The British Masters Preview & Tips by @RH_G0LF, follow on the links below
After a stunning week at PGA Catalunya where Adri Arenas finally became a DP World tour winner it’s time to move to the UK & the Midlands for the British Masters. Firstly, a quick recap on last week on tour, not much luck for me with Howie not starting setting me up for a bad week. Just Haotong Li making the cut & he never got going after a good first round. Adri Arnaus beating Oliver Bekker on the 6th hole of the playoff at a pre-event price of 40-1.
Onto this week & it’s the return of the British Masters at the Belfry for the 2nd year running. The Brabazon course will take centre stage being the showcase course the Belfry has to offer. It has hosted the Ryder cup four times in 1985,89,93 & 2002 & also various stroke play events throughout the years most recently in 2020 with the ISPS Handa UK Championship which Rasmus Hojgaard won. Richard Bland will defend after the fairy-tale of last year winning in the playoff against Guido Migliozzi for his 1st DP World Tour victory & fittingly, he will make his 500th start this week. 156 Players will compete for a £1.85 million purse & 3500 DP world points which is more than the usual 2000 or 2750 that are available at non Major,WGC & Rolex events.
This week is one of the only courses on tour I’ve actually played before. A stunning & hard test of golf especially when the pins get tucked around the bunkers & on the blind spots over mounds. I walked the course 3 weeks ago for the Robert Rock Junior Masters as Caddy & the course was in fantastic shape then. I played parallel to a few holes on the Brabazon on Friday when I teed it up on the Derby course & it looks stunning. The course as expected looks tournament ready with tightly cut fairways, lush rough & from watching a few players on the 2nd the green they are quick. The course measures 7328 yards & will play as a par 72 made up of three par 3s measuring between 177 & 226, twelve par 4s measuring between 319 & 497yards & three par 5s measuring between 538 & 566 yards. Nine of the holes have water in play so plenty of places to rack up some big numbers but also plenty of risk & reward opportunities especially the Par 5 3rd & of course the Iconic 10th hole, who will have the onions to go for it off the tee & who will play it safe with a layup. Along with the water there are 72 bunkers to stay out of & plenty of tree lined fairways. A truly great test of golf.
The weather forecast is set to be fairly warm by British standards averaging out at 17degrees for the 4 days. Players will want to get a good score in on the Thursday as Friday looks to be the worst day weather wise with rain showers forecast throughout the day. The rest of the week looks to be almost ideal playing conditions with high teen temperatures & relatively low winds never getting above 10mph.
Previous British Masters Course Winners & Stats
2021 Richard Bland -13 Winner in a Playoff 140-1
Driving accuracy 1st
SG – Off the Tee 31st
Green in Regulation 3rd
SG – Approach to Green 3rd
SG – Tee to Green 1st
SG – Around the green 61st
SG – Putting 87th
2020 – Rasmus Hojgaard -14 14-1
No Stats available.
RH_G0LF Selections for The British Masters
Adrian comes into this week in fine form with five top 8 finishes in ten starts with no miss cuts in this period apart from a withdrawal in Abu Dhabi. He has had back-to-back 3rd place finishes at the Qatar masters & Catalunya championship, so I fully expect him to go well again this week at a venue where he finished 3rd last year. Last week he ranked 1st in bogey avoidance with just 1.5 average a round which will be key this week to keeping a good score. He was also ranked 3rd & 4th for par 3 & 4 scoring on the week & was under par for the par 5s. The 28-year-old approach game was also statistically in a great place, he was 19th SG approach to green & 7th SG tee to green, even the putting stats were all in the top part of the field (20th SG putting) He will be desperate to get his 1st win on the DP World tour before Turing 29 at the end of the month, it would be a great early birthday present to himself to get the job done this week.
The 2016 Masters Champion & host this week will be looking to maintain his form he has picked up in recent weeks, a top 12 at the Masters a few weeks ago showed his game is in a good place. Hosts don’t normally do well this week because of having much more to do in the week than just golf with all the additional media duties, however last year showed that didn’t affect Willet when he finished 11th. He has played predominantly on the PGA TOUR this year without much success but has only missed one cut so picking up the cheques each week. His best finish this year was his 12th place finish at the masters. His remaining PGA TOUR finishes average out at around 43rd place. This week I’m hoping he can rely on previous experience as he did & Augusta to put in solid performance for the week.
Going with Haotong again this week. He was my only selection to make the cut last week finishing 26th. Li has played here twice before finishing 31st in 2020 & MC last year but we all know about his struggles last season. Last week’s stats show his game is looking much improved to last year, he was 13th SG off the tee, 24th greens in regulation with 72% & 36th SG putting. If he can put everything together for four rounds, I feel he has a great chance of going well this week. Li is still winless since 2018 but three top 10s & only two missed cuts in 9 starts certainly show his performances are improving & will only inject confidence into his game.
Richard ranked 1st for SG off the tee last week with his incredible driving distance averaging 336 but only hitting 48% of fairways, however he wasn’t that far off target as he ranked 1st for Green in regulation with 80.55% so he wasn’t really in much trouble after his tee shots. With his power he can take advantage of quite a few holes this week but considerably shortening holes compared to others who average 50 yards less than him off the tee. Mansell finished 57th last year after to great opening rounds of 69 & 71 but came unstuck at the weekend shooting 73 & 75. In the year since then he has won on the minor tour in the States & has gone through wrist surgery. In his two latest starts he has finished 30th & 26th so plenty of positives to take into this week for him.
Odds correct as of 12:15 Monday 2nd May
Good Luck RH_G0LF