This week in golf: Fitzpatrick’s British Masters claims and USA joy
The return of the British Masters is a real highlight of the European Tour schedule this week, while the Presidents Cup sees America’s star golfers take on an Internationals team big on talent, but perhaps lacking established partnerships.
Having been left off the European Tour schedule since 2008, regular former venue Woburn Golf and Country Club is the stage for the British Masters, where local resident Ian Poulter is on hosting duties in Buckinghamshire.
Poulter’s intimate knowledge of the tight Marquess course and his record in the British Masters in general are bound to excite a few punters about the Ryder Cup regular’s 20/1 chances.
One of three runner-up spots at the tournament was claimed around Woburn, but that was back in 2002 and after an inconsistent season, and no win on the European Tour since 2012, there’s better picks around with less pressure to perform.
With four of the last seven British Masters titles claimed by Englishmen though, there’s a young homegrown player in the field whose 33/1 claims are probably better than the last of his compatriots to win the penultimate edition in 2007 before it was disbanded temporarily.
Lee Westwood is also a 33/1 chance, but like multiple Tour winner Poulter, is struggling for consistently good form this season, while Matthew Fitzpatrick is in the midst of a brilliant rookie year.
In his last 11 starts the 21-year-old has finished in the top three four times, recording five other top-20 finishes this year and it’s the Sheffield native’s game which looks the perfect fit for Woburn.
Although he missed out on a Sunday spot at the Alfred Dunhill last time out, being one of only two players to feature in the top five on the Tour for driving accuracy and Greens hit in Regulation, marks Fitzpatrick out as special talent.
Coming off finishes of 3-30-3 before debuting in the unique format of the Alfred Dunhill, this kind of control will stand him in awesome stead around Woburn’s cosy, tree-lined fairways and shrouded putting surfaces.
Meanwhile, although the President’s Cup will be staged in Asia for the first time, the USA’s dominant record in the matchplay event home and away against the Internationals understandably sees them installed as 1/2 favourites.
The Americans are 9-1 in the competition, and while the International side boasts players such as PGA Championship winner Jason Day, the greater cohesion and matchplay experience their up against make them hard to back at 2/1.
Two-time Major winner and FedEx Cup champion Jordan Spieth has to be the pick of the combined top points scorers at 7/1.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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