Final-round preview of European Masters in Switzerland

Golf betting tips: European Masters final round

1pt e.w Dean Burmester at 12/1 (1/4 1,2,3 William Hill, Betfred)

1pt e.w John Catlin at 12/1 (1/4 1,2,3 Sky Bet, William Hill)

0.50pts e.w James Morrison at 80/1 (1/4 1,2,3 William Hill)

2pts James Morrison Top-10 at 12/5 (Sky Bet, Betfair Sportsbook)

Sky Bet odds | Paddy Power | Betfair Sportsbook

It’s not Valderrama but it’s getting close.

After two rounds of nothing but attack on the Crans track, Crans bit back.

A combination of unpredictable gusts of wind, cleverly placed pins and an emphasis on patience saw the overnight leading trio crash today, the three combining for a whatever-the-opposite-of-impressive-is 11-over for their front nine.

Just to show the sort of day it was, two of those, namely Dean Burmester and Andy Sullivan, are still very much alive despite the former getting his first birdie of the day on the par-five ‘gimme’, the 14th, whilst Thomas Detry, impossible to win with and after a four-over 74, is still only four off the lead; although the least appealing of the top lot.

Despite a shocker of a day where his figures dropped through the floor, the South African finds himself just a couple off the lead, a position he may well have taken before the start of the tournament. Having proven last week in Prague that he can forget a bad round when coming again on Sunday to finish in the places, and with final rounds of 62 (to win) and 65 in the Canary Islands not too far back in the memory, that final hole birdie will be a huge impetus.

He won’t forget his opening couple of rounds here to lead at 11-under and will appreciate more accessible pins, but he is a recent winner and his power will surely give him at least half-a-dozen chances on the shorter holes.

As for the Englishman, Ben Coley’s 40-1 selection somehow kept himself inside the final half-a-dozen despite hitting several shots off any part of the club bar the sweet spot. He ties in with a few of the top lot on collateral form and is a great fit for the track, but again a lot will depend on the conditions and set-up tomorrow – should they make the pins more accessible, he can recall plenty of low tournament rounds, but it’s hard to forget the way he folded when leading in Dubai and again when third overnight in Saudi, and he has yet to be tested in contention since.

Sulli’s cross-hands on his approach at the last today led to a two-shot swing with Burmy and possibly demonstrated he is still working on the new processes with his caddie. Top that with the price influenced by pre-event liabilities and he is left alone.

I was sent a text a couple of weeks ago, eulogising the merits of Renato Paratore and it’s now I wished I had listened.

The 24-year-old Italian has a decent record here with past finishes of seventh and 24th, whilst his12th at the last running of this event in 2019 completes a list of finishes that tie in closely with many of the previous winners here, and is far better than the two more decorated players mentioned above.

Of his two wins at this level, the Nordea Masters was played in tricky conditions whilst his latter victory in July last year was from a group of players that never look out of place on tree-lined courses on which bombers rarely dominate.

He has certainly found something this week with a place at the top of both the greens-in-regulation and approach tables, whilst his short game was certainly good enough to keep him in a challenging position with chip-ins and up-and-down scrambles throughout his back nine today.

He looks far more reliable than the likes of Matthew Jordan, who was all over the course at times today, and Sean Crocker, who again looked good in today’s best-of-the-round 64 but who remains unconvincing when it comes to the crunch on a Sunday. Nevertheless, at around 5/4 the three combined, I’m happy to look elsewhere.

I was very tempted by Bernd Wiesberger, who is being let down by his short game at present but remains top-10 in tee-to-green and looks a roll or two away from winning again. Alas, maybe Wentworth.

A column favourite, John Catlin played better today than his final score of one-under 69 and will not want the organisers listening to Tim Barter’s pleas for ‘sensible’ pins for payday.

It’s now almost written in stone that the American is best in tough conditions and, unlike Burmester and Sullivan, will not want open, accessible pins so that he can once again demonstrate an excellent tidy greens and short game.

It was always going to be hard to live up to his second round strokes gained tee-to-green of over six shots, but over the three rounds he ranks second in that regard courtesy of top-10s off-the-tee and approaches, whilst 20th in around-the-green fits his win in Austria.

Winner at Valderrama in a test similar to today’s, the 30-year-old did this column a couple of favours when coming from eighth at Galgorm Castle last year and from fourth place when winning in a play-off in Austria.

Both events demonstrated a toughness in contention that many of these do not possess or at least have not proven, whilst his ability throughout the chill of an evening play-off was again very reminiscent of conditions down the back today. It is hoped they don’t get away from him with a bundle of birdies but if it comes down to saving shots, he’s your man.

Having destroyed the golf course with a first round 60, James Morrison finds himself four shots worse off after a further 36 holes. Nevertheless, it has been a while since he has been in such form and after an easily-forgiven poor second round, he bounced back today with a decent set of figures, flat stick aside.

Top-15 off-the-tee, with his approaches and therefore tee-to-green, whilst top-30 for around-the-green (ranked first for the week) for today’s third round, the two-time winner has final rounds of 65 and 68 in two of his last three events here and can certainly improve from his current tied-15th.

Signs of life appeared when fourth at the Scandinavian Mixed (end of round placings 56/24/5/4) before a flying Sunday 63 saw him lose by a shot at the Hero in Scotland (27/13/8/2) and a 13th place finish at the London Club was hardly a dip in form, especially given he returned his only negative putting figures for 15 completed events.

Only four shots off the pace and, like many, better without the pressure of being the focus of the tv coverage, he could easily sneak a place early doors, and is very appealing as a bet for a place on the front page.

Posted at 2030 BST on 28/08/21

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