The European Tour is stationed just a few miles outside of London at a classic heathland layout and there are a quartet of home players and a Dane in our selections...
"Previously Fitzpatrick had defended his European Masters title in superb style and hasn't hit fewer than 78% of greens in regulation on his last four starts."
Paul Krishnamurty: Back Matthew Fitzpatrick @ 22/1
*EW Terms: 1/5 Odds | 7 Places
Dave Tindall: Back Matthew Southgate @ 80/1
Walton Heath certainly holds happy memories for Matthew Southgate as back in June he came through a 36-hole US Open qualifier at the Surrey venue to secure his first ever start in an overseas major. He actually four-putted the opening green but steadied himself well to shoot rounds of 67 and 68 to go through in tied third spot (only 14 of the 111-man field qualified for Shinnecock). That provided further evidence that the Englishman likes playing on home soil. Southgate was T18 in his only previous British Masters start at The Grove in 2016 and also T6 in last year's Open Championship at Royal Birkdale. True, he's missed recent cuts in Scotland and Portugal but prior to that he'd had a decent run through August and September with T10 at the Nordea and top 25s in Denmark and the Netherlands. A return to Walton Heath will hopefully provide a spark and 80/1 looks a decent price.
Paul Krishnamurty: Back Matthew Fitzpatrick @ 22/1
I put up Matthew Fitzpatrick for this column when winning this title three years ago at Woburn and expect another bold bid around a different course, that should similarly favour his accurate tee-to-green game. He should be well motivated after being left out of the Ryder Cup side and has been in great form. Previously he'd defended his European Masters title in superb style and hasn't hit fewer than 78% of greens in regulation on his last four starts. Last week's failure is easily overlooked, as Fitzpatrick has never contended in the Dunhill Links. Walton Heath is a more penal test and should reward those avoiding the bunkers and heather by relentlessly hitting fairways and greens. That is Matthew's forte.
Steve Rawlings: Back Soren Kjeldsen @ 60/1
Often described as having a linksy-feel, Walton Heath is an exposed, wind-affected heathland course demanding a neat and tidy game and with blustery conditions forecast throughout the week, I wanted someone onside that could play in the breeze. Former Ascot resident, Soren Kjeldsen, is one such player. He has a fine record at Wentworth, another wind-affected Surrey heathland track, he's a fine links-exponent, he's been in fair form of late, and he has previous at the track, having qualified for the US Open at Walton Heath on several occasions. Danish golf is on a high after the Ryder Cup and following Lucas Bjerregaard's win last week and the veteran might just join the party at a course that clearly suits him.
Joe Dyer: Back Ross Fisher @ 45/1
Fisher's home course is Wentworth and there are plenty of similarities between it and Walton Heath, another heathland in the stockbroker belt around London. Just 20 miles separates the two courses and this surely represents a great chance for Fisher to score his best finish in this event since a seventh place in the 2008 event. There's not a huge amount of encouragement in Fisher's last few months of golf but that would explain the relatively generous odds on offer and he did put in two solid under-par rounds at last week's Alfred Dunhill to finish in a tie for 32nd. His powerful and accurate long game will be a great help in this week's conditions and if Fisher is going to win a sixth European Tour event I feel it's going to come in an event like this.
Mike Norman: Back Lee Westwood @ 45/1
Lee Westwood is fast becoming the forgotten man of English golf but he's no back number just yet by any means. The former world number one - who still lingers around the top 100 - finds it extremely hard to win these days but he's had some very good results this season, proving that he's still got the talent should everything fall right. A top five at the high class Italian Open was a great effort, and he really ought to have won the Made In Denmark tournament a month or so ago before losing in a play-off. His record in this event isn't too shabby either; he was third in 2016 and top 15 last year, and after Team Europe's superb Ryder Cup victory a fortnight ago - where Westwood was a pivotal vice captain - I'm hoping the Worksop Wonder's appetite for a bit of individual success has grown and that he'll show some of the 'team' that he still has what it takes to contend himself this week.
2018 Season P/L to date: + £901.16
- Alfred Dunhill Links, Padraig Harrington @ 50/1 - PLACE (Joe)
- Portugal Masters, Lucas Herbert @ 80/1 - PLACE (Paul)
- KLM Dutch Open, Thomas Detry @ 40/1 - PLACE (Mike)
- Omega European Masters, Lucas Bjerregaard @ 28/1 - PLACE (Paul)
- Made In Denmark, Matt Wallace @ 33/1 - WIN (Mike)
- Made In Denmark, Lucas Bjerregaard @ 40/1 - PLACE (Steve)
- Czech Masters, Andrea Pavan @ 50/1 - WIN (Joe)
- Czech Masters, Lee Slattery @ 45/1 - PLACE (Dave)
- US PGA Championship, Brooks Koepka @ 20/1 - WIN (Dave)
- US PGA Championship, Gary Woodland @ 125/1 - PLACE (Steve)
- WGC-Bridgestone, Brooks Koepka @ 25/1 - PLACE (Paul)
- The Open, Tiger Woods @ 30/1 - PLACE (Dave)
- Scottish Open, Ryan Fox @ 45/1 - PLACE (Mike)
- Irish Open, Russell Knox @ 28/1 - WIN (Dave)
- BMW International Open, Matt Wallace @ 33/1 - WIN (Steve)
- BMW International Open, Martin Kaymer @ 33/1 - PLACE (Joe)
- Italian Open, Lee Westwood @ 45/1 - PLACE (Dave)
- BMW PGA Championship, Kiradech Aphibarnrat @ 45/1 - PLACE (Dave)
- Belgian Knockout, Benjamin Hebert @ 50/1 - PLACE (Paul)
- Belgian Knockout, Jorge Campillo @ 28/1 - PLACE (Mike)
- Rocco Forte Open, Lucas Herbert @ 125/1 - PLACE (Paul)
- Golf Sixes, South Korea @ 16/1 - PLACE (Steve & Paul)
- Volvo China Open, Lucas Bjerregaard @ 200/1 - PLACE (Steve)
- US Masters, Bubba Watson @ 16/1 - PLACE (Mike)
- Hero Indian Open, Andrew Johnston @ 33/1 - PLACE (Dave)
- Oman Open, Jorge Campillo @ 40/1 - PLACE (Mike)
- Maybank Championship, Shubhankar Sharma @ 60/1 - WIN (Joe)
- Dubai Desert Classic, Alex Levy @ 50/1 - PLACE (Steve)
- Abu Dhabi Championship, Matthew Fitzpatrick @ 40/1 - PLACE (Steve)
- UBS Hong Kong Open, Paul Peterson @ 80/1 - PLACE (Paul)