The fifth edition of The Czech Masters takes place at the Albatross Golf Resort near Prague, which has hosted this event since the inaugural tournament in 2014. The event’s future as a European Tour event has been secured until at least 2023, although with one of the smallest prize funds on the schedule it does struggle to attract the biggest stars – Danny Willett, the 2016 Masters champion, Lee Westwood and two-time major winner Jon Daly are the leading names teeing it up this week. The defending champion is the South African Haydn Porteous, who won by two shots last year, while the other previous winners are Paul Peterson, Jamie Donaldson and Thomas Pieters. The 7,467-yard, par 72 course features narrow fairways and small targets with the occasional water hazard thrown in – the par four 18th has water on either side of the fairway and protecting the front of the green.
The Czech Masters Favourites
Pieters has finished in a tie for sixth place on two of his last three starts, including at the PGA Championship, and he has a great record here so he’s the obvious choice to lead the betting. The Belgian world number 58, who won this event in 2015 and was runner-up a year later, is a best price of 7/1* with Betfred, with Eddie Pepperell next in the market at 18/1* with Ladbrokes and Coral. The Englishman, who won the Qatar Masters earlier in the season, was fifth on his first appearance in Prague in 2014. England’s Matt Wallace has won twice in 2018 and is at 22/1* with most firms, while Willett can be backed at 25/1* with Betfred. Most bookmakers price both Westwood and Dean Burmester at 28/1*, with other leading players including Andrew Johnston, Lucas Herbert and Soren Kjeldsen.
The Czech Masters Tips
It’s a long time since Tom Lewis was touted as one of European golf’s brightest prospects and sadly his career has never hit the heights that were predicted following his victory at the Portugal Masters in 2011. He’s spent much of the subsequent seven years scrambling for some sort of form, but he was third here last year and has shown up well in recent weeks, suggesting he can go close again. A couple of recent top 10s on the Challenge Tour preceded a solid performance at last week’s Nordea Masters and in a weak field, he’s a good each-way prospect at 55/1 with Paddy Power.
Lucas Herbert is one of Australian golf’s rising stars and he claimed his third top-five finish of the year on the European Tour when he was fifth at last week’s Nordea Masters, adding to a couple of third places at the World Super 6 and the Sicilian Open. He enjoyed a string of top 10s on his home tour last year and is heading towards the world’s top 100. Ladbrokes, Paddy Power, Coral and Betfred are all offering him at 33/1*.
Lee Slattery was second at this tournament last year and having finished in 10th place at the Nordea Masters he will return to Prague with his confidence boosted. He hasn’t been in particularly great form in 2018 but it was the same story last year when he broke a sequence of missed cuts in the weeks before his trip to the Czech Republic. Bet365, Paddy Power and Betfred are all offering him at best odds of 45/1*.