Porsche European Open
Pablo Larrazábal earned his second victory in a month (Korea Championship) and fourth DP World Tour win in two years last weekend at the KLM Open by two strokes over fellow Spaniard Adrian Otaegui.
Our main tip Jorge Campillo had a five-stroke lead at one point in Saturday's third round but plummeted to a finish of T-29 with rounds of 76 and 75 on the weekend.
This week, the DP World Tour heads to Winsen, Germany, for the Porsche European Open.
Victor Perez (16-1) was third here last year behind defending champion Kalle Samooja (66-1). Rasmus Hojgaard (20-1) finished third last week in the Netherlands.
Jordan Smith (22-1) was top-10 here last year and won this event in 2017, which was the year it moved to its current venue of Green Eagle Golf Course.
Alexander Bjork (25-1) finished 29th last week after back-to-back finishes of fourth. Next on the board is Antoine Rozner (28-1), Robert MacIntyre (28-1), who finished T-2 here four years ago, Thorbjorn Olesen (28-1) and Campillo (30-1).
Yannik Paul (30-1) leads the German contingent for this event.
The Porsche European Open began as the European Open Championship in 1978. It was played at several courses in both England and Scotland before finding a home for 12 years at The K Club in Ireland. After a five-year hiatus from 2010 to 2014, the event moved to Germany with sponsorship backing from German auto manufacturer Porsche. Nine major champions have victories in this event's long lineage, including Sandy Lyle, Tom Kite, Bernhard Langer, Greg Norman, Ian Woosnam, Nick Faldo, Darren Clarke, Michael Campbell and Retief Goosen to go along with other accomplished players like Lee Westwood, Colin Montgomerie and Isao Aoki.
The Green Eagle Golf Courses (more specifically the North Course) in Winsen has played host to this event since 2017. The event is in its seventh year in Germany after a five-year hiatus from the schedule and before that was played at several historic venues in the UK, including British Open rotation venues like Turnberry and Royal Liverpool as well as former Ryder Cup venue The K Club, Walton Heath and Sunningdale.
The North Course is being used for this week’s event and the Michael Blesch design is super long at 7,603 yards for its scorecard par of 73; however, with four teeing areas on each of the holes, there’s considerable flexibility as to how the course can be set up. This year, it has been shortened to 7,457.
The fairways are generous, and the greens are large and undulating. The primary course defenses are the large bunkers and water, which is present on 17 of the 18 holes.
Only five holes played under par 12 months ago, led by the closing par-5, which gave up 12 eagles and 174 birdies over the four rounds. The par-5 ninth, 11th and 15th each played marginally under par, as did the short par-4 seventh.
The fourth hole has been converted from a 488-yard par-4 to a 532-yard par-5.
In addition, the par-5 15th has been shortened from 594 yards to 551, while the par-3 17th has been reduced from 170 yards to 151. Changes that should make the course more scoreable, though it still a very quirky setup, with six par 5s (four on the back nine, including the mammoth 663-yard 16th), five par-3s and an unusually low number of par-4s, with seven.
2022: Kalle Samooja (-6/282); 200-1
2021: Marcus Armitage (-8/208); 80-1*
2020: Tournament canceled due to COVID-19
2019: Paul Casey (-14/274); 7-1
2018: Richard McEvoy (-11/277); 125-1
2017: Jordan Smith (-13/275); 40-1
54-hole event - *
Robert MacIntyre (28-1, BetRivers)
MacIntyre withdrew from the Italian Open a few weeks ago because of a back strain, but felt fit for the PGA Championship before he missed the cut.
However, he had three consecutive top-10 finishes prior in Kenya, Japan and South Korea.
The Scotsman finished second on debut here in 2019 and can take advantage of the abundance of par-5s with his length off the tee.
Yannik Paul (28-1, BetMGM)
The German withdrew from the Soudal Open in Belgium when he learned he scored a late invite to the PGA Championship, where he made his first cut in his second career major.
Paul put together a run of form of second, second and sixth Thailand, India and Japan, respectively, in February and March in three consecutive starts.
Romain Langasque (35-1, BetMGM)
Langasque has been the best tee-to-green player in this field over and throughout the last six months.
The Frenchman has missed just two cuts in 11 starts and recorded five top-25s in 2023.
Ewen Ferguson (50-1, BetMGM)
Ferguson finished T-8 last week in the Netherlands.
The Scotsman finished third and fourth at the DPWT events in South Africa in March.
Grant Forrest (50-1, Superbook Sports)
Forrest also finished T-8 last week in the Netherlands.
He ranks 17th in Driving Distance on the DPWT, so he should be able to score well on the six par-5s.
Mike Lorenzo-Vera (55-1, BetMGM)
Lorenzo-Vera has ranked fifth and 10th in his past two starts in SG Off the Tee. He’s also ranked 11th and 16th in those last two starts in Tee to Green.
He has three top-12 finishes, including two top-10s, in his last four events.
Matti Schmid (80-1, BetMGM)
Schmid has been playing most of 2023 on the PGA Tour and his best finish was a sixth at the American Express.
A return to Europe last week at the KLM Open resulted in a 21st, which was his best finish since that AMEX finish, so the drop in class could be just what the doctor ordered for the German.