The 2018 installment of the BMW International Open kicks off at Golf Club Gut Laerchenhof in Pulheim, Germany this weekend so we've broken down the top 3 players to considering backing. With less star-power in a tournament like this, we've targeted some lessor known players who show great value among the bookies:
With a weak field and on home soil, the young Austrian was all the rage two weeks ago in the Shotclock Masters. It was understandable, especially as he took on the mantle of his country's top player due to Bernd Wiesberger's on-going injury battle.
On the other hand it added a little pressure for the 23-year-old and, although it eventually told, he coped with it pretty well. He thrived early on, heading into the weekend tied fourth, but eventually drifted to T12th.
After a week off he can resume his season in neighbouring Germany and do so flying under the radar (an apt metaphor; his brother is a pilot). What we know for certain is that the result in Austria proved his good form hasn't deserted him - as is evidenced by the odds listed on golf betting sites. Indeed it continued a mighty impressive rookie campaign that has kicked on from a 2017 which saw him turn professional and then make every cut in 16 Challenge Tour starts.
That hinted at a mature consistency and he's reiterated it when competing at the higher level, making nine of 11 weekends on the European Tour. He has a best of tied fourth in the Indian Open, but he has contended on five occasions and has also added a pair of top tens from just two starts on the Challenge Tour.
A lover of extreme sports who base jumps for fun, he's likely to be boosted by the adrenalin rush of a back nine in contention, rather than cowed by it and he's been a little overlooked this week. He's 13/2 for a top ten finish with Paddy Power.
It's been quite a year for the Spaniard's passport. Already in 2018 it's been stamped by the Bahamas, Panama, Colombia, Oman, Qatar, the United States, Spain, England, Italy and now Germany. He's made 15 starts in all as he seeks to breathe life back into his European Tour career whilst also chasing the retrieval of his PGA Tour playing rights.
The results of this dual mission have been somewhat boom or bust, with eight cuts missed, but every time he has reached the weekend he has secured a top 30, with three of those efforts worth a top ten.
Back in February he finished tied fourth in the Qatar Masters at Doha Golf Club, a track he had a solid record on (seven cuts made in his previous eight visits) and that profile isn't a million miles away from his log book at Gut Larchenhof. In fact he's made five starts on this Jack Nicklaus design and never missed the cut. On his most recent appearance, in 2012, he was tied third.
The 37-year-old relocated to Florida four years ago, but prior to that spent ten years full-time on the European Tour collecting no less than seven titles so we know he has what it takes to contend in this class. His form is improving too, with only one truly bad round in his last 14. He was T30th in the Italian Open and T14th last time out on the Web.com Tour. He's 6/1 this week for a top 20 at Paddy Power which is a great price.
For many years the Thai veteran plugged away at events held in Germany without much success. Yet the real truth is that it took him quite a while to come to terms with the challenge of actually competing on the continent of Europe itself, the early years of his European Tour success being built on co-sanctioned events with the Asian Tour. It was a subject the successful Indian golfer SSP Chawrasia recently discussed, explaining that contrasting conditions, climate and grass types made the transition very difficult.
In Jaidee's case his first 16 appearances in Germany reaped just eight cuts made and not one top 20, but even within that sample he was slowly coming to terms with the task, ticking off three finishes of T21st in the last six of them.
The turning point came in 2012 and the location was Gut Larchenhof. He finished T8th that year and two years later was T5th, again on this week's course. He's added a T11th at Eichenried, but most impressively a win and T20th at Bad Griesbach in the European Open. In strong contrast to those early difficulties he has made seven of his last eights cuts with five solid top 20 finishes.
To back up the notion that he's acclimatised the stats show that in those first 16 starts he hits 67% of the greens in regulation and only five times needed less than 30 putts per round. In the last eight starts? 75% of greens in regulation and seven times gone lower than 30 putts per lap. Tied eighth in last month's BMW PGA Championship he's 14/1 in the Top Rest of the World market offered at Bet365.