British Masters: Odds and Betting Preview

With the PGA Tour officially over for another season, we’ll turn our attention for the time being back to Europe and one of the most highly regarded events of the year. The British Masters tees off at the Close House Golf Club in Newcastle on Thursday and it’s a strong field for an event that was first held back in 1946.

While few Americans elect to make the trip, we have some of the Continent’s finest on show in the North East but what do the bookies make of it all?

The Favourites

Rory McIlroy

The big news for the organisers was the return of Rory McIlroy who was immediately installed as the pre-tournament favourite at an industry best price of 17/2 with SportingBet.

Rory made his professional debut here ten years ago and while he is potentially the best golfer on show this week, form isn’t exactly backing up the market prices.

Following on is Sergio Garcia, 2017 US Masters Champion and a strong second favourite here at a top price of 10/1 with Ladbrokes and Coral. The Spaniard sneaked a 10th place in the Tour Championship at the weekend and while neither of the top two has any great form at this event, Sergio looks better placed for the win.

The Chasing Pack

Reigning Champion Alex Noren

Behind the top two is our Reigning Champion Alex Noren who took out the British Masters by two strokes from Bernd Wiesberger at The Grove in 2016. The Swede delivered for us in the BMW PGA back in May and looks nicely priced at a best of 16/1 with 888Sport.

Go back another year and the 2015 Champion Matthew Fitzpatrick is quoted at a top price of 22/1 with bet365 while 2016 Runner Up Wiesberger is at those same best odds of 22/1 with Paddy Power and SkyBet. A previous record at any event can be taken into account but we have a new course this week so those stats aren’t quite so relevant.

Form is more of a factor obviously and Fitzpatrick’s victory in the European Masters earlier this month sets him up nicely for Close House.

Other contenders in the middle of the outright market include our host Lee Westwood at a best of 28/1 with 888Sport. Westwood has enjoyed a productive year without getting over the line and he was a Champion in this event back in 2007.

Outside Punts

Inconsistency has dogged Chris Wood’s year and he hasn’t kicked on from his BMW PGA success in 2016. At an industry best of 40/1 with bet365 and Coral he can always be a threat as can Tyrell Hatton who is shorter at 33/1 with bet365 and Ladbrokes.

Other interesting prices from the outsiders include Eddie Pepperell who was in contention for much of last week in Portugal and can be picked up this week at best odds of 40/1 with Ladbrokes and Coral. Elsewhere, Ross Fisher is at 50/1 with William Hill and Ladbrokes, Martin Kaymer is at 50/1 with SkyBet and last week’s winner Lucas Bjerregaard can be found at a top price of 66/1 with Stan James and BetFred.

Course and Betting Trends

Since returning to the tour in 2014, the British Masters has rotated venues and for this year it will head to the Close House GC for the first time. This is a par 71 course at just over 6,800 yards so distance hitting shouldn’t be an issue.

Weather could play a part however with the north east of England not known for its benign conditions at the end of September and the forecast is for showers throughout the four days. But the real issue for players was revealed in Lee Westwood’s guide to the course as the host for this week highlighted the wind as a key factor on many holes.

Keeping the ball low is paramount with distance hitting less of a concern. Undulating greens pose a test so as always, form with the flatstick will eventually decide the destiny of the European Masters this year.

Of the names that we have discussed, Garcia at that 10/1 price with Ladbrokes looks the better option although we’ll take an Each Way bet on the Spaniard this week. Elsewhere there is plenty of potential in the top ten betting and we’re backing Westwood at 5/2 with Stan James, Tyrell Hatton at 10/3 with Stan James, Ross Fisher at 4/1 with Ladbrokes plus Chris Wood at 7/2 and Marc Warren at an excellent 10/1 – both of those prices are with Stan James.

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