Paul Krishnamurty recommends his best three outsider bets for this week's Czech Masters...
"There are an ever-growing number of good Scandinavian players...well capable of making a big impact at this level. In Karlsson's case, that came when runner-up at the Qatar Masters - a better event than this."
Compared to most weeks, this feels like one of the lesser opportunities to find good value outside bets on the golf. In fact make that August, whilst the FedEx Cup is centre-stage.
In his comprehensive preview of the BMW Championship, Steve Rawlings runs through the history of these play-offs and shows how rare shocks are. The formbook stands up particularly well at this time of year - Keegan Bradley last year was very much an outlier - and Medinah is very much the type of long set-up where the cream will invariably rise to the top.
Therefore, all three of my picks are in the Czech Masters. I will be standing in for Steve over the next fortnight, doing the in-play blog, so will add some thoughts and bets on the US event once it has started.
On fire Ritchie worth a chance in Europe
In truth, the Czech Masters shortlist wasn't long either, with only four coming in for serious consideration. J.C. Ritchie is nowhere near our price range on the Sportsbook but [140.0] on the exchange is eyecatching about such an in-form player.
Evaluating the merit of form on lesser tours is a perennial conundrum but Ritchie's numbers on the Sunshine Tour are unarguably strong. He's won three times since the start of March and arrives off a trio of top-five finishes. This a step up from last term that saw him produce great stats - which are now being converted into results and cash.
This is only Ritchie's fifth start in Europe but second visit to the Albatross. He made the top-25 here last year and can take encouragement from compatriot Haydn Porteous winning this title in 2017.
Bombers to enjoy advantage at the Albatross
Eddie Pepperell's fine record at the Albatross shows power off the tee is not a pre-requisite of success but it certainly helps. Here's a bomber who was fifth through 54 holes last year. Pulkannen is also one of Steve's outright picks at [220.0] - I prefer the each-way terms offering seven places.
Pulkkanen hasn't set the tour alight this summer but I have no trouble forgiving failures in top links events, as he doesn't seem the right type. Back in May though, he finished top-15 in three out of four events. Stats-wise, he is fifth for distance over the past 12 months among these and a respectable 25th for putting - which Steve regards as very important here.
Anton Karlsson also ticks numerous stats boxes. Tenth among these for par-five performance over the past year, 34th for greens in regulation, averaging 298 yards off the tee. Not bad for a rank outsider.
There is an ever-growing number of good Scandinavian players (Pulkannen another case in point), who aren't well known or particularly popular in the market, but well capable of making a big impact at this level.
In Karlsson's case, that came when runner-up at the Qatar Masters - a better event than this, also on a long course with generous fairways. He hasn't hit those heights since but the 25 year-old has made four of his last five cuts.
Former champ rates best of the rest
The excluded fourth player, now first reserve, is former champion Jamie Donaldson. Ninth place in the Scottish Open was by far his best result of the year and, whilst it may prove a flash in the pan, odds of [170.0] are attractive given his class and pedigree at the course. At his best, this challenge would be ideal.