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Opinion & Analysis

The 22 players who can win the Masters



Each year for the Masters, I create a filtering process to help determine the players who are most likely to win the green jacket based on criteria that have strongly predictive outcomes at Augusta. I usually get the list down to roughly 20-25 players.

Last year, Hideki Matsuyama was one of my 21 players who could win the Masters. Matsuyama was at 45/1 odds. The top-5 in last year’s event consisted of three players that were shortlisted (Rahm, Leishman and Spieth). The other 2 players that finished in the top-5 were filtered out as Will Zalatoris was a first time invitee and Xander Schauffele was hitting the ball too low at the time of the event. In total 19 of the 23 players I shortlisted made the cut with 14 of the shortlisted players finishing in the top-25 and 6 “shortlisters” in the top-10.

The projected “critical holes” for the tournament are #8, #11, #13, and #15. The critical holes in any tournament are the ones where the top finishers typically gain the most strokes on the field, as well as where the greatest deviation in scores exist. One of the interesting aspects about critical holes is that they often change over time due to changes in the course conditions, course design or a change in player strategy, which can create a smaller deviation in scores.

The 15th hole, Firethorn, should be considered the most pivotal hole on the course as over the last five Masters the top finishers in the event have gained 0.414 strokes per round on the hole.

Moving on to the tournament, I filtered out the amateurs and all first-time professional attendees. The Masters has only been won once by a first-time attendee: Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979 and Gene Sarazen in the inaugural event

Sam Burns
Cameron Davis
Talor Gooch
Austin Greaser (a)
Stewart Hagestad (a)
Lucas Herbert
Garrick Higgo
Harry Higgs
Tom Hoge
Aaaron Jarvis (a)
Min Woo Lee
Guido Migliozzi
Keiti Nakajima (a)
James Piot (a)
Seamus Power
Laird Shepherd (a)
JJ Spaun
Sepp Straka
Harold Varner III

Out of the group of first-time invitees and amateurs I like Sam Burns, Tom Hoge, and Sepp Straka’s chances to get into contention.

I filter out old Masters champions that I do not believe can get into contention anymore.

Fred Couples
Bernhard Langer
Sandy Lyle
Larry Mize
Jose Maria Olazabal
Vijay Singh
Mike Weir

Next up, I filtered out those players that missed the cut at the Valero Texas Open last week. Recency has a strong predictive value for player performance and missing the cut in the event in the prior week greatly reduces the likelihood of winning the following week compared to players that miss the cut, take a week off, and then play the following week.

Cameron Champ
Bryson DeChambeau
Takumi Kanaya
K.H. Lee
Lee Westwood

And let’s filter out those players that have never made the cut at the Masters as outside of their inaugural event and Fuzzy Zoeller’s victory there has never been a winner who had not made the cut at the Masters prior to winning.

Max Homa
Hudson Swafford
Erik Van Rooyen
Matthew Wolff

The weather and the Zach Johnson debate

Every year I do my Masters picks, it’s always pointed out that I do not pick former Masters Champion Zach Johnson due to his lack of length off the tee. Augusta National greatly favors long-ball hitters. They can play the par 5s more like par 4s, and typically the longer hitters can also hit the ball higher so they can get their long approach shots to hold the green more easily.

When Johnson won the Masters in 2007, the event featured record-low temperatures in the mid-40s and wind gusts of 33 mph. This made it very hard for any player to reach the par 5s in two shots and allowed Johnson to get into a wedge contest on the par 5s, his strength.

The weather this week may give the shorter hitters a better chance. Former champion, Mike Weir, has said that he felt that the wet conditions helped him win the Green Jacket in 2003 because it allowed him to hold long approach shots onto the greens. And if the wind picks up, it may neutralize the advantage the long hitters have on the par-5’s.

This week’s weather is calling for rain on Tuesday and Wednesday, then the winds picking up on Thursday to 15 mph and 20+ mph on Friday. It will be cool (by Masters standards) on Saturday with a high of 60-degrees and winds forecasted at 17 mph.

When the winds pick up the short game around the green becomes more important because players are likely to hit fewer greens in regulation. But historically there has not been many strokes gained around the greens of Augusta due to the difficulty of the green surrounds. If the weather does play out as projected, it may favor players who are exceptional around the greens slightly, but will more likely eliminate poor performers around the greens from winning unless they have a legendary ballstriking performance.

Having said that, I still believe that it won’t be enough for short hitters to get into contention, so I filtered out these players

Abraham Ancer
Christiaan Bezudienhout
Matt Fitzpatrick
Brian Harman
Zach Johnson
Kevin Kisner
Kevin Na
Patrick Reed

Trajectory also has a strong predictive value in terms of winners. Simply put, there are not many low ball hitters (at the time of their victory) that won the Green Jacket and the better players of their era that were low ball hitters typically struggled at the Masters compared to other majors.

Last year I filtered out 14 players for hitting the ball too low and outside of Xander Schauffele (t-3rd finish) none of the players finished in the top-25. Furthermore, Schauffele was just narrowly filtered out for hitting the ball too low as I use a formula based on Apex Height, Launch Angle, Carry Distance and Spin Rate to filter out players for hitting the ball too low. I tweaked the formula a little after last year’s Masters and found that Schauffele would have made it thru the filter with the new formula.

Based on the new formula, the following players were filtered out for hitting it too low

Daniel Berger
Paul Casey
Corey Conners
Lucas Glover
Russell Henley
Si Woo Kim
Adam Scott
Jordan Spieth
Danny Willett

Spieth’s newfound low trajectory was surprising to me, but not as much as Adam Scott who is well known for traditionally being a high ball player. Out of the group I do like Russell Henley’s chances as well as he’s a great iron player and he currently ranks 27th in Strokes Gained – Around the Green and that may be helpful if the winds greatly impact play this week.

When people think about Augusta National they think of the greens and the crazy speeds and putts the competitors can have. However they mistakenly think that the winner is always decided by the putter. 12 of the last 13 winners have hit at least 49 greens in regulation and shots from 175-225 yards are where most of the strokes are gained and lost at the Masters.

Therefore the following players were filtered out for their performance this season from 175-225 yards

Patrick Cantlay
Stewart Cink
Sergio Garcia
Padraig Harrington
Billy Horschel
Mackenzie Hughes
Marc Leishman
Rory McIlroy
Francesco Molinari
Louis Oosthuizen
Thomas Pieters
Justin Rose
Charl Schwartzel
Gary Woodland
Cameron Young

I made a specific point to filter out Rory McIlroy here instead of filtering him out for missing the cut at the Valero Texas Open as McIlroy has uncharacteristically struggled this season from 175-225 yards. He currently ranks 172nd out of 210 players from 175-225 yards.

Oosthuizen, Leishman, and Rose were narrowly filtered out for their performance from 175-225 yards.

I also filtered out two former Masters champions

Bubba Watson
Tiger Woods

Watson has barely played enough to derive any meaningful analysis from and Tiger hasn’t played in nearly 18 months coming off a horrific car wreck and we still don’t know if he is going to play. Anything could happen, but I think the likelihood is very low that either will win the Green Jacket.

That leaves us with 22 players that can win the Masters

Tony Finau (66/1)
Tommy Fleetwood (80/1)
Tyrrell Hatton (66/1)
Viktor Hovland (20/1)
Sungjae Im (66/1)
Dustin Johnson (16/1)
Brooks Koepka (18/1)
Jason Kokrak (100/1)
Luke List (150/1)
Shane Lowry (50/1)
Robert MacIntyre (125/1)
Hideki Matsuyama (40/1)
Collin Morikawa (18/1)
Joaquin Niemann (50/1)
Ryan Palmer (150/1)
Jon Rahm (12/1)
Xander Schauffele (25/1)
Scottie Scheffler (14/1)
Webb Simpson (150/1)
Cameron Smith (14/1)
Justin Thomas (12/1)
Will Zalatoris (33/1)

My top-10 picks are

Brooks Koepka, (18/1)
Shane Lowry (50/1)
Robert MacIntyre (125/1)
Collin Morikawa (18/1)
Joaquin Niemann (50/1)
Jon Rahm (12/1)
Scottie Scheffler (14/1)
Cameron Smith (14/1)
Justin Thomas (12/1)
Will Zalatoris (33/1)

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Richie Hunt is a statistician whose clients include PGA Tour players, their caddies and instructors in order to more accurately assess their games. He is also the author of the recently published e-book, 2018 Pro Golf Synopsis; the Moneyball Approach to the Game of Golf. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @Richie3Jack. GolfWRX Writer of the Month: March 2014 Purchase 2017 Pro Golf Synopsis E-book for $10



  1. Tony P

    Apr 11, 2022 at 3:26 pm

    Man your picks were so solid. Used your list as a guide for my masters pool and crushed it. Nice work!!

  2. Jim

    Apr 10, 2022 at 10:14 pm

    Nice work! Won my Master’s pool with your list. Keeping this one to myself around those guys!

  3. Justin Oliver

    Apr 10, 2022 at 6:56 pm

    You won me my masters pool with this article man it was brilliant

  4. John Garcia

    Apr 9, 2022 at 1:24 am

    I thought I’d check this out after the cut Friday evening. 19 of your 22 made the cut, only Koepka, List, and R. Palmer didn’t make it. 9 of your top 10 made the cut, Koepka being the lone miss. You have the leader, 4 of the top 5, and 10 of the top 15. Amazing. I hope to see more of these!!

  5. Taz

    Apr 7, 2022 at 8:44 pm

    Great article with lots of detail and insight. How come you don’t have DJ as a top 10 but have Zallatoris? DJ has the long ball, short game and putter compared to Will. To top it, DJ has won before.

    • Richie Hunt

      Apr 8, 2022 at 11:52 am

      DJ hasn’t played a lot recently and had some issues from 150-175 yards. 150-175 yards isn’t a major filter, but when I get down to the top-10 I factor that in a little more. Having said that, DJ has usually been a very good wind player.

  6. HR Fernández

    Apr 7, 2022 at 12:12 am

    This is the best article I have read in GWRX in a long time, hands down.

    Excellent analysis!

    • CT Gonza'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''lez

      Apr 13, 2022 at 1:48 pm

      if thats true^, then you are extremely unintelligent… thanks for showing your ignorance yet again Senora Ferna”””””””””””””””””””””””””’ndez!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Rk

    Apr 6, 2022 at 9:52 pm

    Best article on WRX year in and year out

  8. Alex Laflamme

    Apr 6, 2022 at 2:29 pm

    Really interesting process. Thanks for sharing!

  9. reeder

    Apr 6, 2022 at 12:34 pm

    Interesting article describing how you narrowed down your list to a final 22/10. I would agree with many of your picks. Thanks for compiling the list and writing the article.

  10. Krip

    Apr 6, 2022 at 11:28 am

    Zalatoris was a tough exclusion in my selection. He can’t put.

  11. Not Andrew Eisner

    Apr 6, 2022 at 8:43 am

    Rich, I always enjoy this column. I would love to know YOUR GUY, though. Which guy passes through all the filters and feels like the guy with the best chance to take it home?

  12. William Bryngnäs

    Apr 6, 2022 at 6:55 am

    You filter out ”Low traj players” but then you still end up with Fleetwood, McIntyre, Lowry & Niemann?

  13. Horton

    Apr 5, 2022 at 4:26 pm

    The Masters has only been won once by a first-time attendee: Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979 and Gene Sarazen in the inaugural event

    Horton Smith says you might want to check your facts…..Gene thinks you for the additional major…

    • Adams

      Apr 6, 2022 at 10:17 pm

      Not sure I would trust a Masters researcher who thinks Sarazen won the first masters. Can’t understand why Arnold Palmer isn’t on his short list…

  14. Mark

    Apr 5, 2022 at 1:30 pm

    I’m surprised that Koepka is a top 10 pick for you considering he didn’t make the cut last year. What’s your reasoning behind that pick?

    • Not Rich Hunt

      Apr 5, 2022 at 2:29 pm

      He was hurt last year when he missed the cut.

      • Ron

        Apr 5, 2022 at 4:27 pm

        He’s a **** spouting off movie lines and assaulting people holding phones this year and deserves to miss the cut.

    • Rich Hunt

      Apr 5, 2022 at 5:09 pm

      It was last year. Things change. He passed thru each of the filters easily and has played well in the Masters before.

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Opinion & Analysis

The best bets for the 2023 Scandinavian Mixed



There could hardly be a more distinct difference between two courses holding consecutive events.

Last week, 20-year-old Tom McKibbin pounded his way around the 7500-odd-yards of Green Eagle to break his maiden in impressive fashion, courtesy of this outstanding approach shot to the 72nd hole. Remind you of anyone at that age?

Fast forward not long and the DPWT arrives at Ullna Golf and Country Club for the third renewal of the mixed-gender Scandanavian Mixed.

The welcome initiative sees male and female players on the course at the same time, playing to the same pins. Only movement of the tee boxes distinguishes the challenge, and whilst there is water aplenty at this coastal track, yardages of no more than 7000 and 6500 yards should frighten none of the top lot in each sex.

Genders are one-all at the moment, with Jonathan Caldwell winning the inaugural event thanks to a lacklustre Adrian Otaegui, and the brilliant Linn Grant winning by a country mile last season.

Most will be playing their approach shots from the same distance this week and with neither particularly stretched, this may be the most open of mixed events yet.

Defending champ Linn Grant and fellow home player Madelene Sagstrom look on a different level to the rest of the European ladies this week, but preference is clearly for the 23-year-old winner of eight worldwide events, including her last two in Sweden.

Last season, the Arizona State graduate took a two-shot lead into the final round before an unanswered eight-birdie 64 saw her cross the line nine shots in front of Mark Warren and Henrik Stenson, her nearest female rival being 14 shots behind.

Since that victory, Grant has won two events on the LET, the latest being a warm-up qualifying event for the upcoming Evian Championship, held at the same course and at which she was 8th last year. The Swede is making her mark on the LPGA Tour,

Given the yardage advantage she has off the tee amongst her own sex, the pin-point accuracy of her irons and a no-frills attitude when in contention, this looks no more difficult than last year.  If there is a a market on ‘top female player,’ there may be a long queue.

He’s been expensive to follow for win purposes, but Alexander Bjork is another home player that will revel with the emphasis on accuracy.

There isn’t a awful lot to add to last week’s preview (or indeed the previous week’s) which both highlighted just how well the Swede is playing.

Recommended Bets:

  • Linn Grant
  • Alexander Bjork


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Opinion & Analysis

Winning and the endowment effect



A central concept in behavioral economics is the endowment effect. Coined by Richard Thaler at the University of Chicago, the endowment effect describes how people tend to value items they own more highly than they would if they did not belong to them. So how does this relate to sports, or more specifically, to golf? Let me explain.

Golf is hard. Winning is harder. Golf has created a lure where winning major championships is the hardest of all. The problem is that mathematically a win is a win. This means that valuing wins differently is actually an instance of the application of the endowment effect in golf.

Winning in golf creates an inverse normal distribution where winning can be very hard, then easy, and then very hard again. To win, players must evoke the “hot hand”; this is the idea that success breeds success. In golf, the reality is that birdies come in streaks; players typically enjoy a run of birdies over a couple of holes. The goal for every player is to hold this streak for as long as possible. The longer and more often they are able to do this, the more likely a player is to win.

Another question is, how much do players value wins? At the current moment, up to the PGA Jon Rahm sees winning as easier (or less valuable) with his recent win at the Masters and other early season events to accompany his U.S. Open win from 2021. However, that changed at the PGA, when he opened with a round in the mid-70s. All of a sudden the lure of the trophy distracted Rahm. Likewise, we saw both Corey Conners and Hovland hit extremely rare shots into the face of the bunker on Saturday and Sunday. These are shots that do not happen under distribution. In my opinion, the prestige of a major was at the root of these shots.

To overcome the barrier of becoming a champion, players must first understand that winning is not special. Instead, winning is a result of ample skills being applied in duration with the goal of gaining and holding the hot hand. The barrier for most players with enough skill to win, the endowment effect tells us, is that they overvalue winning. Doing so may prevent them from ever getting the hot hand. So maybe, just maybe, the key to winning more is wanting to win less. Easier said than done when one’s livelihood is on the line, but to overvalue a win at one specific tournament, be it the Masters or the two-day member guest, may be doing more harm than good.

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Opinion & Analysis

The best bets for the 2023 Porsche European Open



Green Eagle hosts the European Open for the sixth consecutive time, missing only the pandemic year of 2020.

Known for its potential to stretch to 7800 yards, this monster course in Hamburg is able to reduce itself to around 7300, a far less insurmountable proposition that allows the non-bombers to make use of their pin-point iron play.

Of the top 16 players last year (top 10 and ties) nine fell into the top 12 for tee-to-green, split into those that made it off-the-tee (six in the top-12) and those from approach play (total of four players). Go back to 2021 and champion Marcus Armitage won the shortened three-round event with a ranking of 40th off-the-tee, whereas four of the remaining top-10 ranked in single figures for the same asset.

It’s a real mix, and whilst I’m definitely on the side of those that hit it a long way, there are more factors at work here, particularly a solid relationship with the Italian Open, as well as events in the Czech Republic and Dubai, weeks that allow drivers to open up a tad.

Last year’s winner Kalle Samooja has a best of 2023 at the Marco Simone Club, a tournament won by Adrian Meronk, and with a top-10 containing the big-hitters Julien Guerrier, Nicolai Hojgaard and Daniel Van Tonder, with Armitage a couple of shots away in ninth place.

Like Armitage, the Finn also boasts a win in China (although at differing courses) where solid driver Sean Crocker (third) carries a link between the Czech Masters, being runner-up to Johannes Veerman (10th here, eighth Italy), and another bomber Tapio Pulkkanen, whose best effort this year has been at the Ryder Cup venue to be.

Of the 35-year-old Englishman, his only other victory came in the 2018 Foshan Open, where his nearest victims included Alexander Knappe, Mattieu Pavan and Ryan Fox, all constantly there in the lists for top driving, with Bernd Ritthammer (tied runner-up here 2019) in ninth place.

Amidst plenty of Crans and Alfred Dunhill form on various cards, 2022 Italian Open winner Robert Macintyre was the second of three that tied in second place here behind the classy Paul Casey in 2019, as well as tying with Matthias Schwab at Olgiata, Italy, in the same year.

The Austrian, now plying his trade on the other side of the pond, also brings in the third of three players that ran up here, a seventh place at Green Eagle, two top-10 finishes at Albatross and top finishes at the Dubai Desert Classic and China.

Current favourites Victor Perez and Rasmus Hojgaard both disappointed last week at the Dutch Open, and whilst that occurred in completely differing circumstances, they give nagging doubts to what would otherwise be solid claims on class alone.

The Frenchman hadn’t recovered from a week away at Oak Hill when missing the cut, but probably should have won here last year when eventually third, and his ball-striking doesn’t quite have the same sound at the moment. On the other side, the Dane star again had a chance to prove best last week, but for the fourth time in nine months, failed to go through with his effort after entering Sunday in the final two groups.

If wanting a player to link up all the chosen comp tracks, then Jordan Smith would be the selection, even at 20/1 or thereabouts. However, having been safely in the draw for the weekend after 12 holes of his second round at Bernardus, the 2017 Green Eagle champ completely lost control of his tee-to-green game, dropping nine shots in his last seven holes. The 30-year-old is made for this place, as his two further top-11 finishes indicate, but last week’s effort needs a large bunker of forgiveness and I’ll instead nail my colours (again) to Alexander Bjork, the man that beat Smith in China in 2018.

I was with the Swede last week based on crossover form, and this week he makes similar appeal being able to back up that Asian form with top finishes in Dubai, Abu Dhabi (see Casey) and Crans (Armitage and shock winner of this event Richard McEvoy). Of that sole victory at Topwin, it has to be of interest that former China Open specialist Alex Levy won the last running of the European Open at Bad Griesbach before finishing second and 13th here, whilst impossible-to-read HaoTong Li, the 2016 Topwin champ, was 18th on his only try around the monster that is Green Eagle.

Last week’s top-30 made it 10 cuts in a row for 2023, with some impressive displays through this first half of the year, including top-20 in Dubai, second in Ras and back-to-back fourth placings at both the Soudal and Italian Opens.

The 32-year-old ranks fifth for overall performance over the last 12 weeks comprising 32nd in total driving, 24th for ball-striking and 12th for putting. He is exploiting his excellent tee-to-green game, and now ranking in third for scrambling, remains one of the rare players that can recover well when missing their target – although at 19th for greens-in-regulation, this isn’t that often.

Bjork has made all four cuts here, with his last three finishes in the mid-20s, but is in probably the best form of his life. With doubts surrounding many of the rivals at the top, his constant barraging of the short stuff should see him challenging over the weekend.

Home favourite Yannik Paul has been well backed from a far-too-big early price, and there is a case for making him still value at 30+, but Jorge Campillo needs forgiving for an awful display from the front last weekend, even if that was an outlier to his otherwise excellent run, that includes a victory and top-10 in Italy.

There seem to be an awful lot of doubts about the top lot in the market (save a mere handful) so take a trip downtown and try nabbing a bit of value prices that will pay nicely should they nab a place.

Whilst Gavin Green would seem to be an obvious place to go, he sits in the range between 50/1 and 100/1,  full of untapped talent and players, that have least not had too many chances to put their head in front.

Jordan Smith won on debut here, so it’s not impossible, and whilst Jeong Weon Ko may need another year or two to reach his peak, he is one that appeals as a ‘watch’ for the rest of 2023.

The French-born Korean dominated his home junior scene before taking his time through the Alps and Challenge Tours, eventually settling in during the second half of 2022. From July to September, Ko played 14 times, recording four top five finishes, two further top-10s and a pair of top-20s, those results including a fourth place finish at the Challenge Tour finale.

His rookie season at this level started well with a 30th and fourth place in Africa, and he has since progressed steadily as the DPWT ramped it up a level.

Top-20 finishes in Korea, India and Belgium, where he was in second place at halfway, suggest he should soon be competing on a Sunday, whilst in-between those, a third-round 67 was enough to launch him to inside the top 10 at St. Francis Links.

On the 12-week tracker, Ko ranks 12th with positions inside the top-30 for all the relevant stats.

15th for distance, 25th for greens, and top-10 for par-5s, he has a bit of Green about him but without the question marks. Whilst he hasn’t won on the professional stage, his second to bomber Daniel Hillier at the Swiss Challenge reads nicely, as does his top-15 at the Di-Data in 2021 when surrounded by longer hitters, and he appears to be of the quality that will leave these results behind in time.

Hillier himself can be fancied, especially after last week’s fifth at the Dutch Open, but I’ll go with the man that beat him by a single shot last week in the shape of Deon Germishuys.

The DPWT rookie has already had a season to remember, leading home fellow South African Wilco Nienaber at U.S Open qualifying at Walton Heath at the beginning of May, and securing his ticket to his first major.

Interestingly, two of the other five qualifying spots were won by Alejandro Del Rey and Matthieu Pavon, all four names being some of the longest drivers on the tour.

That may well have been the boost that pushed the 23-year-old to record his best effort on the DPWT so far, his third at the Dutch Open marking another step up from the 15th in Belgium just two weeks previous, and a top-10 in Japan when just behind Macintyre, Paul, Smith and Campillo.

In what is a fledgling career, this event starts just a few days after the anniversary of his first victory on his home Sunshine Tour where he beat some of the country’s longest hitters to the biggest prize for a non co-sanctioned tournament, before nabbing his DPWT card via a 20th place ranking at the end of the Challenge Tour season.

The three mentioned top-15 finishes have all appeared on his card since the beginning of April, and this rapidly-improving player now has last weekend’s finish fresh in the mind, finishing in front of Meronk et al, despite not being able to buy a putt on Sunday.

A lot of what Deon is doing on the course reminds me of compatriot Dean Burmester, who had a terrific record at the Di-Data at Farncourt, something being repeated by the younger man (20th and 7th). Now signed by LIV, Burmy also had a solid record at Albatross and in Italy, where a best of fifth place should have been higher at the bizarre Chervo track, biased towards long-hitters but won by a demon putter instead.

I’m tempted by the names Tom Mckibbin, nowhere near a finished article and keen to attack this course, flusher Dan Bradbury, and bomber Marcus Helligkilde (still not convinced he is absolutely one-hundred percent), but they may only make the top-10/20 bets.

Kalle Samooja should go well in his bid to defend his crown, but I’m taking fellow Finn Tapio Pulkkanen to improve on his 18th here last year with the chance to again make his length count.

Having won both the Nordic League (2015) and the Challenge Tour Order of Merit (2017), the be-hatted one was always going to be a player to look out for and, in truth, it hasn’t really happened.

However, his case lies with the best of his efforts, all of which combine to believe that should organisers stretch this course to over 7500-yards at any point, then he is one of a few that could handle the layout.

Silver and bronze at the Czech Masters, Pulkkanen thrived on the open layout of the Dunhill Links, finishing top-10 twice since 2019.  Add those to a second (Hainan) and 14th in China, top-20 finishes in Dubai and Himmerland, as well as good finishes at the classier BMW at Wentworth and he just needs to show something to make appeal at one of only half-a-dozen tracks that he could be fancied around.

The 33-year-old led in Chervo in 2019 before showing he enjoys Italy with his best-of-the-season 16th at the Marco Simone at the beginning of May, where he should have done better, having been in the top five for all the first three rounds.

By no means one to place maximum faith in, he is similar to the likes of Veerman and Joakim Lagergren in that they suit certain types of tracks, and they are the only ones they could be backed at. This one, Green Eagle, together with Pulkkanen, seems like one of those times.

Recommended Bets:

  • Alexander Bjork 
  • Dean Germishuys 
  • JW Ko 
  • Tapio Pulkkanen 
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