The European Tour Fantasy Race heads to the Czech Open this week, and with your brains no doubt scrambled from the excitement of the year’s final Major, we thought it only right to give you a little help picking your team.
There is one clear stand out for selection, and that has to be everyone’s favourite cigar smoking, Ferrari driving Spaniard – Miguel Angel Jiménez. This is not only because he is a Ryder Cup stalwart and 18 time winner on the European Tour, but he could hold a slight advantage in that he designed the course this week. Pair this with the fact that he is yet to win so far this season - you’ve got to think he’s due - and finished in a tie for seventh here last year and you’ve got a very real candidate for victory this week.
And staying with last year’s event, Peter Hanson is remembered for winning here and securing his place in the Ryder Cup team, but the people he beat in a play-off that week were England’s Gary Boyd and Irishman Peter Lawrie and they could be worth an educated punt this week.
Boyd impressed throughout last year in his first full season on Tour, eventually winding up fiftieth on the Race to Dubai with four top tens. He has not quite been on the same form so far in 2011 but a tie for second place finish at the BMW Italian Open presented by CartaSi shows he has the game needed to win and he will hope to go one step better this week.
Meanwhile Peter Lawrie is in a similar boat to Boyd. Having come off a successful season in 2010 with eight top tens, he has struggled a little more this year (only managing two), but he has not won since the Open de Espana in 2008 and is more than capable of replicating that success this week.
We by no means guarantee any of the players suggested here, but if you were to listen to us, why not put some faith in David Howell. Having once graced the very top of the game, he has struggled with injury for the past few years, and is finally starting to show a resurgence in form. This was most evident at the Irish Open presented by Discover Ireland in July where he had a share of the lead heading into the final round only to fade on Sunday. Take this, and the fact that he will be playing this week for his mother – who sadly passed away a couple of weeks ago – and you have a recipe for success for this affable four time winner on the European Tour.
Finally if you’ve got room for one more change, why not stick in Rookie of the year contender Scott Jamieson. He currently leads the re-rank of those from the Qualifying School and sits thirty-fifth on the Race to Dubai after three third place finishes (The Barclays Scottish Open, BMW International Open & Open de Espana) and two other top tens. This could therefore be his week, and we’d hate to say we told you so if he picks up the winner’s cheque and you failed to heed our advice.
So there are our picks for the top this week. See what you think and maybe even give a few of them a go. Good luck!
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