After a case of very close but no cigar last week, attention turns to the British Masters at Walton Heath, Phil Casey writes.
Headline tip Tyrrell Hatton looked certain to give us a 16/1 winner in the Dunhill Links before a back-nine collapse in the final round let in Denmark’s Lucas Bjerregaard, who will seek back-to-back victories after swapping chilly Scotland for leafy Surrey.
Walton Heath staged the 1981 Ryder Cup and also the European Open on five occasions, but is better known recently for hosting the 36-hole US Open qualifier, from which New Zealand’s Michael Campbell qualified in 2005 before going on to lift the trophy at Pinehurst.
Tournament host Justin Rose is the 7/1 favourite ahead of Ryder Cup team-mates Francesco Molinari and Tommy Fleetwood, but our first selection is another member of the victorious European side, namely Thorbjorn Olesen.
Olesen was somewhat unfortunate to play just two matches in Paris, the Dane’s good form in practice earning him a start in the opening session alongside Rory McIlroy, who then failed to record a single birdie in the pair’s fourballs defeat to Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler.
Left out of the next three sessions, Olesen responded superbly to thrash three-time major winner Jordan Spieth in the singles and wisely opted not to contest last week’s Dunhill Links, a title he won in 2015.
Suitably rested, Olesen has the advantage of being able to stay in his own bed this week and also came through US Open qualifying in June, so he can be backed in the each-way market at 25/1.
Our second choice is something of a specialist at Walton Heath, Andrew “Beef” Johnston having qualified for the US Open for the last three years in succession.
A second European Tour win is overdue for the talented ball-striker and a runners-up finish in the Indian Open earlier this season showed what Johnston is capable of, with odds of 66/1 each-way certainly worth an interest this week.
Sticking with US Open qualifiers, Matt Wallace has come through the 36-hole event for the last two years and also has three wins in 2018 to his name, including the final Ryder Cup qualifying event at the start of September.
Wallace’s form since missing out on a wild card has been solid if not spectacular but he can be risked in the each-way market at 40/1.
And finally, Richie Ramsay has matched Wallace in advancing from US Open qualifying in the last two years and could reward a small interest at 125/1.
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