The DP World Tour continues to heat up with the heart of its schedule approaching with the continued race towards the DP World Tour Championship in November.
After a three week hiatus, the Tour returned a week ago for the ISPS Handa World Invitational that was ultimately won by Englishman Daniel Brown.
This week, the Tour turns its attention to the D+D Real Czech Masters held at the Albatross Golf Resort in Prague, Czech Republic.
This week will make the ninth playing of this event, setting it as one of the newer events on the Tour’s schedule
It was first staged in 2014 and has been played every year since, except for 2020.
Followers of the DP World Tour will be greeted to a star-studded field.
The field is headlined by the likes of Shane Lowry, Ludvig Aberg, Francesco Molinari, among others to make up the 156 golfer list.
The Ryder Cup remains the governing storyline for this week’s event with just two events remaining before European Captain Luke Donald has to make his final decisions on who makes the squad to take on the United States this fall.
Donald will be announcing his 12 man team to take on the USA following next week’s European Masters.
Donald himself will be making his Czech debut this week to get a first hand look at the lengthy list of hopefuls looking to secure a spot on the coveted team.
Lowry is one of the names looking to put together an impressive outing to catch Donald’s eye. Lowry failed to qualify for the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup Playoffs but will be hoping for a big week this week.
Joining Lowry in this week’s field with eyes on a Ryder Cup call up are Victor Perez, Rasmus Hojgaard, Nicolai Hojgaard, Marcel Siem, Pablo Larrazabal, Adrian Meronk, Thorbjorn Olesen, Yannik Paul and Robert MacIntyre.
Currently, MacIntyre, Paul and Meronk occupy third, fourth and fifth places in the European points table behind Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm. McIlroy, Rahm and Viktor Hovland have already secured their spots in Donald’s team.
A victory this week will almost certainly secure a spot in Donald’s team for MacIntyre, Paul or Meronk
Maximilian Kieffer is the defending champion of this event, winning in a 56-hole rain shortened edition a season ago.
The Albatross Golf Resort in Prague has been the host of this event since its inception in 2014.
Albatross Golf Resort was designed by Keith Preston and was first opened in 2010.
It plays as a par-72 at 7,468 yards and is described as a ‘monster’ of a course due to its length.
Along with the length, the fairways featured this week run on average in terms of width for DP World Tour tracks.
Although these fairways are Bermuda and Fescue, the greens featured this week are Bentgrass, adding an importance to strong putters who will get a leg up this week. The greens have previously run at around 12 on the Stimpmeter.
This track also features two par-fives that measure more than 600 yards.
There is plenty of water in play this week along with 65 bunkers and more than 1,200 trees.
The Albatross Golf Resort is known for its tough and challenging final stretch of holes as the final six holes all averaged over-par last year at this event.
The last four holes include four-of-the-seven toughest holes on this course. The fifthteenth hole ranks as the fourth toughest, the sixteen ranks as the third toughest, the 17th ranks first and the 18th ranks as the seventh toughest hole on this course.
The par-four 17th is the toughest hole on this entire course. In the first eight editions of this event, this hole has ranked either first or second in terms of tournament specific toughness. A par on the 17th hole would be considered a good score.
The course underwent a small renovation before the 2016 installment of this event. This saw two new green side lakes adde and the addition of 27 new trees that were planted.
In all, this is not a very tough track but does play very long and as previously mentioned, features a tricky finish.
As of the time of writing this, the weather forecast does not look ideal for this week’s tournament. There is a significant chance for thunderstorms for each Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Currently, the forecast is calling for an 80-percent chance of precipitation and thunderstorm for each of those previously mentioned days. Thursday holds just a ten-percent chance of precipitation. Temperatures will begin at 87-degrees on Thursday before falling each day and bottoming-out at 74-degrees on Sunday. Although storms are set to hit the area, winds won’t be a factor. Winds will peak at ten miles-per-hour on Sunday but will remain in the high single-digits for each of the other days. If the forecast is to hold true, we may have a repeat of last year where this event was shortened.
Strokes Gained: Tee to Green (SG: TTG)
Strokes Gained: Approach (SG: APP)
Strokes Gained: Off the Tee (SG: OTT) / Average Driving Distance
Birdie or Better Percentage
SG: PUTT (SG: PUTT)
Greens in Regulation Percentage (GIR%)
Sand Saves Percentage
Par 5 Scoring
Adrian Meronk (+1400)
Meronk doesn’t top my model this week. Actually, there are two later suggestions in this article that top Meronk in my model of this event. Either way, Meronk comes in with the lowest betting odds of those I’m on this week. As previously mentioned, Meronk sits fifth in the European Ryder Cup points and a victory this week would all but secure his spot in Luke Donald’s team. We last saw Meronk at The Open Championship where he had an impressive finish of T23rd. The last two times we saw Meronk in a DP World Tour event, he placed T15th at the Betfred British Masters and T3rd at the BMW International Open. Meronk also has two victories on the season, winning both the DS Automobiles Italian Open in May and the ISPS Handa Australian Open back in December. He is currently first on Tour in both SG: TTG and SG: OTT, second in GIR%, 19th in both SG: APP and par five average scoring, 21st in bogey avoidance, 27th in scrambling, 72nd in both birdie or better percentage and sand saves percentage, 76th in average driving distance and 84th in SG: PUTT. All of these numbers place him above average or at average in each of the 11 statistical categories I took into consideration this week. I’m playing two units on Meronk this week.
Robert MacIntyre (+2100)
Like Meronk, MacIntyre sits within the top six of the European Ryder Cup points. He’s currently third in that list and again, like Meronk, a victory would all but secure his placement for this fall’s European Ryder Cup team. He also comes in at the absolute top of my model by a considerable amount. He’s currently fifth on Tour in par five average scoring, seventh in scrambling, ninth in SG: TTG, 12th in SG: OTT, 18th in both bogey avoidance and sand saves percentage, 25th in birdie or better percentage, 26th in average driving distance, 29th in SG: APP, 48th in GIR% and 62nd in SG: PUTT. MacIntyre is above average in each of the 11 statistical categories we took into consideration this week. He did place T62nd at last week’s ISPS Handa World Invitational. He also made the cut at The Open Championship. Prior to that, he placed second at the Genesis Scottish Open. He should have won that event if it wasn’t for Rory McIlroy. He also placed T4th at the Made in Himmerland back in early July. With Ryder Cup implications on the line, modeling extremely well and in some good form, I’m all over this +2100 number for McaIntyre. I’m playing two units here.
Antoine Rozner (+3400)
The Freshman is constantly someone who pops in my models and that’s for good reason. On the DP World Tour he is currently fourth in GIR%, 25th in par five average scoring, 27th in SG: TTG, 33rd in SG: APP, 36th in scrambling, 40th in birdie or better percentage, 41st in SG: PUTT, 42nd in average driving distance, 45th in SG: OTT and 57th in sand saves percentage. Nothing in terms of these stats jumps off the page at you but he is 57th or better in each of the 11 statistical categories I took into consideration this week. He’s an extremely well rounded golfer who does everything well. He also went T20th at The Open Championship in his last outing. I’m playing one unit on Rozner this week.
Niklas Norgaard Moller (+6000)
Norgaard is currently fourth on Tour in both average driving distance and birdie or better percentage. He is also seventh in SG: OTT, 25th in bogey avoidance, 26th in GIR%, 32nd in SG: PUTT, 44th in SG: TTG, 47th in par five average scoring, 67th in scrambling, 78th in sand saves percentage and 82nd in SG: APP. Not a bad resume for someone at +6000 in my opinion. He’s also been in some decent form dating back to the Betfred British Masters. He placed seventh at the Betfred British Masters, T35th at the Made in Himmerland and T33rd at the co-sanctioned Barbasol Championship with the PGA TOUR. I’m playing one unit on Norgaard this week.