Tommy Fleetwood leads the European Tour in greens in regulation and that makes him a leading contender for the European Masters this week. The tournament is being played at Crans-Sur-Siere Golf Club in Switzerland and the course puts a premium on accuracy over distance. Fleetwood is the second highest world ranked player in the field behind Alex Noren but has a better skills’ profile than the current favourite.
Fleetwood is the main tip from Golf Rater, the service with WIN that has delivered a Return On Investment of over 29% since proofing began at the start of the year. Subscribers have enjoyed a run of winners including Jordan Spieth at 16/1 in the Open Championship. You can get all the best golf bets until the end of the season at a one-off price of £14.97: CLICK HERE!
Crans is a relatively short course with a par of 70. The ball travels 10% further in the rarefied air at 5,000 feet. Under snow in winter, the course has been criticised in the past due to the quality of the greens. Many of the greens are upturned saucers so scrambling is an important skill. The greens are tricky to read so course experience with putting and club selection is important. Noren won the tournament last year with a score of 17 under but was taken to a playoff by Scott Hend from Australia.
Tournaments at altitude above sea level result in the ball travelling longer distances than usual. Players must concentrate on choosing the correct club because usual distance guides do not apply. The tournament also has a good record of players leading from the front. The event often becomes a birdie fest but overall accurate iron play, good chipping and all-round scrambling skills are the key attributes for good scoring. Driving distance can be a hindrance and control is much more important.
The average winning score over the last ten years is 18 under which is less than level 66s on the par 70 course. The range of scores in the last decade is 13 to 21 under. There have been three playoffs in the last four years and five since 2007. Noren also won the European Masters in 2009 so is one of the two multiple winners with Thomas Bjorn. Europeans have won eight of the last nine renewals and the last British winner was Danny Willett in 2015 who won the US Masters the following year. Sergio Garcia and Ernie Els are the other majors winners who have prevailed this century.
This week’s host course is Fleetwood’s cup of tea. His game is more about accuracy than distance and he is excellent around the greens. Fleetwood is slight of stature so he doesn’t overpower courses with long hitting. He is a finesse player who has hit over 77% of greens in Europe this season and averages almost 14 in regulation per round. Fleetwood is also a top 10 player for driving accuracy so it’s clear where his skills lie. He is also in the top 50 for scrambling so this course is ideal.
Numerically Fleetwood has made huge strides in the world rankings over the last year. He won the Abu Dhabi Championship in January, beating Dustin Johnson by one shot. He was second to the same player at WGC level in March and contended at the US Open. He did nothing wrong over the weekend but Brooks Koepka played better and was a worthy winner. Fleetwood started poorly in the Open at Birkdale, his local course, but still made the cut and played well over the weekend.
Fleetwood leads the Race to Dubai and is almost one million points ahead of Sergio Garcia is second place. He has qualified for the lucrative close season and set to win some of the bonus money. He is probably financially secure now so winning titles is his goal and that process can continue this week. A dual forecast with Noren would not be the worst bet and the cream can come to the top in the Swiss mountains.
Back next Thursday.