The venue here at Crans Sur Sierre is one of my favourites on tour as it lends itself to the punter. The tight tree-lined track in the mountains of Switzerland rewards accurate golfers who minimise mistakes. The targets are small and it takes a tidy golfer to post the high teen score required for a victory. Quite a decent field goes to post for the 2016 renewal and leading the charges are Danny Willett and Tyrell Hatton.
Willett has struggled badly the last few months following his Masters victory and arrives here surprisingly favourite. Of course he won here last year and the course suits but the bookies should probably be taking more of a stance on his odds this week. Hatton has two third place finishes here at Crans in the past two years and arrives here in great nick following a solid summer where he seems to have matured a fair bit. At the prices Hatton seems a better bet to me, but regardless, it is hard to invest in the lad around the 14/1 mark when he still hasn't gotten across the line. Noren is another who is very short.
I backed Matthew Fitzpatrick here last year at a staggering 125/1 only to be outdone by a single shot, and a more realistic price awaits us this year of 20/1. However, for me he is the most likely winner in the field. He has perplexed me in the last six months to be honest. I believe him to be the most exciting prospect on the European Tour for many a year and his inconsistency has surprised me. Nevertheless he has tucked away another victory in Sweden and two in the last year is a healthy tally. He finished 5th in the Czech Masters before missing the cut in Denmark last week. Denmark would have suited him had it played a shade more difficult I believe Crans is a place where you can make plenty of birdies and it'll take a good score to compete here.
Fitzpatrick's game is perfect for Crans. He can manufacture his way around this intricate layout and while it takes attacking play with approach shots it is necessary to be very careful off the tee. You can leave yourself in some tight spots and I believe Matthew is best when using a bit of strategy. His price is only fair and I'd have loved a bit bigger but he should be closer to favouritism than where he is.
Matteo Manassero has had a very tough few years but remarkably this lad is still only 23 years of age. He accomplished so much early doors in his career before trying to change his game to adapt to bigger courses. Recently he has began to embrace his old game once again and results have started to improve. He has six top30 finishes in his last twelve events and this week comes to a course where I feel he is destined to come very close or win on before his career is out. His neat long game and silky short game when on song is a perfect marriage for Crans and although his price is a shade on the skinny side I believe he is worth chancing.
Paul Dunne has always been a shade underpriced with the bookies since turning pro. I don't know what expectations many of the layers had but it'll take time for this lad to blossom but he has every chance of doing so. His compact swing lends itself to Crans and I see this as a place where he has the opportunity to fulfill some of that potential we all saw in him when he bust onto the scene in the 2015 Open Championship. A top 20 in Czech was followed by a top ten in Denmark and clearly this lad is beginning to find his feet. I like his swing a lot and I do believe he will win on the European tour. Where he goes from there is anyone's guess. The 80/1 on offer is a shade of value. I really like this tournament but unfortunately it doesn't throw up the usual opportunities I would expect.