European Tour: What to Watch for at the Czech Masters
The European Tour travels from Denmark to the Czech Republic this week for the D+D REAL Czech Masters. A strong field has assembled at the Albatross Golf Resort outside Prague.
This is the second time this tournament has been hosted, following the inaugural event last season. That time out, Jamie Donaldson of Wales came through as the winner. It was a gutsy performance as Donaldson had travelled to the event knowing he needed a great finish to secure his place in the 2014 European Ryder Cup team. He achieved his goal and went on to play a pivotal role at Gleneagles.
With the European Tour building towards its climax for 2015, the players are thinking about securing playing rights for 2016 or a place in the top-60 on this year’s Race to Dubai and a spot in the season-ending DP World Tour Championship.
The course at the Albatross Golf Resort opened for play in 2009. Designed by Keith Preston, it’s a challenging track with seven large lakes providing protection as well as over 1,200 maturing trees.
Four things to watch for at D+D REAL Czech Masters:
1. David Horsey is looking to make it two wins on the spin this week. After triumphing in the Made in Denmark tournament, the Englishman will hope to continue his run in Prague. He’s an accurate player and a solid putter and those skills should stand him in good stead around this tricky course.
2. Bradley Dredge finished as runner-up to his fellow Welshman Jamie Donaldson in the inaugural Czech Masters last year. That finish was crucial for Dredge as it earned him his card for the 2015 season. He’ll be aiming to draw on the good memories he has of the layout at the Albatross Golf Resort. He will also have positive recent memories to turn to – he was tied for sixth last week in Denmark.
3. Victor Dubuisson is one of the star players on the start sheet this week. The 2014 Ryder Cup team member has had a solid if unspectacular season to this point with a number of steady finishes but no top-threes. He’d love to change that this week. He put in a strong showing at the USPGA Championship where he closed with a pair of 67s to climb into a tie for 18th place.
4. Players from the USA. There will be eight golfers from the U.S in the field in this event. Peter Uihlein is perhaps the most likely of them to claim a victory this week. The 25-year-old is currently 64th on the Race to Dubai standings. The other Americans teeing it up are 2014 Omega European Masters champion David Lipsky, Paul Peterson, Daniel Woltman, John Hahn, Sihwan Kim, Daniel Im and two-time Asian Tour winner Jason Knutzon.