*Each-Way 1/4 odds, 5 places
Last week Johan Edfors registered a convincing three shot victory on the Challenge Tour in Italy; it was an extremely welcome win for the Swede, and will go a long way to helping him regain his European Tour card for next year. As it happens, it wasn't that victory that sees Edfors tee it up at the Grove this week, but the fact that he is a former British Masters winner (2006 at the Belfry). A further quirky fact is that the Roger Federer doppelganger was in the 62-man field that tee'd it up at the WGC event held at the Grove in 2006. He put in a fine performance to finish 22nd that week, a fact that goes to show how far he's slipped and how much he's capable of. Last week's victory has provided a very timely return to form indeed.
Historically, home players had a great record in the British Masters and Matthew Fitzpatrick resumed the trend when this event returned to the schedule last year. There's a stack of classy Brits with solid credentials near the head of the market and, further down the list, Marc Warren also catches the eye. He has an excellent record in home events but has has endured a poor season by recent standards. However there have been positive signs of late, particularly finishing 66/67/67 for fifth place at last weekend's Dunhill Links. Low scoring and a hot putter will be required to win this week and, as that has always been Warren's forte, I'll take a chance on him carrying on in the same vein
It's a repeat pick for me this week with Graeme McDowell carrying my tenner once again. A poor opening round at Carnoustie left last week's each-way selection chasing the leaders throughout the Alfred Dunhill Links, so it was to his credit that he ended the tournament 11 under par and just two shots off the top 10 in a tie for 15th. I like the fact that GMac remains on the European Tour for a second week and I fancy his chances of recording another high finish as he attempts to boost a Race to Dubai ranking lurking at 57th and therefore risking his chances of making the field for the DP World Tour Championship. And this week's course looks like suiting - it's not long and neither is GMac, but accuracy, creativity and touch around the greens, and an ability to handle breezy conditions will be strengths - and the 33/1 is enough to tempt me in again.
It's almost impossible to imagine what it must be like to be a Ryder Cup debutant but I suspect the anticipation reaches fever pitch long before the tournament begins and that probably explains why the form of first timers often dips in the lead-up to the event. Having won the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth in May, Chris Wood has known his place on the team was assured months in advance and that may explain why he wasn't at his best prior to the event itself. He played admirably enough at Hazeltine though and that performance will give him much confidence going forward. He consistently performs well in his homeland and now the Ryder Cup is done and dusted, a rapid return to form is perfectly possible.
As Steve rightly points out in his excellent in-depth preview of this event, finding greens could be key this week, but so too could be Scrambling. My man Soren Kjeldsen is usually a very accurate type with his irons, and he ranks as one of the best on the European Tour - and second in this week's field with only Steve's pick Jaidee ahead of him - when it comes to Scrambles. That's highly encouraging, so as long as the Dane's putting is up to scratch at the Grove then his current form entitles him to go very well. In his last six starts Kjeldsen has recorded top-10 finishes in the Open Championship, his home tournament the Made in Denmark, and last week's Alfred Dunhill Links. And to top it all, he was second in this event last year. That was played at a different venue but it will surely bring back good memories and I think this experienced pro can go very close to landing his first win of the season.