European Tour Golf Course Primer: D+D REAL Czech Masters
This week, the European Tour schedule picks back up after a layoff with the D+D REAL Czech Masters.
The field comprises 155 golfers, headlined by Eddie Pepperell (41st in the Official World Golf Rankings) and Bernd Wiesberger (42nd) as the best golfers by the OWGR. In all, just seven golfers in the field are ranked inside the world's top 100.
The field may lack star power, but that doesn't mean there aren't betting angles to take advantage of based on the course makeup at Albatross Golf Resort.
Course and Tournament Info
This is a resort course, and it plays like most resort courses, meaning we will see lots of birdies. The winning scores have ranged from -13 to -22 over the five-year history of this event.
There isn’t a lot of trouble if you miss fairways, with the first cut of rough being fairly short and with minimal tree lining. There is some longer fescue-type rough if you are very far off line, though it’s not super thick or heavy.
The green complexes are fairly large with minimal to average undulation. There is a fair amount of water on the course, and that is where you’ll see the big numbers this week. There haven’t been any major alterations made since last year, so we can expect it to play similarly this time around.
Par 3 16th: At only 168 yards on the card, this mid-length par 3 should never be more than about a 7 iron for most of the players. But the green is essentially a peninsula with water surrounding it short, long, and left. The green is fairly large, so depending on pin placement, the players could be hitting a few different clubs here over the course of the tournament, and there are some pockets to this green that make it so that a green in regulation won’t be an automatic two-putt par.
Last year, this hole had seven double bogeys for the week, while no other hole had more than two. Even with all those doubles, it ended up playing as only the sixth-toughest hole of the week, however. Big numbers are lurking, but good shots will be rewarded.
Strokes Gained: Approach: While green-in-regulation percentage could be a good stat to use at a second-shot course such as this one, I’d lean toward strokes gained: approach, as these greens are on the bigger side and the greens in regulation percentages were fairly high last year. Per the European Tour site, eventual champion Andrea Pavan finished 2nd in strokes gained: approach for the season, and top-10 finisher Eddie Pepperell was 3rd in approach on the season.
Par 5 Scoring: Last year, both Pavan and runner-up Padraig Harrington went -11 on par 5s for the week, and third-place finisher Gavin Green was -10. The par 5s at the Albatross Golf Resort are holes 1, 9, 10, and 12, and each of these holes played at least 0.3 strokes under par last year.
The first hole is the most gettable at only 538 yards on the card. There is water in front, so a poor drive may force players to lay-up, but most drives in good position will lead to players going for the green in two. With it being such an easy opening hole, players will feel like they’ve lost a stroke if they walk away with a 5 on the first.
The 9th hole is a behemoth and players will not be able to get there in two. It is listed at 639 yards, and there is a large pond right in front of the green. The 10th is gettable in two, though it's definitely an advantage for the longer hitters at just a tick over 600 yards.
The 12th is like a shorter version of the 9th with water short, but we can still expect players to go for the green in two here. It’s a solid risk-reward hole -- last year there were 3 eagles on 12 (tied for most of the par 5s) and 7 bogey-or-worse (most of the par 5s). The 12th could be a big swing hole coming down the stretch on Sunday.
This tournament is relatively new, so there isn't a lot of data to look at in regards to course history, but there are two premier players who stand out: Thomas Pieters and Pepperell.
Both have played every year of this event since its inception, with one missed cut and three top-10 showings for each. Pieters stands above Pepperell a bit with a win and runner-up, but Eddie's course history is nothing to sneeze at, and this very well could be his year. Lee Slattery and Tom Lewis are a couple deeper course history standouts, both of them having top-10 finishes here each of the last two years.
1. Bernd Wiesberger (+900 on FanDuel Sportsbook)
2. Ernie Els (+12000)
3. Lee Westwood (+1400)
4. Julian Suri (+2700)
5. Padraig Harrington (+5000)
6. Thomas Pieters (+1600)
7. Erik Van Rooyen (+1400)
8. Andrew Johnston (+6500)
9. Robert Macintyre (+2200)
10. Eddie Pepperell (+1100)