The European Tour’s Race to Dubai continues this week with the Austrian Golf Open. The return to Diamond Country Club guarantees a new champion will be crowned, but who will it be, and who should you have in your Fantasy team?
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Thomas Detry headlines the field as the highest ranked player in the Official World Golf Rankings making their start in Austria this week.
The Belgian had several close calls last season, and enters the week trying to continue his recent form, which includes two top 10s in his last four European Tour starts, and most recently a tie for 12th on the PGA Tour's event in Punta Cana. When you consider he's struggled with the putter this season and still posted those results, it becomes more understandable why he's the bookies favourite despite sitting at 55th in the current Race to Dubai standings.
Couple all of that with the fact he was under par for three out of four rounds here last year on his way to a tie for eighth, it's not unreasonable to think Detry could finally break through this week for his maiden European Tour win.
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The Dutchman has a sensational record at Diamond CC, with a win, two thirds, a sixth and a seventh in his last six appearances here. He comes in on decent form courtesy of a tied-7th in his last start at the Kenya Savannah Classic, and he also has a win at The Dutch in Holland, which is a very similar course that fits the same profile of golfer as this week’s venue.
The 28-year-old is still searching for his first European Tour win – and this feels like the type of event where he could get it. He finished tied-8th here last year (and has a tied-3rd at The Dutch), and he’s a great fit for the course. He’s a strong ball-striker who gives himself plenty of birdie and eagle opportunities. He’ll be right up there if he can have a reasonable week on the greens.
Lemke might be a relatively unfamiliar name, but he’s notched five top-14s in his last six starts spanning the end of 2020 and beginning of 2021. He’s eighth in ‘strokes gained - around the green’, 15th in driving distance, and 16th in ‘strokes gained - tee to green’ this season. The forecast is pretty chilly, and this Swede should be well used to playing in those conditions.
The Austrian is used to appearing on home soil, although he turned professional in 2017 he has been playing the Austrian Open at Diamond CC since 2011(he finished T45 as a 16 year old)
His recent form is also good with a 7th at the Kenya Savanna Classic. Schwab ranks in the top 25 for driving accuracy and greens in regulation this year and has a below 70 stroke average. With Wiesberger not in the field Mattias will be the man in the spotlight and I think he will embrace it.
The American is trending brilliantly, with progressively better finishes of T35-T20-T12-T9, T2 this season (he did miss the cut in his last event in Kenya).
He’s one of the longest hitters on tour which will be helpful on a course that will be softer due to the tournament being played in spring rather than summer. Kurt has been back home to Las Vegas to recharge his batteries and will be looking to progress on his current 21th ranking in the Race to Dubai.
Sam won’t appear as a stand out on the Race to Dubai rankings due to him being out injured for the early part of the year. He recently came back to competition in Kenya and posted two top 10’s. The shoulder injury only allowed him to practice short game which has massively improved. Horsefield ranks 2nd in putting and still smashes the driver miles. Last year saw Sam break through with wins in the Hero Open and Celtic Classic. But we have all known about this superstar for years due to his connections with Ian Poulter and the 59 he shot at age 13 WOW