British Masters Betting Tips & Preview – Thursday 11th October 2018

For many golf fans this is the best part of the European Tour season. After the European Ryder Cup team were victorious at Le Golf National, last week took in three of the very best links golf courses in Scotland. We still have the big season ending events on the Race to Dubai to come and the top class action continues on Thursday with the British Masters.

Ever since the British Masters was relaunched with the support of Sky Sports the event has been hosted by a big name from British golf. Justin Rose joins Ian Poulter, Luke Donald and Lee Westwood by hosting this week’s tournament at Walton Heath. Rose would become world number one once again with a win this week but will undoubtedly be burdened with everything that comes with hosting. Lee Westwood, by contrast, comes into the week under the radar. Westwood’s game is a very good fit for Walton Heath and after playing an important role as Ryder Cup vice-captain he can prove that he can still mix it with the best in Europe by winning at a tasty 45/1 with bet365.

Top Tips

Lee Westwood each way @ 45/1

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

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Course Info

The Old Course at Walton Heath hasn’t been seen on the European Tour since 1991 but it has fulfilled an important function for European golfers over that time as one of the qualifying venues for the U.S. Open. That should tell you something about the size of the challenge posed by this demanding heathland course.

Walton Heath is set in a popular part of Surrey for golf courses but unlike many of its famous neighbours with their immaculate, tree lined fairways, the Old Course is much more open to the elements. In fact, with thick heather waiting to eat up any tee shot that strays too far off line, Walton Heath feels like a links course.

It’s also a relatively long course at 7,394 yards. There are only three par threes and three par fives so par four scoring will clearly be vital. In terms of the skills required though, it’s all about avoiding the worst of the rough off the tee and then finding the right part of the larger than average greens as it’s very tough to get down in two putts from long range on the Old Course.

CourseLocationLengthPrize Money
Walton Heath Golf Club Surrey, England 7,394 Yards £3,000,000

Recent Winners

This is the fourth edition of the British Masters since it was brought back to life by the European Tour and Sky Sports. The hosts of each tournament have been high class and you can say the same thing about the winners even if Paul Dunne (66/1), Alex Noren (18/1) and Matthew Fitzpatrick (33/1) weren’t quite among the favourites with the bookies. The other thing that all three had in common was they were playing good golf. Dunne and Fitzpatrick had both challenged before winning what was their maiden European Tour title while the British Masters was one of four wins for Noren in 2016.

YearWinnerCourseTo ParWinning Margin
2017 Paul Dunne Close House -20 3 Strokes
2016 Alex Noren The Grove -18 2 Strokes
2015 Matthew Fitzpatrick Woburn Golf & Country Club -18 2 Strokes

Analysis: Links Form and Those With Something to Prove Should Be Followed

Course form for top level European Tour players at Walton Heath is rather scant. U.S. Open Qualifying and the Senior Tour events held at this fantastic course make it clear that players’ chances of scoring well rest with playing out of the fairways. The rough is particularly penal and although the greens are big it can be tough to hold them with approach shots from the thick stuff. Putting well is important but it’s preferable to back a top class ball striker than a top class putter as proximity to the hole is vital with approach shots.

Westwood Ready to Plod His Way to Success

Lee Westwood is in a very good place at the moment. If you follow his Instagram account you’ll see that he’s a man who works very hard on his fitness and golf game but isn’t afraid to take time off and enjoy himself. That balance could be the recipe to something of an Indian summer in an already hugely successful professional career.

Westwood is tied eighth on the list of most European Tour wins with 23. As well as knowing exactly what it takes to win, the 45-year-old is playing some very good stuff. He’s not missed a cut in his last 12 events (he did withdraw from the Open de France) and lost in a playoff in the Made In Denmark just a few weeks ago. That strong recent form is good news for his chances at Walton Heath as is his world class driving ability and iron play which is as good as ever. His putting will be the main concern once again but if he can keep pace in that regard by hitting his approach shots close to the hole, Westwood could well win at a tasty 45/1 with bet365.

Wood Worth Chancing Again

Chris Wood was rather disappointing at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship last week. One missed cut, especially in a tournament that’s unique in format, is nothing to be overly worried about though and Wood should be able to get back to his best at Walton Heath.

The Englishman has made his money in golf by focusing on his excellent ball striking. Although he’s working hard on changes to his golf swing he is still able to flush the ball in the heat of competition and his approach play will be better than most this week. Providing he can stay out of trouble off the tee, avoid bogeys and take his birdie chances, Wood can certainly challenge at odds of 33/1 with Ladbrokes.

Final Verdict: Lee Westwood to Win

Westwood and Wood are both very well placed for an assault on the British Masters title at Walton Heath. They both know the layout, have the quality off the tee to avoid trouble and are known for their excellent ball striking which should ensure their approach shots get closer to the hole than most. If they can hole their fair share of putts they’ll both be in contention come Sunday but preference goes to Westwood who is playing some very good stuff of late and is ready to win again after coming so close in Denmark.

About

The British Masters has been about since 1946 and joined the European Tour back in 1972. It's been played each year since, apart from in 1982 and then again between 2009 and 2014. The current purse is that of £3million, which makes it another of the more lucrative events and often includes several of the top 50 players in the world who are eligible the for the event.

The return of the British Masters in 2015 was huge for the tournament and it revolutionised how it was played. Sky Sports were brought in to offer extended coverage, including practice days and exclusive behind the scenes footage of players on the driving range, along with golf clinics from the professionals.

As part of the return, the British Masters has been able to include a host. The first tournament back in 2015 at Woburn Golf club was hosted by Ian Poulter, with Luke Donald a year later at The Grove and then Lee Westwood the following year at Close House. It's been this sort of coverage that has seen the crowds flock to the tournament and a huge increase in ticket sales has come as a result.

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