The European Tour heads to Germany this week for the first playing of the European Open since 2009. The Bernhard Langer designed Beckenbauer Course at the Hartl Golf Resort in Bad Griesbach plays host this week as a Par 71 measuring 7,188 yards. Given the fact the course has only been used for three Challenge Tour events, I decided to wait for some player interviews to get a feel for what type of player is suited to this layout. This is what some of the players had to say:
Florian Fritsch: “A lot of out of bounds, a lot of water left and right. A lot of deep grass. If you’re not straight off the tee you can end up in a lot of trouble.”
Moritz Lampert: “If you’re accurate off the tee you get a lot of chances.”
With a premium on accuracy off the tee, I’ve decided to go with the following bets;
1pt e/w Graeme McDowell at 50/1 (BetVictor, Coral)
After falling to 63rd in the OWGR and languishing at 66th in the Race to Dubai, it’s safe to say that McDowell has not had the best of seasons. He has admitted that a lack of motivation was probably to blame for a slow start to the year however, in recent months there have been signs that his game is slowly improving.
At the WGC Bridgestone Invitational where he finished 17th despite a final round 73 he said: “I’m really happy with the leaps I’ve made the last few weeks. My game is really turning the corner in a positive way. So I’m really happy.”
After a missed cut at Whistling Straits he was similarly optimistic: “I’m really, really happy. Tee to green I couldn’t have played much better than I did today.”
With his ball striking seemingly in good shape, all he needs is a few putts to fall to gain some confidence. With the winning score likely to be close to 20 under, bad putting is clearly a concern but 50/1 for a major champion with 12 other professional wins in this type of field more than makes up for that.
1pt e/w Stephen Gallacher at 80/1 (Boylesports, Coral)
Admittedly, Gallacher has been in terrible form for the majority of 2015 but after stumbling across this interview he did with The Scotsman (http://www.scotsman.com/sport/golf/top-stories/stephen-gallacher-sets-sights-high-under-new-coach-1-3875081), he seems positive about the last part of the season.
“I have to admit that I wasn’t enjoying my golf there for a bit, but I’ve got the love back, which is important. Having mutually parted ways with Alan McCloskey, I’m working with a new coach in Mike Walker. That means a fresh pair of eyes and hopefully that gives me the impetus to get going again. It’s a new challenge that I’m looking forward to.”
“I’m hitting a lot of balls again and back working every day on my game. The only way to get back on track is through hard work. I also saw Dave Stockton recently and my short game feels as though it is starting to get good again. It’s as though the year is starting for me now, which is great”
“I’ve got a short-term goal, which is to be back in the world’s top 50 by the end of December. That would get me in The Masters and also give me a chance to get in the WGCs which is important if you want to play in the Ryder Cup.”
In his first start since the interview he showed some encouraging signs en route to a tie for 36th in the KLM Open at Kennemer where he was 6th in Greens in Regulation. With his game seemingly back on track and motivation levels high, Gallacher looks overpriced in a relatively weak field.