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British Masters Tips & Predictions: Lean Westwood can win at Close House

Soren Kjedsen features amongst our British Masters tips and predictions.
Soren Kjedsen features amongst our British Masters tips and predictions.

Our resident golf tipster Russell Palmer returns with a look at the British Masters, as the European Tour returns to action for the first time since March...

The European Tour makes its long awaited return this week with the British Masters from Close House Golf Club in Northumberland. With a pretty modest looking line up, the host Lee Westwood heads the betting at 8/1 with the sponsors Betfred who are paying each-way terms up to 10 places this week.

This will be the second time Westwood has hosted the British Masters at Close House, a course he's affiliates to and will have played many more times than the opposition. A winner of the tournament back in 2007 when played at the Belfry, Westwood is clearly the best player in the field, the only golfer ranked in the top 50 (34) in the world and currently sitting second on the Race to Dubai thanks to his win in Abu Dhabi at the start of the year.

Its not really in my nature to be backing a single priced favourite in a golf tournament, but with the second favourite Belgian's Thomas Detry who sits 80 places in the official world rankings below Westwood combined with the Englishman's course knowledge I'm going to break that rule this week.

Westwood finished in a tie for 14th when the British Masters was played here in 2017, but has been spending a lot of time at the course in the build up to this week's tournament.

With no crowds and less of the usual hullabaloo that accompanies a tournament, Westwood won't be expending as much energy off the golf course as he'd usually expect to as host, although he's long enough in the tooth to not let him effect him too much.

Interviewed on Betfred TV Westwood claimed he's been playing more golf than he usually would since courses opened and the course appears to be set up to suit him, with the rough up rewarding good driving and the greens running nicely at 11 on the stimp.

The 47 year old claims to have lost two stone during lockdown and is ready to serve it up to the younger players in the field. Whilst the sponsors go 8/1 about his chances giving away 10 places each-way, you can shop around for some 9/1 and 10/1 if backing him like me outright.

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The British Masters at a glance
The British Masters at a glance

Another old campaigner on the European Tour is our second selection in the shape of Soren Kjeldsen. The wily Dane has the kind of game that could suit Close House and is a big price at 60/1 this week with Betfred.

The 45-year-old is a veteran of the European Tour and has four wins to his name, including at Gleneagles which is a similar parkland layout to Close House. The golf course isn't particularly long which will suit Kjeldsen but its around the greens where he can really gain shots against the field. Ranking 5th for shots gained around the green, Kjeldsen is also in the top ten for scrambling and his putting stats are all positive against the Tour average.

He finished 22nd in Danish PGA Championship four weeks ago so does have a little bit of recent form to speak of and I'll be having an each-way bet on his chances this week.

If you're looking for a player who has shown some recent form in the two co-sanctioned Euro and Challenge Tour events in Austria at bigger prices I like the look of Dutchman Wil Besseling at 80/1 with Betfred (eight places) or 110/1 with Bet365 just the five places.

Ranked 54 on the Race to Dubai, Besseling finished third at the Austrian Open two weeks ago behind Marc Warren where a third round 74 really put paid to any chance he had of winning, finishing two off the winner in the end.

The Dutchman is a winner on the Challenge Tour and finished in a tie for the third place at the Alfred Dunhill Championship in South Africa at the end of last year.

Ranking in the top 30 this season for both driving accuracy (27) and driving distance (14) has helped him gain a number one ranking for GIR this season on the European Tour and a good week around the greens could see him make a mockery of his odds.

The British Masters is the first of a six tournament 'UK Swing' which will be exciting for golf bettors. You can read more about it at our UK Swing schedule article we wrote when the news announced in May.

In the meantime good luck with your bets this week and as always, please gamble responsibly.

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