It’s an unusual Saturday start this week on the European Tour for the Porsche European Open at the Porsche Nord Course, Green Eagle Golf Resort, Hamburg, Germany.
This event will now be played over 54 holes instead of 72 and will last three days from Saturday through to the final round on Monday due to Germany’s strict travel restrictions.
The 154 field will be competing on this par 72 parkland course for the €1.2 M prize money with the winner receiving €333,330.
Paul Casey will return to defend the title he won in 2019 with last years event being cancelled.
The weather is forecast to be sunny and warm throughout with light breezes.
The event will be screened on Sky Sports Golf with live coverage starting at 1pm GMT on Saturday.
The key attribute around this Nord Course will be accuracy with strong approach play and a hot putter to negotiate the undulations on these tricky greens.
For my main selection in Hamburg this week I’m going to advice the defending champion Paul Casey 6/1 EW Bet365.
The Arizona-based Englishman will be the one they all have to beat. He is currently ranked 21st in the world rankings and brings with him to Hamburg form that most in this field can only dream about.
The talented 43 yrs old has finished inside the Top 20 in seven of his last eleven tournaments with six of those being inside the Top 10.
He was an impressive T4th last time out at The PGA Championship where he was in contention but just couldn’t keep up pace with the exceptional Phil Mickelson.
Casey has already won on the European Tour this year when winning the Omega Dubai Desert Classic in January. Other top finishes worth a mention this year were T5th at The Players Championship and also another T5th finish at AT&T Pebble Beach.
Casey won this event last time it was played in 2019 with a record -14 scorecard and can use his experience and expertise to go on and defend his title at a track he clearly enjoys.
He can take his European Tour victories into double figures with win number ten , fourteen in total if he can repeat his effort from the last time he played around here.
For my next best this week in Hamburg I just can’t see passed the two main market leaders so it would be unfair to advise otherwise so for that reason I’m going to include Abraham Ancer 8/1 EW Betfair.
The 30 yrs old Texan is another who comes here with fine form and is the highest ranked golfer in this field, currently ranked inside the worlds Top 20 at 17th.
In the last five events the American has played he has finished inside the Top 20 in all five attempts with three of those inside the Top 5.
He was T14th last time out at the Charles Schwab Challenge last week and the week before he finished a very respectable T8th at Kiawah Island.
In the event prior to The PGA Championship, Ancer finished runner up at the Wells Fargo Championship and was 5th at the Valspar Championship the week previous.
Ancer is the top ranked golfer in this field for a reason and it will be interesting to see if he can bring his PGA Tour form to the European Tour where it’s fair to say he doesn’t choose to compete at often.
I can only see this being a duel between Ancer and Casey where their quality will shine and prove why they are head and shoulders above the rest in this field and I wouldn’t be surprised if Ancer came out best.
For my next selection I’m going to look further up the field for some value since I’ve singled out the market leaders so for this reason I’m going to advise Adrian Meronk 35/1 EW Bet365.
The 28 yrs old German, a native to Hamburg, knows this course better than most and this could be the perfect opportunity for Meronk to land that elusive European Tour maiden title.
He has been knocking on the door especially recently when he finished T3rd at the Betfred British Masters just a few weeks back and he also finished T3rd at the Tenerife Open earlier this year.
He has won an event on the Challenge Tour when winning the Open De Portugal in 2019 so he does know what it takes to win an event as a Pro.
With some fans in attendance at the Porsche European Open this week they will all be rooting for their local favourite and Meronk could well take advantage on home soil to claim that European Title that so far, has eluded him.
Adrian Meronk v Jordan Smith
For my final selection I’m going for the customary matchbet and I’m liking the look of home advantage again so I’m taking Adrian Meronk to get the better of Jordan Smith 10/11 Nap Bet365.