We return to the Albatross Golf Resort for the second edition of the D+D Real Czech Masters. Jamie Donaldson won the inaugural crown at the scene of his automatic qualification for Paul McGinley's Ryder Cup side last year. This is an event where many players on tour will be looking to secure their cards for next year or cement themselves a place in the top 60 Race to Dubai spots.
Last year, Bradley Dredge - 23.00 - was runner up to compatriot Donaldson at the Czech Masters. This was his second runner up finish in a row following the Made in Denmark event and he'll have fond memories after confirming his participation amongst the elite for season 2015 this time last season. Dredge was once again in contention a few days ago at Himmerland and he'll be hoping the biorhythms kick in. David Horsey - 34.00 - was your winner in Aalborg and he looks to make it two in a row while young Englishman Matthew Fitzpatrick is closing in on his maiden title and trades at 26.00.
The course - Albatross Golf Resort
Albatross Golf resort is a paradise for the big hitters. It plays long and the fairways combined with the first cut offer generous landing areas. The course is largely exposed with a decent smattering of under developed trees. Greens are large and according to Gregory Bourdy, they were some of the best on tour last year, running near 12' on the stimp. Water features on a number of holes but doesn't menace while par 3s are strong, averaging well over 200 yards. Last years leaderboard shows a heavy emphasis on tee to green game, with GIR% prevalent in the top 10. The putting stats of the leaders were not a theme and only 4 players hit double digits under par. Greens and two-putt pars are the main order of the week.
Three from the pack
Kristoffer Broberg - 15.00 or 4.00 - sticks out like a sore thumb here. In a repeat of last season he's found form over the summer with 5 top 15 finishes in his last 7 stroke play events, culminating in a T2 in Denmark last week. Broberg powered to a course record 62 on Sunday at Himmerland to fly up the leaderboard. He showed a driving distance average over 300 yards in the process. Broberg is not afraid to go low and is a regular near the top of the European Tour Birdie stats. The Swede owns a 71.5% GIR rate in 2015.
Morten Orum Madsen - 67.00 or 14.00 - got the juices flowing in front of his home fans last week, securing a top 20 in the process. Confidence seems to be building and this is a course right up Madsen's street. In fact it will play similar to the lengthy Copperleaf track where he was paired with 2014 Tshwane Open winner Ross Fisher in round 3 after opening 67-65. Morten got things going back in the right direction with a couple of wins at the Paul Lawrie matchplay, taking the notable scalps of Alex Levy and Alvaro Quiros, before coming unstuck to Richie Ramsay on the 18th hole in the 3rd round. The Dane owns some serious power off the tee, while his putting stats are under the 29.00 mark this season.
Thomas Pieters - 67.00 or 14.00 - is another who has everything in his armoury to tackle Albatross Golf Resort. He hit a sneaky under the radar 67 on Sunday in Denmark to post a t35 and he's been bubbling under the surface this summer with a couple of other top 35 finishes. Pieters is one of the longest on tour but he's wild off the tee with a clip of just 45% in driving accuracy 2015. The track in question will cater for the Belgian and he looks worth a speculative bet to hit first gear here.
Roope Kakko - 67.00 or 14.00 - gets the attention due to his driving distance and GIR stats.He's 8th in driving distance with a 311 yard average and he's backed that up by hitting 75% of greens to rank 5th in that area. He hit a weekend -17 including a Sunday 63 to take the Madeira Islands Open just a few weeks ago.