Oct 7th, 2015
British Masters Preview
Runners and riders
Words: The Brigadier Photography: Getty Images
Danny Willett knocking it out on the 17th.
Tomorrow marks the return of the British Masters at Woburn, after a seven-year lay off.
Hosting is Ian Poulter, one of Woburn’s two Touring Pros alongside Charlie Hull. It’s good to see the event back, as there has been too little European Tour golf in the UK for too long.
There are some big names missing though with Rory staying at home, along with Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia and Justin Rose.
The big names that will be playing are Ian Poulter, Francesco Molinari, Danny Willett, Jamie Donaldson, Shane Lowry and last week’s Dunhill Links Championship winner Thorbjorn Olesen.
That’s not to forget Luke Donald, Eddie Pepperell, Paul Laurie, Tommy Fleetwood, Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell, and recent Czech Masters winner Thomas Pieters.
Woburn Golf Club first hosted this even 36 years ago on their Dukes Course. This year’s event will be played on the Marquess Course, which only opened in 2000. It was designed by a certain Peter Alliss and Clive Clark.
We’ve been looking at who’s saying what in terms of betting, and who is a likely winner. Performance at Wentworth’s BMW is coming to the fore, as there are strong similarities between Wentworth and Woburn.
Both are tree-lined, parkland courses, and it’s tight off the tee. Accuracy will be rewarded over power and length. Whoever wins will need to keep it tidy.
This is why Shane Lowry seems to be coming into the equation. He’s got form at Wentworth, and won the WGC Bridgestone Invitational two months ago, so is seen as one of the form players who could do something, even though he had a poor start at the Dunhill Links Championship.
Another interesting question is will Ian Poulter rise to the occasion, given that he is the tournament host and the resident Touring Pro?
There are plenty of doubters out there, given that this is his first European Tour event coming out of the US PGA Tour. Yes, there’s home advantage, but even that is being questioned, as he hasn’t played the course in a long while.
One whisper that we are hearing is that Jimenez could be the man at the age of 51. And he’s at 50/1, so there’s a bit of value to be had there.