A very decent field has been assembled for this week's Nordea Masters, and with star names Henrik Stenson and Alex Noren dominating the market the betting.betfair golf team can see plenty of value among some top class alternatives...
Mike Norman: Back Pablo Larrazabal @ 35/1
"In Larrazabal's only previous visit here he sat third after 36 holes and seventh after 54 holes. That was in 2009, and it's fair to say he's a much better player these days."
*Each-way 1/5 odds, 6 places
Dan Geraghty: Back Ashley Chesters @ 250/1
Of the bigger prices, the one that really jumps out at me this week is that of Ashley Chesters. The Englishman has shown very encouraging signs of late with two top 20 finishes in his last four outings. This week's links test should be right up his street and given it's a course that hasn't been used for eight years, there are plenty in the field that are seeing it for the first time; always a big plus for the rookies on tour.
Paul Krishnamurty: Back Peter Hanson @ 50/1
When Barsebäck regularly hosted this event during the previous decade, it was one of the most reliable courses for the formbook in world golf, producing very obvious leaderboards. With that in mind I wouldn't deter anyone from backing Henrik Stenson and Alex Noren but, from an each-way perspective, bigger odds are required. Scandinavians predictably go well in their flagship event and one of the classiest among their number caught the eye on Sunday at Wentworth, closing strongly with 68. Peter Hanson was runner-up here in 2004 and ninth in 2001 - well before his peak period, that earned a Ryder Cup spot. His 2017 schedule has been light but respectable, recording top-20s in high-class events in Abu Dhabi and Qatar. Hanson has also been hitting a high percentage of greens in regulation, and that tends to really matter at Barsebäck.
Joe Dyer: Back Alvaro Quiros @ 100/1
Given he won just two weeks ago, Alvaro Quiros looks a big price at 100/1 to take the Nordea Masters. A missed cut at Wentworth was probably to be expected after the Spaniard's first tournament victory in six years and this week's test should suit a little better anyway. A long course at 7,657 yards, Quiros's length off the tee will be a major asset and as a renowned desert golfer will not struggle with any wind (the opening day looks blowy). Big Al has seven tournament victories to his name and at his peak was good enough to finish top 10 in a WGC and top 20 at The Open. A first win for six years suggests he is getting back there and he could land us a return in the usual top-heavy European Tour field. And finally, if he's good enough for Steve Rawlings then he's good enough for me.
Joe's Note: At the time of writing it appears Quiros is not playing the Nordea Masters. If that proves to be the case then my replacement pick is Chris Wood @ 33/1.
Steve Rawlings: Back Thorbjørn Olesen @ 50/1
A lot has happened since Denmark's Thorbjørn Olesen finished fourth in his opening European Tour event at this venue back in 2009. He's won a World Cup alongside Soren Kjeldsen and last month he took the inaugural GolfSixes title alongside Lucas Bjerregaard. And that's on top of his four individual stroke-play titles. He's won in each of the last three years on Tour so he's due another win and although he's not very consistent, he can find form from seemingly nowhere and he's still finished inside the top-five in more than 12% of his European Tour appearances. He won his only Challenge Tour title on Swedish soil and I thought he was a very fair price at 50/1 given the venue clearly suits.
Mike Norman: Back Pablo Larrazabal @ 35/1
I'm excited by the prospect of the Nordea Masters returning to Barsebäck as it's a fantastic course that generally requires all aspects of your game to be in good order. Previous renewals at this venue - although quite a while ago - have suggested that a sharp short game is key however, and with the course having a links-type feel I'm backing Pablo Larrazabal this week. The popular Spaniard has been in fine form this season, recording plenty of respectable finishes including three consecutive top-13s (including a third in China) prior to a decent 24th at Wentworth last week. Having previously won in Abu Dhabi and on the tough Le Golf National set-up, as well as posting some very respectable efforts on links courses, I have a feeling Barsebäck will be right up Pablo's street. Encouragingly, in Larrazabal's only previous visit here he sat third after 36 holes and seventh after 54 holes. That was in 2009, and it's fair to say he's a much better player these days, so I'm hopeful of a big showing from the 34-year-old this week.
2017 Season P/L to date: -£494.67
- Open de Portugal, Mark Foster @ 50/1 - PLACE (Mike)
- Golf Sixes, Denmark @ 10/1 - WIN (Dan)
- Golf Sixes, Scotland @ 12/1 - PLACE (Paul)
- Volvo China Open, Dylan Frittelli @ 35/1 PLACE (Paul)
- Masters, Paul Casey @ 50/1 - PLACE (Steve)
- Hero Indian Open, Carlos Pigem @ 80/1 - PLACE (Paul)
- Tshwane Open, Dean Burmester @ 16/1 - WIN (Paul)
- Abu Dhabi Championship, Martin Kaymer @ 30/1 PLACE (Steve)
- Alfred Dunhill Championship, Thomas Detry @ 66/1 - PLACE (Dan)
- Alfred Dunhill Championship, Richard Sterne @ 22/1 - PLACE (Paul)