When to bet
By 7:30 on Thursday
Where to watch the British Masters
Live on Sky Sports Golf from 1pm on Thursday
Steve Palmer’s British Masters predictions
3pts each way 14-1 general
2pts each way 18-1 Betfair, Power
1pt each way 55-1 bet365
Justin Rose headlines the Betfred British Masters from The Belfry and the former US Open champion is likely to be tasked by tournament host Sir Nick Faldo with plenty of promotional work before and during the event. The couple are close allies.
Rose could be fighting as favorite as the loose driving that has plagued him in recent months will be punished at The Belfry. A Sunday howler off the tee gave Rose a winning chance at the Canadian Open earlier this month and he needs to straighten out his drive to justify leading the market this week.
Steve Palmer’s top tip
Adrian Meronk 14-1
Polish powerhouse Adrian Meronk can cement his place in the European Ryder Cup team with a win at The Belfry on Sunday. This week’s venue is a long and punishing track, where Meronk’s driving skills serve him well.
A third place finish in his Belfry debut at the 2021 British Masters showed just how well Meronk fits into this layout – he was superb at the weekend and fell one shot shy of a playoff. Since then, he won the Irish Open on a similar course this week, then the Australian Open and the Italian Open, becoming a more confident player.
Meronk’s missed cut at The Belfry last year can be forgiven – she’s still a maiden and has endured a frustrating run of near-misses – and she should be followed this week with the silverware flowing.
Meronk, inside the top 50 of the world rankings, has form figures of 1-5-3 from his last three starts in regulation events on the DP World Tour. He missed the cut by a shot at both the Canadian Open and the US Open – narrowly missing out on top company – but bounced straight back with birdies in Germany last week.
Only one player got past Meronk in the final round of the BMW International Open on Sunday and this determined character looks the man to beat at The Belfry.
Next best bet
Jordan Smith 18-1
Like Meronk, Jordan Smith is in total control of his swing, hitting the greens in regulation. The Bath man was sixth at the European Open earlier this month, then finished 20th at the US Open, closing with a 66 bettered by just three players in the field that day.
Smith, one of the best ball-strikers on the DP World Tour, took British Masters form at The Belfry 17-21. He encountered some water hazards in the third round last year, but recovered on Sunday when only four players in the field passed him. With so many per-hundred spots on offer this week, Meronk and Smith look like rock-solid per-hundred investments.
Richard Mansell 55-1
Local lad Richard Mansell knows The Belfry like the back of his hand and the course set up wonderfully for him. The track lends itself to drive quality and tee-to-green solidity. Mansell is formidable with the Big Dog in hand and has been threatening a DP World Tour breakthrough for some time.
Mansell finished sixth at the Singapore Classic in February and has nine top-tens on his DPWT CV. He finished eighth at last year’s British Masters – nobody got past him in the fourth round – and has been creeping back into form in recent weeks. If the Pride of Cannock enjoys a half-decent week on the greens, he should be in the thick of things come Sunday.
The Belfry course guide
course Brabazon Course, The Belfry, Sutton Coldfield, England
Prize money $3.5m ($538,100 to the winner)
The length 7,336 yards
Par 72 – three par-fives; 12 par-fours; three par-threes
Field 156 The cut Top 65 and ties qualify for round three
Top-ranked players in the field (world rank in brackets) Justin Rose (31), Min Woo Lee (46), Adrian Meronk (48), Victor Perez (62), Thriston Lawrence (75)
Course notes – 72 holes 273 Lee Westwood (2007 British Masters) 18 holes 62 Oliver Becker (2021 British Challenge)
Winners take part in the course Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, Rasmus Hojgaard, Thorbjorn Olesen
When to bet By 7:30 on Thursday
When to watch Live on Sky Sports Golf from 1pm on Thursday
Last week – BMW International Open 1 T Lawrence (90-1), 2 J Luiten (40-1), T3 R Hoshino (60-1), D Hillier (140-1), M Kieffer (55-1), A Meronk (14-1) ., T7 D Huizing (250-1), M Pavon (50-1), R Neergaard-Petersen (400-1)
Course type Parkland
Course overview The Brabazon Course hosted the Ryder Cup in 1985, 1989, 1993 and 2002. Several Tour events have been staged at The Belfry, including the International Open (2000-2003), the British Masters (2006, 2007, 2008, 2021), 202 , and UK Championship (2020). The 2021 British Challenge (Challenge Tour) is also in Brabazon. There is more water on the layout than almost any inland course in the British Isles, so scoring can be volatile, and the front nine in particular requires precision. The back nine is more open, though heavily bunkered
Last year’s story A stunning eagle-birdie finish from Thorbjorn Olesen secured a one-shot victory and his sixth DPWT title
Weather forecast A pre-tournament thunderstorm should soften the course, ahead of a pleasant week with temperatures around 20C. Winds at 14 mph Sunday afternoon
Type of player suited to the challenge Strong ball-strikers have traditionally thrived at this venue, which features a series of long and punishing par-fours
Main characteristics Accuracy
The average end-of-season putts-per-round ranking of the last six Belfry champions in the year of their victory was 103
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