The European Tour heads to Sweden this week for the Nordea Masters at the spectacular Bro Hof Slott Golf Club in Stockholm.
A number of the European Tour’s best players will be in the field this week, and many have made the trip from Wentworth after the BMW PGA Championship.
Among those taking part in the Nordea Masters are four-time European Tour champion and last week’s victor Matteo Manassero, Paul Casey, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Francesco Molinari, Alex Noren and Peter Hanson.
Lee Westwood, though, has elected to play in the PGA Tour’s Memorial Tournament instead of coming back to the defend his Nordea Masters title.
The tournament will take place at the impressive Bro Hof Slott, a Robert Trent Jones Jnr design that opened for play in 2007.
It’s a long, water-laden track that’s currently ranked as Sweden’s number one golf course.
At more than 7,600 yards, it’s one of the longest tracks on the European Tour circuit, but, as Lee Westwood proved last year, there are opportunities for birdies if you keep you ball in play.
Matteo Manassero, at 16/1 with Ladbrokes, simply can’t be ignored as such a price. He played near-flawless golf last week at the BMW PGA Championship, and there doesn’t seem to be any discernible weakness in his game. He’s also put on a significant amount of yardage off the tee in recent times, which will help him on a long golf course. The young Italian is hungry, confident and he’ll be in great spirits after securing his place at the US Open and Open.
I’m expecting Mikko Ilonen, at 33/1 with Ladbrokes, to put in a strong showing in his native Scandinavia this week. The Fin played some fine golf at last week’s BMW PGA Championship and boasts two second-place finishes in his last four European Tour starts. He’s one of the longer hitters on tour and he currently ranks fifth in Putts Per G.I.R. and 10th in Putts Per Round. He’s also a past winner of the Nordea Masters.
Marc Warren, at 50/1 with Ladbrokes, is extremely well priced this week. The Scot is a streaky player, and he’ll be looking to build on a strong showing at the BMW PGA Championship, where he lost out in a three-man play-off. Warren also threw away the Open de Espana last month and, whilst there are doubts about his temperament, there can be no concerns over his form. Like Ilonen, he’s also a past winner of the Nordea Masters (2006).
Paul Casey, also at 50/1 with Ladbrokes, is well overdue a victory. The Englishman notched a top 10 at the Volvo China Open and, despite missing the cut at Wentworth last week, he played some good golf before a calamitous few holes on Friday. Encouragingly, though, he finished in second place at Walton Heath on Monday to qualify for the US Open, and said after the round he ‘played lovely golf.’
Simon Khan, at 100/1 with Ladbrokes, also seems generously priced. The Englishman lost out to Manassero’s brilliance in a play-off last week and led the field at US Open qualifying the following day. Granted, fatigue is a concern, but there can be no doubts as to his form and confidence heading into the Nordea Masters.
Nordea Masters advised bets:
3pts each way on Matteo Manassero at 16/1 with Ladbrokes
2pts each way on Mikko Ilonen at 33/1 with Ladbrokes
2pts each way on Marc Warren at 50/1 with Ladbrokes
2pts each way on Paul Casey at 50/1 with Ladbrokes
1pts each way on Simon Khan at 100/1 with Ladbrokes