Sam Horsfield won twice on the European Tour last summer – the Hero Open and the Celtic Classic – but his attempts to complete a hat-trick this year have been scuppered largely by Friday flops.
The Manchester-born, Florida-based 24-year-old is an explosive talent capable of seriously low scoring and much of his best work has been done on Thursdays, before he falters in the second round.
This week’s Czech Masters could be at the mercy of Horsfield if he can find a way to forge forward on Friday rather than tread water.
Horsfield Needs Putter to get Hot
10/1 favourite looks a solid wager because the course sets up so well for him. The Albatross layout has generous fairways, four par-fives and 7,467 yards to cover, so powerhouses like Horsfield are left licking their lips.
He has registered five top-eight finishes in his last ten regulation European Tour events and was sixth in the Cazoo Open last time out.
A cold putter blighted him in the Cazoo – he was 86th in the putting rankings – but he was swinging superbly. A warming of the putter in Prague and a more positive attitude on Friday could see super him quickly take charge.
Sabbatini Jets in for Rare European Gig
The Czech Masters market is showing great respect to Rory Sabbatini because he usually plies his trade in a higher grade – the PGA Tour – and he has played well in his last two tournaments.
A silver medal-winning performance in the Tokyo Olympics was followed by tenth place in the Wyndham Championship, so Sabbatini has been chalked up at
It is important for punters to note, though, that prior to those bold efforts in Japan and North Carolina, Sabbatini missed the cut in four events in a row and the South African-born Slovakian is outside of the world’s top 100 ranked players.
Prior to the Olympics, Sabbatini had not posted a top-five finish anywhere since June, 2019, so this sudden burst of form could disappear as quickly as it arrived – he tied for 19th place in his only previous Czech Masters start.
Lesser-known Hojgaard set to shine
Punters who are not prepared to risk their hard-earned cash on the favourite, may prefer a smaller stake at much bigger odds on
50/1 chance Nicolai Hojgaard, a talented maiden who seems certain to become a European Tour champion at some stage.
Hojgaard, a former amateur star, is only 20, like his twin brother Rasmus, but the Danish duo are full of class and composure.
Rasmus led the Cazoo Classic by three shots going into last Sunday’s final round and finished third and that form over the first three days at the London Club may inspire his bro to big things in Prague.
Nicolai is blessed with effortless length off the tee, so he can set himself up well on all the par-fives. He finished 21st in the Cazoo Classic and is starting to establish himself as a contender for Tour titles.
*All odds correct at time of writing