Victor Perez bids to get his Ryder Cup campaign back on track in this week’s European Open. The Frenchman missed the cut in the KLM Open last week, but tops the betting in a weak field in Hamburg. Perez finished third in last year’s event, but others are preferred at bigger prices.
Steve Palmer’s top tip
Yannik Paul 28-1
The ball-striking consistency of Yannik Paul makes him a massive runner in his home country this week. The Frankfurt man is a greens-in-regulation machine who is long enough off the tee to handle this monstrous track.
Paul won his maiden DP World Tour title last year and made his first cut in a Major last time out in the US PGA. He has become a leaderboard regular on the DPWT, finishing second in the Thailand Classic in February, then second in the Indian Open.
The 29-year-old still appears to be improving and looks set to break into the world’s top 100 for the first time. He finished 18th on his Green Eagle debut last year and can send the home galleries wild on his return.
Next best bet
Antoine Rozner 25-1
Another consistent tee-to-green operator can be followed with confidence at a venue where both accuracy and power are required. Antoine Rozner is a 30-year-old Frenchman with three DP World Tour titles to his name. The latest of those came just before Christmas in the Mauritius Open.
Rozner, like Paul, is a DPWT leaderboard regular who finished sixth in Singapore, fifth in Thailand, third in the SDC Championship in South Africa and 29th in the KLM Open on Sunday.
Rozner was 51st on his European Open debut at Green Eagle last year, but much better can be expected this week with some course experience under his belt.
Niklas Norgaard 40-1 Matti Schmid 70-1 Louis de Jager 125-1
Niklas Norgaard carded four consecutive rounds of 71 to finish 21st in last week’s KLM Open, backing up an equally encouraging 23rd spot in the Italian Open, and the power-packed 30-year-old Dane looks close to a DPWT breakthrough.
Norgaard will be licking his lips at the six par-fives on offer at Green Eagle. He finished tenth on his European Open debut there last year and fireworks can be expected on his return.
Complete the staking plan with Matti Schmid and Louis de Jager. Schmid is a 25-year-old who scraped a PGA Tour card last season through the Korn Ferry Tour Finals. His PGA Tour rookie campaign has been understandably challenging – aside from sixth place in The American Express he has failed to make an impact – but the German enjoyed his sharp downgrade to the DPWT last week.
Schmid closed with a 68 in the KLM Open for 21st place and the two-time European amateur champion will be relishing the chance to impress on home turf this week at a long course which sets up well for him.
De Jager, like Schmid, is a seriously long driver who can cut the North Course down to size. De Jager is a five-time Sunshine Tour winner in his homeland and the 36-year-old South African can threaten a DPWT breakthrough on Sunday.
De Jager made his Green Eagle debut in 2019, finishing 12th despite arriving there in the wake of three consecutive missed cuts. This will be his second course appearance and his final-round 69 for 29th spot in the KLM Open suggests that he has found his game at a perfect moment. Only seven players in the KLM field bettered that score on Sunday.
Green Eagle course guide
Course North Course, Green Eagle Golf Courses, Hamburg, Germany Prize money $2m (€333,400 to the winner) Length 7,457 yards Par 73 – six par-fives; seven par-fours; five par-threes Field 156 The cut Top 65 and ties qualify for round three Highest-ranked players in field (world ranking in brackets) Victor Perez (62), Thorbjorn Olesen (87), Adri Arnaus (92), Robert MacIntyre (97), Jordan Smith (101) Course records– 72 holes 274 Paul Casey (2019); 18 holes 64 Bernd Wiesberger (2019), Romain Wattel (2019), Kalle Samooja (2022)
Course winners taking part Jordan Smith, Richard McEvoy, Marcus Armitage, Kalle Samooja
When to bet By 6.30am on Thursday
When to watch Live on Sky Sports Golf from 12pm on Thursday
Time difference Germany is one hour ahead of the UK and Ireland
Last week – KLM Open 1 P Larrazabal (55-1), 2 A Otaegui (33-1), T3 D Germishuys (150-1), R Hojgaard (22-1), T5 K Aphibarnrat (100-1), D Hillier (200-1), A Meronk (12-1)
Course type Parkland
Course overview This enormous layout, with six par-fives, has water in play on 17 holes and extremely undulating greens, so it provides a significant challenge. It has hosted this event from 2017 onwards
Story of last year Kalle Samooja fended off Wil Besseling to land his maiden DP World Tour title
Weather forecast Chilly mornings, pleasant afternoons, with temperatures peaking at 19C. Moderate breezes on Thursday, before three calm days
Type of player suited to the challenge This is the most difficult course in Germany and a real slog for short drivers
Key attribute Power
Four of the five winners of the European Open at Green Eagle have been English
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