The end of Ryder Cup qualifying will dominate the agenda as the European Tour makes its annual trip to Denmark this week, Phil Casey writes.
And with the corresponding PGA Tour event not counting, the battle for the final automatic place on Thomas Bjorn’s team comes down to his fellow Dane Thorbjorn Olesen and the English pair of Eddie Pepperell and Matt Fitzpatrick.
Pepperell and Fitzpatrick need to win to have a chance of overhauling Olesen, who could seal the deal with a top-six finish and is an 8/1 favourite to win the Made in Denmark title at Silkeborg Golf Club, the home course of European captain Bjorn.
Olesen has certainly been in excellent form recently but Fitzpatrick is available at twice the price and he is our first selection in the each-way market at 16/1.
Fitzpatrick started the year with a tie for third in Abu Dhabi and has surprisingly recorded just one top 10 since, but his form has been mediocre rather than horrendous and it should be remembered that the former US Amateur champion is a four-time European Tour winner at the age of 23.
The tree-lined, woodland course should be right up Fitzpatrick’s street and he comes into the week on the back of an encouraging performance in the Wyndham Championship, where he followed an opening 70 with rounds of 67, 65 and 68.
Sticking with players from Sheffield, our second selection is former Masters champion Danny Willett, whose injury problems and loss of form thankfully appear to be disappearing in the rear-view mirror.
Willett was outside the world’s top 450 earlier this season and although his current ranking of 282 is a long way from his career-high of ninth, it does indicate the strides he has made recently, which include a tie for sixth in the Irish Open and a top-25 finish in the Open at Carnoustie.
The 30-year-old looks on the verge of piecing everything back together and this kind of low-key event could be ideal. Willett can be backed in the each-way market at 30/1.
Regular readers will know that Adrian Otaegui has provided us with two wins and with accuracy set to be more important than length this week, the consistent Spaniard is worth chancing again.
Otaegui’s last start in the US PGA saw him do well to make the cut on his major championship debut after an opening 73 at Bellerive and odds of 55/1 in the each-way market are appealing at a venue which should suit.
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