Alex Noren is assured of a hero’s welcome at this week’s Nordea Masters in his native Sweden following his spectacular victory in the BMW PGA Championship.
After a break of eight years, the tournament returns to the Masters Course at Barseback, where Argentina’s Ricardo Gonzalez won by two shots from Welshman Jamie Donaldson.
Barseback is the home course of Open champion Henrik Stenson and he would love to add his name to the list of champions which includes Colin Montgomerie, Nick Faldo, Lee Westwood, Adam Scott and Luke Donald, but he was disappointing in contention at Wentworth and has a lot on his plate this week.
“Of course it would be great to win and put that on my resume, but on the other hand this is one of the most difficult weeks because of all the commitments that come from being back home,” Stenson said on Tuesday.
With that in mind, it’s tough to back the 41-year-old at odds of 5/1 in the Nordea Masters betting, while second-favourite Noren is just 7/1 to claim back-to-back wins for the first time in his career.
Better value therefore lies elsewhere and our first selection is defending champion Matt Fitzpatrick, even though his victory last year was at a different venue.
Fitzpatrick missed his last two cuts in succession on the PGA Tour and made a slow start at Wentworth, but finished the week in style with a 66 to climb into a tie for 12th. Victory in November’s DP World Tour Championship made the 22-year-old the youngest English player to win three times on the European Tour – beating the record of Nick Faldo – and he can be backed at odds of 20/1.
Next up is another player who finished strongly on Sunday and carried that form into the following day’s US Open qualifier, China’s Li Haotong.
Li carded a closing 67 at Wentworth and sealed a major championship debut via Monday’s 36-hole qualifier at Walton Heath, and while that could raise questions about fatigue, the 21-year-old is young enough to cope and makes an attractive prospect at 40/1.
In contrast to Fitzpatrick and Li, Marc Warren missed the cut at Wentworth in what was just his second event following a lengthy break, but the Scot did so by a single shot and won his first European Tour title at Barseback in 2006.
Warren also helped Scotland to finish third in the inaugural GolfSixes earlier this month and hopefully a return to the site of his breakthrough victory can inspire a good performance at odds of 100/1.
Somewhat surprisingly, our last Nordea Masters betting selection is available at even better odds, despite having finished second just two starts ago in the Rocco Forte Open.
South Africa’s Zander Lombard lost a play-off to Alvaro Quiros in Sicily, where he looked at home in the windy conditions which could occur in Malmo, and although he missed the cut at Wentworth, a price of 125/1 offers plenty of appeal.
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