Perry: My Betting Strategies for the 2019 European Masters, Korn Ferry Tour Championship
Orlando Ramirez, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Gavin Green
- A week after winning the 2019 FedEx Cup, Rory McIlroy is the betting favorite to win the European Masters.
- Josh Perry previews the Euro Masters and the Korn Ferry Tour Championship:
The PGA Tour season may be over — for a couple weeks anyway — but golf betting never ends and the European and Korn Ferry Tours are still in full swing.
We’ll take a quick look at both starting in Europe with the Omega European Masters.
2019 European Masters Betting Preview
Crans Sur Sierra in Switzerland has hosted this event going back to to 1939. It’s a short course, measuring 6,848 yards, but with the altitude in the Swiss mountains, it doesn’t even play to that length.
Players just need to keep the ball in play off the tee so that they can attack the small greens. Bombing the driver isn’t a requirement at Crans Sur Sierra.
The top two guys in this field are Rory McIlroy and Matthew Fitzpatrick. McIlroy is fresh off winning the FedEx Cup and will be a pretty big favorite in the 4-1 range. He’s sponsored by Omega, so he’s here to fulfill that obligation. But after a $15 million payday, his motivation is probably not at the highest level.
Fitzpatrick is the real danger to ruin betting cards at the top of the board in the 8-1 range. He’s won this event in back-to-back years, has finished inside the top 10 four years in a row and is coming off a runner-up last week at the Scandinavian Masters. Fitzpatrick’s got a dangerous mix of current form and course history going in his direction.
I’ll be focusing on players who hit a lot of greens and can gain ground off the tee without being super long.
I’m starting with Joost Luiten at +5500. He’s the prototype of a player who should do well here with his accuracy off the tee and strong approach game. He’s second on the Euro tour in strokes gained: tee to green. The putter has been a disaster, but I’ll take a shot on him at this number, especially since he won’t lose ground to the bombers on this track.
We’ll also go with Gavin Green at +8000. The Malaysian was on the card a couple weeks ago and jumped out to the first-round lead before fading away. He followed up with a top 20 last week and was 12th here in his debut a year ago. He’s another guy who gains ground off the tee with his accuracy and hits a lot of greens. He’s not as strong from tee to green as Luiten, but the short game is in better shape and that should give him a chance to contend.
I’m also going back to a couple of shorter, more accurate hitters in Aaron Rai and Matthew Southgate. Rai is available at 110-1 and should fit the shorter course again. He got off to a slow start last week, but shot rounds of 65 and 66 on the weekend, so the game may be headed in the right direction.
Southgate was derailed by a poor second round, but still managed a top-10 finish in Sweden. With a similar course fit required, I’ll stay on them both for another week.
We’ll also go way down the list with Jack Singh Brar at 275-1. He’s in the same mold as everyone else we’ve mentioned. The Euro Tour rookie is in decent form as well with five straight made cuts with a couple top 20s in that time frame.
I’ve also added top 5s on each of the first four players and a top 20 on Singh Brar to still have some upside if they contend but don’t win.
Korn Ferry Tour Championship Betting Preview
Now for a look at the Korn Ferry Tour finale, where we’ve had a first and second the last couple of weeks.
The KFT Championship will take place at Victoria National Golf Club in Indiana and is the last chance for many guys to lock in tour cards for the 2019-2020 season. The course has been used as a regular tour stop since 2012, but got the promotion this year to host the tour’s final event.
Victoria has been one of the most difficult stops on the junior circuit. It is a par 72 and checks in at 7,242 yards with water everywhere, so precision is key, both off the tee and with the approach. The winning score is usually in the 9 to 12-under range but has dipped to 6-under par the last two years.
Recent winners include Jose de Jesus Rodriguez, DH Lee and Seamus Power — none of whom qualify as long hitters. We’ve only had one real bomber come out with a win here and that was Smylie Kaufman in 2015.
So with all that said, I’ll start my card with a bomber in Grayson Murray at +3300. This is more a play on his overall talent though. He’s won on the Scarlet Course we saw a couple weeks ago, which is also one of the most difficult on the KFT. If he clubs down in the right spots and keep the driver in play, the rest of the game is in good enough shape to contend.
Next up will be Henrik Norlander at +6600. He’s among the most accurate drivers on the KFT and is inside the top 5 in GIR. He’s played this course a few times and does own a top-10 finish here. It’s been boom or bust the last few months with Norlander’s form. In eight starts over the last three months, he’s got four top 25s with a win and four missed cuts. He’s locked up a tour card, so he won’t have that pressure weighing on him like many in this field.
Maybe the third time will be the charm for Kevin Dougherty in the playoffs for me. He’s long, accurate and hits a ton of greens. If the putter shows up, he’ll be in contention. He’s been in the mix in both playoff events, so I’ll keep him on the card at 100-1.
Lastly, I’m going with Will Zalatoris at 200-1. He’s been one of the best ball-strikers on tour this season, but the short game hasn’t cooperated. He’s in the same group as a guy like last week’s winner Matthew NeSmith. He hits the ball too well to not break through eventually in these fields. So when the number hits this range, it’s worth a look.
Omega European Masters
- Joost Luiten +5500 (.6 units)
- Joost Luiten +900 top 5 (.6 units)
- Gavin Green +8000 (.41 units)
- Gavin Green +1200 top 5 (.41 units)
- Aaron Rai +11000 (.3 units)
- Aaron Rai +1800 top 5 (.3 units)
- Matthew Southgate +15000 (.22 units)
- Matthew Southgate +1800 top 5 (.22 units)
- Jack Singh Brar +27500 (.12 units)
- Jack Singh Brar +750 top 20 (1 unit)
Korn Ferry Tour Championship
- Grayson Murray +3300 (1 unit)
- Henrik Norlander +6600 (.5 units)
- Kevin Dougherty +10000 (.33 units)
- Will Zalatoris +20000 (.17 units)
Total Stake: 6.18 units