Paul Krishnamurty previews both of this week's events with a view to find good value bets among players currently trading higher than 99-1 on the exchange...
"Wattel was fifth on his penultimate start and note that last September, he found form from nowhere to win the KLM Open and followed up with a decent result."
As usual, our first task is to identify which of this week's events is likelier to produce a winner at 99-1 or better. To be honest, the Omega European Masters and BMW Championship are much of a muchness - in that neither looks fertile territory for outsider punting.
We have seen some shocks at Crans Sur Sierre over the years - David Lipsky in 2015 and Jean-Francois Lucquin in 2007 for example - but largely speaking, this track produces relatively obvious leaderboards. I see Steve Rawlings has put up a rare favourite and defending champion in his tournament preview, and I wouldn't argue with that.
Nevertheless that history reads positively by comparison to the BMW. Steve notes in his comprehensive preview of the third FedEx Cup play-off that no outsider has ever won this with the possible exception of Camilo Villegas. If memory serves, the Colombian was pretty well-fancied too.
Under the circumstances, this was not a week that involved narrowing down much of a shortlist. Nevertheless, I'm hopeful the following trio can defy the market.
Fast improving Schwab can spring a surprise
First a highly promising type who recently did the column a favour. Schwab's run at the European Open was very encouraging. Bang in contention going into Sunday for the first time, his costly nerves on the front-nine were entirely forgiveable and he held his round together well afterwards to finish seventh.
Likewise, ninth at the Czech Masters confirmed the form. Schwab's forte is accurate iron play - he ranks eighth amongst these for greens in regulation over the past year - which is just the ticket for Crans. He made the cut here as an amateur and I suspect that, by next year's renewal, he'll be half these odds.
Wattel hinting at a much-needed late season run
Sitting 107th on the Race to Dubai and three places inside the cut, Wattel is very much in the thick of the battle for next season's playing rights. There are signs that this once highly-rated Frenchman is rising to the challenge. He was fifth on his penultimate start and note that last September, he found form from nowhere to win the KLM Open and followed up with a decent result.
Of particular interest is his previous at Crans. Wattel was runner-up on debut in 2012 and ninth in 2014 when in generally better form. In the last two years, he arrived with very meagre credentials, yet still started respectably and made both cuts. He ranks a respectable 13th for greens in regulation over the past three months.
If either pulls out for whatever reason, first reserve is Richard McEvoy at [200.0]. These are huge odds considering he's won twice recently and played respectably on both starts since. He's another with an interesting record at Crans, registering three-top-20s from seven stretching way back, despite generally performing at a much lower standard.
Horschel odds are an over-reaction
A further problem with finding good value outsiders in the BMW is that the market is pretty wised up to the obvious angle. Form in the two previous FedEx events is a huge indicator. In his each-way column, Dave Tindall notes that ten of the last 11 BMW winners had already registered a top-ten in one of the previous two play-offs, and seven had finished top-three, listing those who qualify this year.
Our man qualifies in both having finished third in the Northern Trust, is a FedEx specialist but is weak in the market due to withdrawing last week. That, however, was merely due to a sinus infection following a grim start. He came in for plenty of stick on Twitter but, ethics aside, it made perfect sense to skip the weekend, especially if he wasn't feeling 100%.
Assuming all is well now, [140.0] is well worth a trade because regularly taking anything like these odds in recent months about Horschel would have paid dividends. His last 14 starts yielded a win, four top-five finishes, and a further three top-25s. He's hit over 75% of greens in regulation on six of his last seven starts.
Back Romain Wattel 2u @ [250.0]
Place order to lay 10u @ [25.0]
Place order to lay 20u @ [10.0]