Selectabet: Nordea Masters
July 18, 2011 Leave a comment
Date: 21st – 24th July 2011
Competition: Nordea Masters
This week it is the turn of the Nordea Naked Masters – formerly the Scandinavian Masters although this year has been stripped back, Swedish style – as only our fair haired friends know how.
Venue: Bro Hoff Slott GC, Stockholm, Sweden (Stadium Course)
Robert Trent Jones Jnr’s Bro Hoff Slott GC (which translates loosely as Bridge by the Castle) is the Kingdom of Sweden’s number 1 course and the 7th best course in Europe. Its defining element is the skinny dipping friendly Lake Mälaren that nestles up to the course and provides a spectacular backdrop to many of the holes. The landscape is American in style with gentle rolling terrain, rocky outcrops and wooded groves and has the addition of the large, sweeping bunkers that also characterise many of the holes.
Essentially, this course promises to deliver more of a televisual treat than fey-but-feisty scandalbint Ulrika Jonsson.
Par: Par 72
A smaller than normal field this week will fight for this weeks’ title although following the 11th hour sponsorship of Guinness at The Open Championship, don’t expect too many big names to leap from a black stuff infused haze into the saunas for this one.
Headliners fighting for the ‘250,000-brightly-coloured-and-flat-packed-IKEA-Malm-range-item’ first prize this week include too many Per-Ulrik’s, Fredrik’s and Joachim’s to mention. Although I would like to single out Johansson (500/1 with Bet365), Haegmman (474/1 with BetFair) and our old friend, the ever effervescent pastel bathed “jockey-a-like” Jesper Parnevik (150/1 with SkyBet) who all deserve a little more than the aforementioned mention.
Making an unwelcome return to the strict big boy’s tour is one time cheat and hole in one machine, Elliot Saltman (150/1 with SkyBet) – who, like Stockholm favourites ABBA, would always be found asking if short putts were a “Gimme, Gimme, Gimme” and was heard begging if the law abiding Swedes would still “take a chance on me”.
A long, potentially wet and sandy track this one, and as there are many large run off areas for shots wide of the mark expect there to be a larger than normal tally of scrambling and bunker play around the greens. The greens will also be fast and so anyone with an ability to hold their own with the shorter sticks will likely be higher placed come Sunday evening.
The signature holes include; the par three 7th which at 228 yards, protected by bunkers short and long right means all mishit shots will be penalised; the risk reward par 5 9th that gives players a choice to cut the corner of the dogleg over the water hazard or play safe; and finally the monster par 5, 622 yard (from the back tees) wet left 15th hole. Wowzers!
Ones to watch:
Flashing his blue eyes and fingering his blonde locks with a relaxing Swedish massage for placing in the top 4 this week is Frederik Andersson Hed (33/1 at SkyBet) or Fred Hed as I shall call him. Catapulting himself into second at The Scottish Open with a sweet 62 two weeks ago and showing signs of the continued form at The Open, top 24 in both sand saves and putts per GIR, Fredrik will provide the home support something to cheer about.
Dustin Johnson (8/1 with Bet365) after tying for second at The Open and likely still to have sideburns that are just a fraction to thick for my personal taste BUT with length and finesse (not of the sideburns!) on his side, he will be one to watch this weekend on the final part of his European Swing. Supporting stats include 4 top 5’s and a 9th already in 2011, second in the birdie average and that length off the tee – by jove he is a big hitter!
Ones to win:
Surrounded by horny blonde bombshells and driving Volvo GL’s onto the winner’s podium as Roxette play a medley of classic hits in celebration this week will be Britt Ekland’s homeland buddies Alexander Noren and Robert Karlsson.
Currently 16th in the R2D and with victory still fresh in his mind from the Saab Wales Open, Noren (28/1 with Bet365) is a consistent player in the form of his young life. Playing in front of a home crowd, on a course he loves, but bizarrely with stats not matching his clear ability, Noren is hotly tipped to bring home the frozen meatballs, packet cream sauce and loganberry jelly this weekend.
Taller than Sven Goran Erickson and Annika Sorenstam when standing on one another’s shoulders, PGA Tour regular Robert Karlsson (57/1 at BetFair) is actually one of the highest points in Sweden. The 6 foot 5 beanpole, despite having a more off-than-on season, sits well within the top 20 world rankings and with 11 Tour wins to his name, will take inspiration from friend Darren Clarke and his major victory, in a bid to notch up the twelfth of his own in his National tournament.