Porsche European Masters Preview, Picks & Analysis
ANYBODY who doubted Patrick Reed’s desire to finish the season as the European Tour’s Race to Dubai winner need only take a quick look through the field set to play the Porsche European Open at Green Eagle Golf Courses, where they will find Reed’s name as one the star attractions.
The American, who won The Masters at Augusta in April and then launched a serious challenge for the US Open title, is returning to a venue where he recorded a rare albatross in his second round last year. Reed has always made it clear that he wants to be known as a golfer who does not restrict his play to the PGA Tour, and firmly believes that his game will improve if he plays around the world, experiencing different courses and changing conditions.
“I really enjoyed my visit to Hamburg and Germany last year and can't wait to get back,” said Reed. “The competition at the Reeperbahn was a fantastic experience and I would love to add my name to the great list of winners, especially on the event’s 40th anniversary.”
Reed has won six US PGA Tour titles and before his triumph at Augusta had already claimed three top ten spots in the 2018 season. He will be joined in Hamburg by fellow American Pat Perez. Reed is a certainty to be a member of Jim Furyk’s American Ryder Cup team, while Perez is also hoping to make his debut in the event in Paris at the end of September.
Although it comes just one week after The Open Championship at Carnoustie, many of Europe’s top players will be in the field as they aim to tie down places in Thomas Bjorn’s team.
“Our aim is always to offer our audience a high-calibre field of players. With Patrick Reed on board, we look forward to seeing an absolute superstar in action as he takes on the likes of Pat Perez and defending champion Jordan Smith,” said Porsche European Open Tournament Director Dominik Senn.
Smith enjoyed an outstanding maiden season overall and was one of the most successful rookies on last year’s European Tour, finishing 24th in the Race to Dubai. But he has found it all rather more of a struggle in 2018.
First established in 1978, the Porsche European Open has gone on to become one of the European Tour’s most renowned tournaments as it celebrates its 40th anniversary.
Back in 1978 Bobby Wadkins became the first player to lift the European Open. He was the first in an illustrious series of winners, from Sandy Lyle, Greg Norman, Ian Woosnam, Sir Nick Faldo, Lee Westwood, Darren Clarke, Colin Montgomerie to double champion Bernhard Langer.
Perez will be making his second appearance in northern Germany. He won the CIMB Classic on the PGA Tour in October 2017 and produced some outstanding golf this year too. He has fond memories of his first trip to Germany last year for the Porsche European Open and is aiming to do everything he can to win this tournament: “I can't wait to get back there and make a run for the trophy - it would be great to see an American flag next to the winners name again in the anniversary year of this great event.”
Most attention may be focused on Bryson DeChambeau, another young American who is taking the game by storm with a technique that is all his own. He may be everybody’s cup of tea, but nobody can deny that he is a world-class talent, and is another who will almost certainly be playing for the USA in the Ryder Cup. Like Reed, he is a man who wears his heart on his sleeve and he could well thrive in the unique atmosphere of this event. Also like Reed, he has made it clear that he wants to travel the world playing golf.
He is already a winner on the PGA Tour and is becoming one its most consistent performers. Don’t be at all surprised to see him add his first overseas title this week.
Englishman Paul Casey is also in the field. Having rejoined the European Tour, Casey returned to the winners’ circle in America earlier this year. His avowed aim for 2018 is to be in Paris, and there can be no doubt that he would be a huge asset for Europe. There are few better ball strikers on the planet, and when he has his eye in on the greens there are no better putters. He is an inspirational character who plays golf with a swagger and it is gratifying to see him back near the top of the world rankings.
The tournament took a six-year break after 2009. It was won in 2015 by Thongchai Jaidee, in 2016 by Alexander Levy and last year by Smith.
To Win: Bryson DeChambeau. Looking to make his mark in Europe
Each Way: Patrick Reed. Determined to win Race to Dubai
Each Way: Paul Casey. Brilliant ball striker
Bryson DeChambeau. Will relish this challenge
Patrick Reed. Now one of the best on the planet
Paul Casey. Looking to secure Ryder Cup berth
Charl Schwarztel. Glorious swing
Erik Van Rooyen. South African in terrific form
Thomas Detry. Belgian looking to find his way again
Connor Syme. Talented young Scot
Lucas Bjerregard. Beginning to look like a Great Dane
Jordan Smith. In need of a good week
Haydn Porteous. Hugely gifted South African
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