive.
For this return to the Tour schedule, the British Masters is once again being hosted at the Woburn Golf and Country Club, its home between 1979 and 2002. The Marquess’ Course is a short par-72 of around 6700 yards that won’t give the big hitters any advantage, but the narrow fairways, significant undulations and subtly-placed bunkers place a premium on accuracy and will catch out those who take too many risks.
In The Bunker
Ian Poulter is the tournament host and goes into the event as the joint second-favourite but it’s hard to make a case for him this week. His top ten at the Masters back in April was a highlight, but aside from his top twenty at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational, the rest of the season has been a disappointment and he hasn’t made the top thirty in any of his last four outings. At 18/1 he doesn’t appeal.
His victory at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational was the biggest win of Shane Lowry’s career and he looks a strong antepost favourite at Woburn this week.
He took a few weeks off after the PGA Championship and looked a little rusty in his first round at St Andrews last week, but finished the weekend strongly with a 66 and a 67 and if he can carry on that form this week he will be good value at odds of 16/1.
Francesco Molinari hasn’t had a European Tour win since 2012 so it is long overdue and there were positive signs in his last outing at the Open d’Italia. He was returning to action after a month off, but showed no signs of rustiness, hitting a superb opening round of 65, and though he wasn’t able to keep up that pace, it suggested there is more to come this autumn. Back him at 18/1 to end his long wait for a trophy.
The final name to add to your shortlist is Danny Willett. He’s had an excellent season, picking up his third European Tour title and producing his first top ten finish in a Major at the British Open, and two weeks ago returned from a break to finish third at the Open d’Italia.
He disappointed at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, but he’s worth sticking with this week at odds of 20/1.
*Prices correct at time of publication.