Victor The Victor In Shaghai – BMW Masters Tips
Teeing off in Shanghai the early hours of Thursday morning, the BMW Masters features a strong field of European Tour players.
There’s no Rory McIlroy in the field and a couple of other big name European players are turning out for the rival PGA tournament, but there’s still a strong line-up for this year’s BMW Masters. The tournament is the first of four comprising the Final Series, which culminates in the DP World Tour Championship, and players who compete in this event and the next two can earn bonus points to add to their Race To Dubai total.
The Masters Course at Lake Malaren, Shanghai is a relatively new parkland-style layout that measures a touch over 7500 yards, so poses a reasonable challenge from the tee. But the most notable feature is the preponderance of traps, undulations and water hazards, which make accuracy more important than distance.
In The Bunker
This is Justin Rose’s second visit to Lake Malaren, having finished sixth there back in 2012. He’s had another solid year, capped by his part in last month’s Ryder Cup triumph, but he hasn’t played since then, and is entitled to be a little rusty as a result. You could argue that he is the classiest player in the field and deserves to be favourite, but odds of 8/1 are too short and there’s better value to be found elsewhere.
At much bigger odds, Rose’s Ryder Cup teammate, Victor Dubuisson makes more appeal.
The Frenchman impressed many at Gleneagles, confirming his status as the rising start of European golf and has carried that form into subsequent events.
Aside from a blip at the Alfred Dunhill Links, he’s been in good touch, cracking the top five at the Volvo World Matchplay and finishing second at the Perth International last week after a solid final round of 66. Back him at 16/1 in Shanghai.
Few players on the European Tour have been playing better at the tail end of the season than Joost Luiten and although he has yet to make an impact in this tournament in two attempts, he can put that right this year. His good run kicked off with a top five at the Italian Open at the end of August, then he followed up with victory at the Wales Open and was last seen finishing third at the Volvo World Matchplay a fortnight ago. At 20/1 he’s excellent value this week.
Tommy Fleetwood picked up his first European Tour title last autumn, and the talented young Englishman is in equally good form this time round. He’s managed three top-fives in his last five tournaments, including consecutive seconds at the Wales Open and the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship and last time out, he hit a superb second round 65 at the curtailed Portugal Masters. At odds of 33/1 he’s a decent bet to land his second Tour title.