Cazoo Classic Preview, Picks & Analysis
THE Cazoo Classic at the magnificent London Club brings the curtain down on the European Tour’s UK Swing, with Bernd Wiesberger, Andy Sullivan and Victor Perez all looking for Ryder Cup points as they try to catch the eye of Padraig Harrington.
Wiesberger has eight European Tour victories to his credit, but the Austrian is yet to win on English soil. His most recent win, at May’s Made in HimmerLand, gave his chances of earning a Ryder Cup debut a significant boost as he currently sits just outside the automatic qualification spots on the European Points list.
A second win of the 2021 season would boost the 35-year-old’s chances of securing an automatic place in Harrington’s European team for Whistling Straits.
“I’m looking forward to playing the Cazoo Classic,” said Wiesberger. “I’ve never played at London Golf Club before but I know it has a good pedigree of hosting big events with the European Open and the Volvo World Match Play Championship.
“I have had a little bit of a break since The Open after a busy first half of the year, so I’m excited to get back out competing and hopefully I can give the fans something to cheer about next week.”
Perez will also be making his first European Tour start since The Open at Royal St George’s and will be hoping to return to the form which earned him top five finishes in the Saudi International and the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play earlier this year.
“I’m excited about playing in England again next week,” said the Scotland-based Frenchman. “The fans were incredible at Royal St George’s and I know London Golf Club is not far away from there so I’m sure they will be incredibly supportive once again.
“It’s a golf course I’ve never played but I have heard good things about it and I’m hoping to get my game back on track as we reach an important part of the season.”
Sullivan will require a big push over the coming weeks if he is to move into contention for Ryder Cup qualification, but the Englishman has previous when it comes to hot streaks - his three victories in the space of ten months in 2015 earned him a debut on Darren Clarke’s European team at Hazeltine in 2016.
After impressing at The Open, the 34-year-old is excited about the opportunity to play in front of his home fans once again.
“It should be a great week at London Golf Club,” said Sullivan. “It’s been nice to have a run of events on UK soil and to play in front of the best fans in golf. It really gives you a boost and especially after a long time when we had no fans at all due to the pandemic.
“My game has been trending nicely and I feel like I’ve had a decent run of form in the last couple of months so hopefully that can translate into a good performance at the Cazoo Classic and maybe I can put myself in contention come Sunday.”
The Jack Nicklaus-designed Heritage Course at London Golf Club, a European Tour Destination, will play host to the European Tour for the first time since 2014.
London Golf Club boasts a rich history of hosting elite professional events, beginning in 2008 with the first of two back-to-back editions of the European Open at the Kent venue. Home favourite Ross Fisher emerged victorious in their first hosting of the prestigious tournament, overcoming Sergio Garcia by seven shots.
Frenchman Christian Cévaër claimed the 2009 European Open on the Heritage Course, beating a star-studded field which included former World Number Ones Martin Kaymer, Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood.
In 2014, London Golf Club’s International Course hosted the Volvo World Match Play where Finn Mikko Ilonen triumphed over his Scandinavian counterpart, Henrik Stenson of Sweden, in the final 3&1.
It has also been a popular stop on the Legends Tour in years past, hosting the 2018 and 2019 editions of the Staysure PGA Seniors Championship - won by Philip Golding and Phillip Price respectively.
The London Club is a stunning parkland layout. The Heritage Course, which was designed by Jack Nicklaus, measures 7,308 yards and features plenty of water. Dramatic tee shots and daunting approaches make this both a daunting and memorable layout. It hosted the European Open in 2008 and 2009.
Last year was the first time the English Open had been played since 2002 and was won by Sam Horsfield.
Andy Sullivan is enjoying a fine run of form. He finished in a tie for 26th at The Open after a disappointing weekend and has enjoyed several top-10 finishes this season. Capable of going really low and will love the London Club. Calum Hill is a hugely talented Scot who played superbly at Fairmont St Andrews last week - a performance that should go a long towards giving him the confidence he needs. Wiesberger has already won once this season. He is a superb ball striker and will want to pick up another win to secure his Ryder Cup place.
Bernd Wiesberger. Desperate to make the Ryder Cup team
Andy Sullivan. Due to add to his four wins
Calum Hill. The Scot is finally beginning to look like he belongs at this level
Five to Follow:
Bernd Wiesberger. Has few weaknesses
Andy Sullivan Plays golf with a smile
Calum Hill. Now has some self-belief
Lucas Bjerregaard. Finally recapturing his best form
Brandon Stone. Capable of scoring really low
Thorbjorn Olesen. Getting there, slowly but surely
Scott Hend. Big-hitting Aussie
Eddie Pepperell. Still searching for his best
Shubhankar Sharma. It’s now more than three years since the Indian’s last win
Daniel Gavins. Keen to prove his ISPS win was no fluke
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Tags: european tour