Several of those hoping for Ryder Cup selection are heading to the Swiss Alps this week.
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Cran-sur-Sierre, a short 6,808-yard par 70 set in the Swiss mountains, must surely win the award for most picturesque course on the DP World Tour.
But plenty of this week’s field won’t be gawping at the views. Instead, they’ll be trying to claim the final automatic qualifying spot on Europe’s Ryder Cup team or to catch the eye of skipper Luke Donald for a wildcard pick.
This is the final qualifying event for the European Points List and Robert MacIntyre, Yannick Paul, Adrian Meronk, Victor Perez, Rasmus Hojgaard and Adrian Otaegui all tee it up at Crans with a chance of securing their ticket for next month’s showdown against the United States in Rome.
That’s the sub-plot this week. The main story is who will lift the trophy and join a storied list of past champions here that includes Seve Ballesteros (three times), Nick Faldo, Colin Montomgerie and Ernie Els.
Matt Fitzpatrick heads the betting and he’s a two-time winner at Crans after back-to-back wins in 2017 and 2018.
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🏌️ Antoine Rozner to claim first prize
Those repeat wins for Seve and Fitzpatrick are good reminders that this short, quirky layout set high in the mountains produces course specialists.
Miguel Angel Jimenez is another who relishes this unique test. He boasts a win and nine other top 10s.
Fitzpatrick must surely have a good chance of claiming his third win but at nearly four times the price let’s go for Antoine Rozner.
The Frenchman has played here twice, shooting a closing 62 to finish 13th in 2021 and closing 65-64-66 to claim fourth place last year.
Rozner was fourth after three rounds of last month’s Open Championship at Hoylake before finishing in the top 20 and he put up another good show in last week’s Czech Masters when tied 22nd.
He looks close to a big week and, on a course that clearly suits, this could be it.
⛳ Back Antoine Rozner to claim first prize at 33/1 with Unibet ⛳
🏌️ Nicolai Højgaard can outscore Adrian Meronk
bet365 has a 72-hole match involving two Ryder Cup hopefuls – Nicolai Højgaard and Adrian Meronk.
And it’s the Dane who gets the nod at 10/11.
Both have similar course form. Hojgaard shot 68-68-64-71 to finish tied 29th on debut last year while Meronk has posted tied 38th and 27th in his two visits.
But, on current form, Hojgaard has a clear edge.
The Danish twin, whose brother Rasmus won this event two years ago, was third in last week’s Czech Masters and 14th in the PGA Tour’s Wyndham Championship before that.
Meronk, meanwhile, could only manage tied 62nd last week and had missed three of his previous six cuts before that despite some other strong form.
⛳ Bet on Hojgaard to outscore Meronk at 10/11 with bet365 ⛳
🏌️ Renato Paratore for Top 20
All the Rome Ryder Cup chat might just act as inspiration for Italian Renato Paratore and he looks a big price at 5/1 with bet365 for a Top 20 finish.
Paratore has two top sevens, 12th, 24th and 29th at this venue.
A 22nd in last week’s Czech Masters suggests he can put in another good performance here.
⛳ Bet on Paratore to end up in top 20 at 5/1 with bet365 ⛳
How to watch the Omega European Masters
- Venue: Crans-sur-Sierre GC, Crans Montana, Switzerland
- Date: Thursday 31st August – Sunday 3rd September
- Broadcast: Full coverage on Sky Sports Golf: Thursday & Friday 12.30 pm – 5.30 pm, Saturday & Sunday 11.30 am – 4.30 pm.
About the author
Matt Cooper has been a golf journalist for 15 years. He’s worked for, among others, Golf365, SkySports, ESPN, NBC, Sporting Life, Open.com and the Guardian. He specialises in feature writing, reporting and tournament analysis. He’s covered numerous Opens, Ryder Cups and Solheim Cups, and travelled to golfing destinations as varied as Kazakhstan, South Korea, Seychelles, Sri Lanka and Nepal.
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