Niall Lyons is siding with five golfers ranging from 33/1 to 125/1.
A dismal US Open in terms of betting is put behind us quickly and we crack on with the next two months that will see the busiest time of year and the biggest events, most notably on the European Tour. Before the Rolex Series rolls into town again next week we play the BMW International Open at the Larchenhof Golf Club in Munich. This course has held this event on numerous occasions, most recently back in 2016 when Stenson took home the spoils. Although a somewhat easy golf course which will yield plenty of low numbers, the 1-2 from 2016 (Stenson and Fichardt) both rated 1st and 2nd in Driving Accuracy also. Greens In Regulation is another stat which the contenders here down the years have topped so although the course looks easy on paper, it definitely requires golfers to display a solid tee to green game.
Tommy Fleetwood makes the trip after last weeks heroics and those arriving from the US Open here down the years surprisingly have suffered no hangover. Tommy is young enough to cope with that and given his newly found status in the game he doesn't look like relinquishing that position any time soon. His performances continue to impress and I can't deny his chances here this week. That being said, two missed cuts from three appearances here is enough to dissuade me from scrawling his name on my betting slip. Garcia isn't performing and attitude wise is lacking at the moment. Sullivan is playing decent stuff with three top 7 finishes in his last four events, but bookies have adequately rated his chances and around the 16/1 makes little appeal.
Matt Wallace has gotten used to his name at the top of leaderboards on all tours across the past 2 years and I expect him to go well in an event which has question marks surrounding most of the leading players. Wallace missed the cut last week at Shinnecock but only on the number so he wasn't far off making the weekend. He won a couple of months ago on a very challenging tee to green layout in India and I think it will pay to follow him in at events where a solid long game pays dividends. He has plenty of confidence and after a few shaky events on the tour last year has finally found his feet. He went close again in China and despite being a shade inconsistent I think he has the momentum to get another win on the board.
I'm prepared to take a risk on Jamie Donaldson this week. He has done nothing special of note lately and missed plenty of cuts but I think a return to this course could spark some form of old. He finished 5th here in 2014 finishing just one shot outside the playoff at 18 under par. He has another made cut here also so no negatives on course form. Current form is inconsistent and poor with a made cut in Italy his last effort before succumbing to the secondary cut on Saturday evening. 4th spot at Valderrama at the back end of last year was a sign of what the Welshman can still produce. He finished 10th and 32nd the two years the European Open went to the London Club and of course his heroics at Gleneagles was another spot where he performed on a Nicklaus track. A solid tee to green, Nicklaus track may just be the tonic Donaldson needs.
Mike Lorenzo Vera has gained many friends and fans on the tour this season due to his spectacular golf and wearing his heart on his sleeve. I have always considered him on tracks where an accurate long game is needed and given his form recently this event may just fall into his lap at the perfect time. he was narrowly beaten in the Golf 6s event for France a few months ago before going even closer in Sicily when being edged out in a playoff by Lagergren. Since then he has posted a top ten finish in the Belgian Knockout and a top 20 in Italy. He was in 3rd position here after 54 holes in 2016 before falling to a 9th placed finish after 72 and I think that marries well with his current momentum for a big chance this week.
Early prices of 70/1 have dissolved in front of our eyes but I think Lorenzo Gagli is worth supporting this week. Since winning the Kenyan Open on the Challenge Tour earlier this year he has strung together an impressive set of results. He has taken his time to realise his potential but it might be about to pay off soon. He hasn't finished outside the top 25 in his last four events on the European Tour and given he ranks inside the top 20 in Driving accuracy I think he is worth a play this week. I expected a skinnier price so I think this one is value.
Peter Hanson is a man most have forgotten about and although his best days are behind him he bounced back to form in Austria to finish in the top ten and looks set for another performance here in Germany. He hasn't finished outside the top 30 at this track with a 3rd placed finish back in 2009. He also finished 6th at the London Club in 2008, another Nicklaus track used on the European Tour for the European Open. It is a risky one but with a recent top ten and course form better than most here he looks an interesting price to me.