With just thirty players in the Tour Championship, it looks a challenge to differentiate, so I’ll be focussing on the European Tour this week at Bad Griesbach, Germany.
A 7,188 par 71, the course has four par 5s, three of them more than 566 yards. There are also five par 3s, with three of measuring more than 217 yards. With heavy rain this week, this could further exacerbate the favour this course shows to big hitters.
This week I like a lot of the high-end plays, so will be focussing on a stars and scrubs approach. With a lot of good players to choose from, I imagine that the ownership is likely to be spread. If you’d prefer to be contrarian, however, I think the $7k – $9k range is like to be a dead zone of very low ownership.
Thomas Pieters ($12,100) – Burned a few people at the KLM open withdrawing at the last minute with an allergic reaction to a sting. Should be raring to go with the Ryder Cup coming up next week. Has been in incredible form with three consecutive top 5s including a win last time out. Hasn’t played the course, but as a huge hitter, the course should suit. A birdie maker, he has scored over 100 DK points in those last three tournaments. Deserving of the top price.
Bernd Wiesberger ($10,900) – Played fantastically last time out finishing runner up in the KLM Open. Another player who can hit the ball a long way which will play to his favour. Will want to make up for a strange tournament here last year where he led after R1 with a 64 and proceeded to miss the cut after a second round 76! I’ll take that second round with a pinch of salt, with the 64 showing he can play the course.
Scott Hend ($9,600) – After two great weeks, Hend disappointed last week missing the cut. I’ll be straight back on him, however, at a course where he finished top 5 last year. Having won twice this year, and top 5 in two of his last three tournaments – breaking 100 DK points in both – we know he has upside.
Alex Levy ($9,000) – After spending large parts of the season out with injury, the Frenchman is back and playing well. Has made all three cuts since his comeback with form of T18-T34-T7. While the stats may not back it up (129th in driving distance), Levy is big hitter ranking top 15 in driving distance in 2013 and 2014. While he finished well down the field last year (T55) he made 19 birdies showing he can score on the course.
Lucas Bjerregaard ($8,700) – A player trending in the right direction with finishes of T63-T49-T28-T20. A huge hitter, he finished 5th here last year and with the poor weather, the course should play even more in his favour. In need of a good finish to get his place in the top 60 of the Race to Dubai.
David Lipsky ($8,600) – Lipsky has been in solid form over the summer with six made cuts, including five top 25s. While not a big hitter, he still managed a 66 here despite missing the cut. Currently 61st in the Race to Dubai so will want a good week to get inside the top 60. Four rounds in the 60s last week should have him full of confidence.
Peter Uihlein ($7,000) – A difficult year having spent most of the last five months out injured. Having missed the cut last week on his strokeplay comeback, he will have hopefully shaken off the rust. A huge hitter, the course should suit, as proven by his T12 last year. Managed to hit 21 birdies last year showing he can score on the course. Big upside at a low price; however, a risky play, GPP only.
Daniel Im ($6,700) – Despite his short hitting, Daniel Im looks a solid play this week. Has made his last five cuts including a T20 last week in Italy. Played the course before on the Challenge Tour finishing top 20 here last year in the AEGEAN Airlines Challenge. Made 17 birdies that week and 20 birdies last week showing his potential upside. A cash and GPP play.
Sebastian Gros ($6,600) – The huge hitter is another who has form from the Challenge Tour. Leading after three rounds, he finished in the top five showing his ability to play the course. He has had a difficult year but finished top 30 two weeks ago at the KLM. Managed rounds of 67 and 65 there showing his ability to go low. With the wet course this week, it should play even more into his hands at a low price.
Ricardo Gouveia ($6,600) – A great ball striker, Gouveia is actually a winner at the course having won the AEGEAN Airlines Challenge last year. Has missed his last two cuts, but before that had a top 10 in Denmark. Coming back to a course with good memories, he could come back to form. Looks a low price for someone with serious upside and a recent top 10.
Edoardo Molinari ($6,400) – Will be disappointed with his missed cut last week; however, could be inspired by his brother’s win in Italy. Despite this, he still managed a 67 in round two, and before last week had made nine consecutive cuts. While he’s not making high finishes, he is making a good amount of birdies, including 17 two weeks ago at the KLM.
Justin Walters ($6,300) – The big hitting South African has shown some more consistent form recently with five cuts made from his last six. Last week had four solid rounds with 15 birdies to finish T45. Finished T30 here last year at this tournament, and T17 on the Challenge Tour. Two good efforts showing he can play the course. A low price for a solid play.
The World Ranking Play:
Thorbjorn Olesen ($7,100) – His form recently hasn’t been great; however, last time he played in Germany off two missed cuts, he finished 2nd at the BMW International. He’s ranked 7th in this field, but is priced up 45th which is too big a disparity. A classy player who could turn it on at any given week. A great GPP play at this price. Has played the course before, and while he missed the cut, still managed to make eight birdies and an eagle showing his scoring potential, even on a bad week.
Bud Cauley ($9,300) – Having played well on the PGA Tour recently I think Cauley is going to be chalk this week. He has, however tweeted on Tuesday that due to the weather he still hasn’t been able to play the course. His game should suit but having never played a professional round in Europe, the change in tournament type could hurt his chances. Also has a tendency to withdraw having done so on the first tee twice this year. I’m happy to swerve.