It's a new tournament on the European Tour as we return to the Czech Republic for the D+D Real Czech Masters. This is a Ryder Cup themed event as a who's who of Ryder Cup wannabes dominate the build-up. Paul McGinley is on record as saying he will consider guys who come with a late run of form as picks. Scotsman Marc Warren did himself a real favour by winning in Denmark last week.
Attention now turns to players on the cusp of all things Ryder Cup as the market leaders on the outskirts of Prague look to cement their berths by hook or by crook. As things stand, market leader Jamie Donaldson - 12.00 - lies just inside the automatic places via the World Points List while Stephen Gallacher - 19.00 - is just on the wrong side of the cut off.
Gallacher has form and knows Gleneagles well, and should he fail to make it, there's a strong case for him being selected as a wild card over one of the bigger names. Joost Luiten - 13.00 - isn't far outside the automatic spots and the Dutch birdie machine along with the likes of Berndt Wiesberger - 15.00 - off the back of a superb showing in the PGA championship - will be looking to grab the attentions of the European team captain over the next fortnight.
The Course - Albatross Golf Resort
We have a new venue to sink our teeth into here as the players tee it up on the largely exposed 7,466 yard par 72 track. Greens are set to run just under 12" on the stimp and fairways are described as average width and gently contouring. With current weather conditions in Prague the course it set to play long and water hazards come into play on 50% of the holes. Many of the par fives are three shotters for the whole field, and the par 3s average around 210 yards so don't read too much into the supposed long hitter advantage there.
Three from the pack
Felipe Aguilar was back in the winner’s circle earlier in the year and he looked like he may challenge hard for another trophy in the earlier stages of what was a windfest in Denmark as he held the first round lead. Aguilar was eventually blown back into a T57 finish but after back to back top 30s in France and Scotland, the Chilean looks about to peak once more. He trades at 41.00 or 9.00 the place.
Emiliano Grillo - 41.00 or 9.00 - is another that looks to have re found some form after an eventful start to the season. Grillo was runner up in Dubai and went on to hold a strong lead in the Africa Open only to begin the final round with a disastrous 9 on a par 4. The Argentine showed guts to rally with a succession of birdies on the back nine and card a top five. A recent top ten at the BMW International Open adds fuel to the fire, as does a GIR clip of 75% with an average driving distance of approximately 295 yards in 2014.
Last but not least is a regenerated Steve Webster who has form and positive vibes in this part of the world. Webster recorded a T2 at Prosper Golf Resort for the 2009 Moravia Silesia - one of a myriad on 2nd places in his career. This shows he can get himself right into the mix and Steve has also finished the job off on two occasions. The Englishman carded two top fives in the prestigious desert swing earlier in the year and since his return from injury has been simmering nicely. Two rounds in the sixties in strong Danish winds last week shows his ball striking is right back where it should be and he's the value man this week at 61.00 or 13.00 the place.
See all the runners and riders here.