The new PGA Tour season may be a week away but a number of top US golfers are in Germany for The European Open, starting Thursday.
Alongside the likes of Patrick Reed and Matt Kuchar, looking for some form, are many European stars who will be familiar to American golf fans and they all combine to form a strong field.
The Green Eagles Golf Course in Hamburg is the setting, so let’s see if we can find some winning wagers with our European Open preview and predictions.
Two recognizable stars from the PGA Tour lead the way with many USA-facing bookies unable to separate Xander Schauffele (+600 or 6/1 with Bovada) and Paul Casey (+700). Schauffele won twice on Tour last season with victory in the WGC-HSBC and the Sentry Tournament of Champions while his last outing produced a solo second in the Tour Championship.
As for Casey, his recent form is similar and he pulled off a successful defense of the Valspar Championship in March. Neither man has won this event but their recent records justify their positions at the top of the European Open golf betting odds market for outright winner.
Behind the top two are the other leading US contenders. The 2018 US Masters Champion Patrick Reed (+800) has been a frequent visitor to Europe and he comes to Hamburg following a recent victory in the Northern Trust.
Matt Kuchar (14/1) was the form golfer for much of last season but a late dip has seen him move out to a tempting price in the outright betting. Kuch claimed two tournament wins – his first for over four years – and a good record in Europe includes a second place in the Open Championship in 2017.
We now get into the best of Europe’s golfers and these include Thomas Pieters (14/1), Rory Sabbatini (25/1) and Bernd Wiesberger (25/1). Of those three names, Rory Sabbatini will be familiar to US golf fans. He is a regular competitor on the west side of the Atlantic but since taking a tie for sixth in the Wyndham Championship, there has been a slump in form that continued with a tied 63rd in Switzerland on Sunday.
A better option could be Wiesberger who, historically, has been a regular name at the top of European leaderboards. The Austrian has six Tour wins on his home continent including two victories last season and we think he is a hot contender.
England’s Richard McEvoy is the defending champion but the 40-year-old is given little hope of success by the sportsbooks at 200/1. McEvoy will be an unfamiliar face for US golf fans and that is because last year’s victory at Green Eagle was his only success to date.
We should also move on from McEvoy and consider another former European Open Champion in Alexander Levy (33/1). The Frenchman won here in 2016 before losing out in a playoff to Jordan Smith the following year so clearly he has a strong record to take into account. Englishman Ross Fisher (66/1) also has a good record in this event and is a threat in most European tournaments while Alexander Bjork (40/1) is another name of interest.
Outsiders do frequently come through in Europe with unfancied Swede Sebastian Soderberg taking the European Masters on Sunday but we suspect we have already mentioned the name of the 2019 winner.
Our Preview’s European Open Course & Betting Trends with Predictions & Picks Verdict
This tournament is back at the Porsche Nord Course at Green Eagle for the third year in succession. The European Open has been played in four different countries since its inception in 1978 but Germany has been host to the event since 2015.
The course is a par 72 but it has some serious distance at 7831 yards so power off the tee can be a definite advantage. That theory is backed up by stats from recent years and with fairly wide fairways in play, most golfers will take the driver with little fear.
Driving has to be backed up by GIR and putting on greens which have traditionally held the highest slope rating on Tour. It could therefore be a battle with the driver and the flatstick with not much in between.
Taking all of that into account, this European Open preview is backing Matt Kuchar to succeed. He is not a big boomer from the tee but he will have enough distance and if his putting is back to 2018/19 form, he can deliver at nice odds with which to kick off a new campaign. So these are our predictions and picks: