The European Tour takes golf’s center stage with the Porsche European Open, as the PGA Tour starts the season next week…
Another week of European Tour golf without the competition of the PGA Tour (they start the 2019-2020 season next week). We head from the Swiss Alps to Germany for the star-studded Porsche European Open. Last week, we had Rory McIlroy leading the way; this week, we get Xander Schauffele, Paul Casey, Patrick Reed and Matt Kuchar amongst the rest of the Euro Tour regulars competing for this week’s trophy.
One thing that’s important to note is this event had previously been the week following the Open Championship so course conditions might be a bit less penal this week as we head to the cooler season in Germany. Green Eagle Golf has hosted the event the past few years, so we have some course history to go off of, which is nice.
The North course is a parkland style course with plenty of room off the tee so there shouldn’t be a concern with hitting fairways this week. The course can play up to a Par 73 at 7,800 yards, but they’ll be playing it as a Par 72 at just over 7,500 yards. The course’s main line of defense is the bunkering around the green complexes, and the body of water lining the 17th hole. I’d expect the winning score to be around 15-under with the calendar change and the bump in talent making its way to take advantage of some nice BMW, Mercedes and Porsche sponsorships.
- Green Eagle Golf Course
- Par: 72
- Yardage: 7,500 yards
- Greens: Bentgrass
Location: Winsen, Germany
- 2018: Richard McEvoy -11 over Christofer Blomstrand, Renato Paratore & Allen John
- 2017: Jordan Smith -13 in a playoff over Alex Levy
KEY STATS TO TARGET
Strong Emphasis – SG: OTT + SG: APP, Par 5 scoring, Birdies or better, Scrambling
Important – Par 4 Scoring, Greens in Regulation, Sand Saves
THIS WEEK’S SUGGESTIONS
Xander Schauffele (DK $11,500)
- History: DNP – DNP
- Form: DNP – 2nd – 19th – MC
- Stats: Not enough events on Euro Tour
- Analysis: X is the tournament favorite this week, and I can’t blame the bookmakers, considering his runner-up finish at the Tour Championship two weeks ago. He’s easily the most talented player in the field and has the form to back up the pricing. Like Rory last week, I think Xander can make a run at winning this and should be someone we have in our GPP player pool.
Patrick Reed (DK $11,000): Reed’s playoffs were solid, as he opened them by winning the Northern Trust and continued his Top 20 ways the rest of the way. He finished 9th here last year and 19th the year prior with worse form so he’s an obvious course fit and someone I’d consider in all formats.
Matt Kuchar (DK $10,500): Kuchar’s cash game ways translate fairly well overseas so I’d be fine with playing him in any capacity this week, even at an elevated price tag. Sure, you want a player over $10k to have a legit shot at winning the event, but I think his talent alone is worth more than the $700 difference between him and Wiesberger and the $900 between him and Sabbatini.
Adri Arnaus (DK $9,000)
- History: DNP – DNP
- Form: 6th – MC – 2nd – DNP
- Stats: 2nd – SG: OTT, 13th – SG: T2G, 81st – SG: APP, 156th – SG: P
- Analysis: Luckily, we jumped back on the Arnaus train last week following his missed cut, and this week, we’re going back to the table with him, considering the course fit (even though he’s never played here before, this course suits his game). His form is great even with the missed cut in the middle and should be someone we target in all formats, though, I prefer him in GPPs.
Alexander Levy (DK $8,800): He’s the chalk play in this range due to his 13th place finish last year and losing in the playoff to Jordan L Smith two years ago. His form isn’t terrible even with the missed cut last week so coming to a course where he’s had success shouldn’t be a surprise if he plays well this week. I’d avoid in GPPs just because of the chalky nature here.
Adrian Otaegui (DK $7,800): 68th last year, 5th the year prior and comes in with three straight missed cuts, which means he’s not in our cash game player pool, but he is going to be a target in the GPP player pool. He’s a great ball striker and someone who can scramble with the best that Spain has to offer so his struggles right now are a head-scratcher. That being said, his struggles are exactly why we’re jumping on board, as there shouldn’t be much ownership behind him this week.
Honorable Mentions – Cormac Sharvin (DK $8,000), Richard Sterne (DK $7,800), Guido Migliozzi (DK $7,500)
SALARY RELIEF SECTION
Jon Caitlin (DK $7,200)
- History: DNP – DNP
- Form: DNP – 29th – 30th – DNP
- Stats: 65th – SG: OTT, 105th – SG: T2G, 118th – SG: APP, 78th – SG: P
- Analysis: First timer at Green Eagle, but he brings a bit of consistency in a much-needed place of salary relief, and while he’s not as cheap as I’d like, he is cheap enough to build into some Xander lineups or lineups where you’re starting with Kuchar and Arnaus. I’m not looking at him in cash game builds, but he does fit in some really nice GPP builds that start off in a variety of ways. With the lack of talent down here, I think we could do much worse.
Ben Stow (DK $7,000): 10th – 9th – 14th (all Challenge Tour events) are how his last three events are listed where I (and many others) get my course history and form from. That has me a bit hesitant to play him any more than a one-off in GPPs this week, but at the same time, I don’t know how much the Euro regs actually look down this far. If you need the salary relief, he’s in great form and has been in great form now for the past eight events.
Honorable Mentions – Alejandro Canizares (DK $6,800), Tapio Pulkkanen (DK $6,800), Niklas Lemke (DK $6,700)
CONTRARIAN CORE (GPP PLAYS)
Paul Casey (DK $11,300): Ball striker extraordinaire, Casey comes in following his 3rd place finish at the Tour Championship where he started out a-ways back to begin the event, so we have that going for us. The other nice thing about Casey at this price is his ownership should basically be non-existent, considering you can get Xander at $200 more (which is what I expect everyone else to do). His 7th place finish here last year is a strong indication of course fit, and he’s definitely got the talent to win over the PGA Tour pros who are in this field.
Mattias Schwab (DK $9,400): Admittedly, I wasn’t on Schwab last week and paid for it dearly, as I totally glanced over his 5th place finish three weeks ago and just kept on moving down the line. We won’t be missing the boat here after a 7th last year and now two straight Top 10’s. His ball striking is good enough for this course, and if not for one hole last week, he probably would’ve been in the playoff or winning outright. Hopefully, he learns from last week’s mistakes.
Lucas Herbert (DK $8,000): The bombing Aussie is back in our good graces, and you know I was watching last week, gritting my teeth after letting recency bias sink in following the missed cut. Yes, even seasoned vets make horrible decisions, but it’s obvious now that he needed to knock the rust off in his first event back. This course is a perfect fit for his game, and $8k is a great price for him.
Thanks for reading and good luck this week from the FGI team!
Check out last week’s results for the Omega European Masters