Nordea Masters Betting Market and overview
The Nordea Masters heads back to the Bro Hof Slott venue in 2016 after a brief hiatus and it's a welcome return. This is one of the courses I've found it easier to profile potential contenders for down the years and there are a few in the market jumping out at me already. Par 5s are key at Bro Hof Slott GC - there are five of them and the angle this week will be to target those who can crush the long holes. Henrik Stenson leads the betting at 7.50 while Lee Westwood - 12.00 - looks to become the first player to bag 4 Scandinavian / Nordea Masters titles.
Alex Noren - 17.00 - won here back in 2011 in what was an event that consisted of arguably the windiest day I've witnessed watching golf. With an island green par 3 in operation on the 17th hole, and the Lake in play on numerous holes, it caused carnage. It was a strange event in general as Noren had built up an 11 shot advantage on the field after 54 holes. The average score of the final round for the top 20 was 75.25. Numerous 80+ rounds were recorded; the moral of the story is the wind can get up here. If it doesn't, scoring will be low. Andrew Dodt - 176.00 - made history in the 2nd round in 2013 at the venue, circling 2 hole in ones in a solitary round.
Course features and premiums
It's distance over accuracy but total driving the key at a lengthy, exposed, par 72 track playing over 7,500 yards. The course consists of five par 5s and five tough par 3s including the aforementioned island green 17th which is now surrounded by a wall. Fairways are average width but avoiding the rough will play a part. Smooth, often receptive greens will run at around 11 on the stimpmetre and a defence of the track is the run off areas surrounding them. Holes 9 through 15 are where you can make your score, with four of the par 5s coming in that stretch. Water lurks throughout and is prominent down the stretch so expect to see a few big numbers, especially if it blows.
Top Nordea Masters Betting Tips
I mentioned low scoring and Rikard Karlberg - 29.00 or 6.50 - recorded a -17 under total here back in 2013 for a T4 finish. Karlberg captured his first European Tour victory last year in Italy totalling -19 and has moved up a level now. He backed his way into 2nd place at Wentworth with a Sunday 65 and continued his decent play at Walton Heath with a top 25 in the US Open qualifying. Karlberg is a birdie machine who makes red numbers in streaks and he can take advantage of the par fives with his big hitting, averaging 295 yards off the tee. Recent form figures read a progressive 40-25-8-21-10-2. This event has ties to Black Mountain GC where Karlberg and a lot of Swedes make their base.
Scott Hend - 46.00 or 10.00 - is one the the par 5 crushers on the European Tour. He loves an eagle and with 5 par fives here I can't leave him out given recent form prior to a bad Sunday and Monday at Wentworth and Walton Heath. This inflates and makes him more than a backable price to bounce back in my opinion at a venue he's recorded a top 5 at before. Hend won the True Thailand Classic and was 4th in Shenzhen. He was 12th in Mauritius and 54 hole leader in Wentworth - a course that doesn't suit the big hitter on paper. The Aussie bombs it well over 300 from the markers on average.
Thomas Pieters - 29.00 or 6.50 - is another who can dismantle the par 5s with his big hitting and putting prowess. Pieters was 3rd in Thailand, 2nd in Abu Dhabi and he's simmering with top 30s and missed cuts apart from that. You may see a developing theme with Black Mountain in this article. Pieters was T27 at Wentworth and went on to record 9 birdies in 33 holes at Walton Heath despite failing to qualify. Darren Clarke says he's been playing well without necessarily scoring well. In three years on Tour, the Belgian averages 305 yards from the tee and has an average just over 29 in the putts per round category. If conditions are benign, expect to see some red and yellow numbers from the big man.
Bjorn Hellgren - 501.0 or 81.00 - is a player affiliated with the aforementioned Black Mountain GC and is a multiple winner of the Black Mountain Invitational held there. The two courses share similarities and it will be a familiar feel for the lanky Swede who is good friends with Seb Soderberg. One to watch in the sub markets
Another to look out for is compatriot Mikael Lundberg - 301.0 or 51.00 - who is a multiple European Tour winner that shows up out of nowhere. He did just that on Monday to bank a 2nd place and earn a spot in the US Open qualifying at Walton Heath in windy conditions. He's a big price to bring that form home and worth a small investment.