The Omega European Masters remains one of the favourite stops for players on the European Tour. Crans-sur-Sierre, the picturesque course in the heart of the Swiss Alps, is a huge part of that. The short Par 70 has some breathtaking views and usually makes for a great tournament. Five of the six English members of the European Ryder Cup team are in the field this week and they’re all among the favourites.
Accuracy has often been important at the Crans-Montana course but not always. The one constant at Crans-sur-Sierre has been the need to hit greens. Any golfer that doesn’t hit their fair share of greens will struggle to contend. Norén, Bjørn and Ramsay all ranked 1st in GIR on their way to winning and Willett, Lipsky and Jiménez were all 2nd.
David Lipsky and Bradley Dredge both make a lot of sense near the top of the market. Both have won the event before and are arriving off a strong performance in Denmark. Richie Ramsay is the only other player that makes appeal near the top. Also a winner at Crans-sur-Sierre, Ramsay has a great record at the course and is playing fairly well right now.
I considered Y.E. Yang, Edoardo Molinari and Oliver Wilson at big prices but had enough questions to leave them out. All three have plummeted down the World Rankings but have good form at the course and have played well recently.
Ultimately, I decided to get behind two players that hit a lot of greens and are available at three figure prices. First up is 2009 Open Champion, Stewart Cink, at 125/1. The 43-year-old hasn’t won a proper event since becoming a major winner but he is still very capable. A T14 in his last start is promising but it’s his rank of 2nd in GIR on the PGA Tour that has me interested. Cink’s last Top 10 came in Europe when he came and played the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship last year. It’s his first start at the course but I’m confident that he can perform at Crans-sur-Sierre.
Also at 125/1, I really like the chances of Benjamin Hebert. The Frenchman ranks 8th on the European Tour in GIR but he is the highest ranked player that has played more than twenty-five rounds. The 29-year-old has never won on the European Tour but is a six-time winner on the Challenge Tour. Two of those wins came in Switzerland and importantly, one of them came at the Rolex Trophy. That event was the only professional tournament that Alex Norén had won before winning the Omega European Masters in 2009.
I’ll be watching Bryson DeChambeau closely but I couldn’t justify backing him at around 50/1. The only other player that I looked at that I haven’t already mentioned was Paul Peterson. The American won on Tour two weeks ago and played the weekend in Denmark. It wouldn’t surprise me if there was a little bit too much pressure on him last week being the most recent winner on Tour. That has been removed now and he’s free to play his game.