The Sky Sports British Masters returned to the European Tour schedule in 2015. Each year a prominent player is invited to host the event. This year it is the turn of Justin Rose, who has selected the Old Course at the Walton Heath Golf Club in Surrey to stage this tournament for the first time. A traditional heathland course that stretches to over 7,400 yards, this layout promises to be a thorough test of skill. It has fairways lined with dense scrub, is well bunkered and has large, slick greens.
This event originally disappeared from the calendar after Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano’s 2008 victory at The Belfry. But returned in its new guise at Woburn in 2015, where Matthew Fitzpatrick was the winner. Alex Noren won at The Grove in 2016. The defending champion is Ireland’s Paul Dunne, whose victory last year came at Close House in Northumberland.
The British Masters Favourites
The betting is dominated by stars of Europe’s recent Ryder Cup victory over the United States. It is headed by the host, with Rose a 7/1* chance across the board. Open champion Francesco Molinari, who became the first European ever to score five points at Le Golf National, is at 10/1* with Ladbrokes, Paddy Power and Betfred. Tommy Fleetwood accompanied Molinari in the pairing dubbed ‘Moliwood’ over the first two days in Paris. He is also at 10/1* with the majority of bookmakers.
Fitzpatrick can be backed at 25/1* with Ladbrokes, Paddy Power and Betfred. On the same mark as Lucas Bjerregaard, the winner of last week’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. Another of Europe’s successful Ryder Cup team, Thorbjorn Olesen, is a 28/1* chance with Bet365 and William Hill.
The British Masters Tips
It has been some season for Matt Wallace, who moved to a career-high ranking of 53rd in the world after his recent victory at the Made In Denmark event – his third win of 2018. The Englishman was also a winner on the European Tour in Portugal last year, while he won six times on the minor Alps Tour in 2016. As a serial winner, he demands to be taken seriously and the only thing lacking from his game is consistency – he’s missed eight cuts this year and posted only one top 10 outside of his three wins. Once he improves in that department he’ll be among the market leaders. As it is, he looks a value bet at 45/1* with Betfred.
Ryan Fox has been hugely consistent over the past nine months, missing only four cuts in 2018 and posting five top 10 finishes. He’s been playing well over recent months, getting himself into positions to challenge at several events and putting in strong performances at both The Open and the PGA Championship. There’s more to come from the New Zealander, who is a 45/1* chance with Paddy Power.
Lucas Herbert continued his rich vein of form in Scotland at the weekend. He finished in a tie for seventh place at St Andrew’s on Sunday to follow on from his runners-up spot at the Portugal Masters. He also finished in the top five at the Nordea Masters in August. His strong results have taken him to the brink of the world’s top 100 for the first time. He’s at 50/1* with most firms, including Paddy Power who are paying one-fifth odds on eight places this week.
*All odds subject to change.