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  • Writer's pictureNate (@WeKnowFantasy)

Out of the Rough: European Open (2024)

The DP World Tour moves from Belgium to Germany for the European Open.

The European Open was first played in 1978 as a nomadic event up until 2009 when it was removed from the DP World Tour schedule.

The event returned to the schedule in 2015 and has been played in Germany ever since.

The first two editions since its return were played at Beckenbauer Course in Bad Griesbach but moved to the Green Eagle Resort in 2017 and has been played there ever since.

This marks the seventh consecutive year that the event is to be played here.

The Field

This week’s field is one of the strongest we’ve seen all season on the DP World Tour.

Among the names of top DP World Tour names are Rasmus Hojgaard, Tom McKibbin, Bernd Wiesberger, Richard Mansell, Jordan Smith, Keita Nakajima and Laurie Canter.

McKibbin comes in as the defending champion as he used this event a year ago as his maiden - and only - DP World Tour victory. In doing so, he became the youngest Irish-born golfer to win on the DP World Tour since Rory McIlroy.

Former Masters’ Champion Danny Willett will be making his first appearance since his return to Augusta in early April this week as well.

Other former winners of this event at Green Eagle in this week’s field include Marcus Armitage (2021,) Richard McEvory (2018) and Jordan Smith (2017.)

The Course

The Porsche Nord Course at Green Eagle Golf Resort just outside of Hamburg, Germany plays host this week.

It plays as a par-73 at 7,882 yards.

On paper, it is one of the ten longest golf courses in the world.

However, narrowing down the exact distance is darn-near impossible as it has changed every year. There are as many as four teeing areas on each hole. Therefore, there is plenty of flexibility with regards to the course setup and therefore yardage.

It played last year at 7,455 yards, making it the shortest the course has been played to date.

On top of being listed as one of the ten longest golf courses in the world, it too is described as the most difficult golf course in Germany.

Although the distance may suggest that having plug-distance off-the-tee is a must, it is actually the opposite. In the six previous installments of the European Open, accuracy off-the-tee trumped distance by a large margin.

There is some form of water in play on all but one hole this week, adding to the importance of accuracy over distance.

The course is best described as a flat parkland style course with wide fairways.

The greens this week are laid to a mixture of Bentgrass and Poa Annua and are large with big undulations. Past results here have suggested that putting is not all that important. This allows those who don’t bring a hot flat stick to compete.

In all, tee-to-green play is the key to victory here and getting the ball on the greens in regulation correlates to the most success.

The Weather

We could be in line for some wet conditions this week in Germany. As of the time of writing this, Thursday is calling for a 40-percent chance of precipitation, Friday a 70-percent chance and Saturday a 50-percent chance. Sunday is the only day that appears to be clear this week but that too is calling for a 20-percent chance of precipitation. It doesn’t help that Wednesday is calling for a 100-percent chance of precipitation leading into the event as well. Winds will be at the highest on Sunday at 14 miles-per-hour. Saturday is calling for 11 miles-per-hour winds, Friday eight miles-per-hour and Thursday five miles-per-hour. Temperatures will range between 66-to-69 degrees across all four days as well.

Key Stats

  • Strokes Gained: Tee to Green (SG: TTG)

  • Strokes Gained: Off the Tee (SG: OTT) / Driving Accuracy

  • Greens in Regulation Percentage (GIR%)

  • Strokes Gained: Approach (SG: APP)

  • Scrambling

  • Bogey Avoidance

Betting Card

Bernd Wiesberger (+2800)

In my course preview above, I talked about the importance of tee-to-green play and GIR%. If I’m hyping those two stats up, I have to go with Wiesberger this week. He is currently tops on the DP World Tour in both of those aforementioned categories as well as scrambling and bogey avoidance. So in other words, he gets to the green better than anyone, he’s putting for birdie or better more often than anyone and when he isn’t, he’s saving par better than anyone. Hard to go against that. He is also eighth on Tour in SG: APP, 14th in driving accuracy and 32nd in SG: OTT. The form coming into this week isn’t anything insane but he has three straight top 25 finishes. Actually, in the eight events he’s played this season, he has placed in the top 25 in six of them. I’m playing two units on him this week as my overall favorite.

Frederic LaCroix (+4000)

Like Wiesberger, LaCroix’s form coming into this week isn’t anything special but he placed T34th in his last outing at the Soudal Open and T13th at the Volvo China Open. However, earlier this season he had a run of events where he placed T5th at the South African Open, third at the Ras Al Khaimah Championship and T4th at the Bahrain Championship. LaCroix also placed fifth here a season ago. He is currently fourth on Tour in SG: TTG, 11th in GIR%, 12th in SG: OTT, 18th in driving accuracy, 19th in both SG: APP and scrambling and 21st in bogey avoidance. I’m playing a unit on him.

Ewen Ferguson (+5000)

This is arguably my favorite value play of the week. Ferguson is currently fourth on Tour in driving accuracy, ninth in both scrambling and bogey avoidance, 15th in both SG: TTG and SG: APP, 26th in GIR% and 45th in SG: OTT. Once again, the recent form isn’t eye-catching but he has made the cut in eight consecutive events. In those events he has a run of six consecutive top 25 finishes including a T9th at the Qatar Masters, T7th at the Magical Kenya Open and T11th at the Porsche Singapore Classic. He also placed T14th here a season ago. I’m also playing a unit on him.

Jason Scrivener (+15000)

After hitting on Nacho Elvira (+10000) last week, I’m playing Scrivener as my longshot this week. Scrivener has had some mixed results and form this season. He’s made the cut in back-to-back events coming into this week including a T23rd at the Volvo China Open. Additionally, he placed T17th at the Jonsson Workwear Open. He is currently fourth on Tour in GIR%, eighth in driving accuracy, 14th in SG: TTG, 16th in SG: OTT, 25th in bogey avoidance, 27th in SG: APP and 73rd in scrambling. Not a bad resume for someone this far down. I’m playing a unit on him.

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