Betfair’s Form Guide For Green Eagle

The European Tour travels to Hamburg for the first of two events to be staged in Germany during June.

Towards the end of the month, there will also be a tournament in Munich but for this week all eyes will be on the Porsche European Open at Green Eagle.

This rural, parkland course in Germany’s northern lowlands is located around 15 miles south of Hamburg city centre and will be staging a European Tour event for the fourth time.

It had been due to host a tournament 12 months ago but this was cancelled because of the pandemic.

And Covid-19 has seriously impacted on this year’s event too, with the tournament now starting on Saturday, June 5th, and running over 54 holes – instead of the usual 72 – which means it finishes a day later than normal on Monday.

It was originally scheduled for four days, starting Thursday, June 3rd, but because of recent changes made to the German Government’s Coronavirus policy, tournament organisers opted for a later start date – rather than cancel it.

According to the Green Eagle website this decision “was inevitable after the German Government decided to designate Great Britain as a virus variant area. It was not possible for the majority of the people involved to enter Germany at the planned time.

Latest odds for this week’s European Open in Germany

“Due to the regulations, almost a third of the 156-player field, together with a similar number of caddies and a considerable number of European Tour staff, had not been able to enter Germany.”

The European Tour’s chief executive Keith Pelley added: “The significant changes in travel that were announced last week made it simply impossible for us to start the Porsche European Open as planned, without affecting the integrity of the tournament.

“We are therefore grateful to everyone involved, especially title partner Porsche and the promoter, for their flexibility and understanding.”

Course details

All three previous European Tour winners at Green Eagle have been English, with the 2019 champion Paul Casey back to defend the title.

The club’s North Course, which opened in 2008, will once again act as tournament host.

Covering 86 hectares, the North Course is one of the longest layouts the pros will face on the European Tour this year.

And if you suffer from a fear of water, then don’t bother teeing-up here as it comes into play on 15 holes, thanks to numerous sizeable hazards.

The North Course, which made its competitive debut in 2010 when it hosted a tournament on the Challenge Tour, will certainly demand accuracy and bravery between tee and green.

Many of those who played at last week’s tournament in Jutland, north Denmark, have made the 300-mile trip south to tee-up at Green Eagle this Saturday.

As a venue, Green Eagle opened in 1997, 11 years before the North Course was built.

Who’s teeing-up?

The highest-ranked player in the field is Mexican Abraham Ancer (No 17), who is probably receiving a nice healthy pay cheque for appearing in this event.

With course history limited to just three instalments, data is fairly inconclusive.

One player with back-to-back top 10s at Green Eagle is in-form Austrian Matthias Schwab, who has done everything but win on the European Tour.

The world No 114 has performed solidly for the past six months and since the start of 2018 has compiled 20 T10s.

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Former Green Eagle champion Jordan L Smith returned to the podium on Sunday for the first time in almost two years.

Smith also tied-17th at the recent British Masters, so maybe the 28-year-old from Somerset is starting to rediscover some lost form as he heads to the North Course where he won in 2017.

Another golfer enjoying a return to form last weekend was Alexander Bjork.

The Swede, who is now ranked a lowly 256th in the world, finished in a tie-for-sixth at Himmerland on Sunday which was his best result since last August.

Bjork, who turns 31 in early June, is a former world No 59 and is chasing a first Tour success since April 2018.

Big hitting duo

The South Africans, who have collectively played well on the European Tour this year, are out in force again this week.

This lengthy layout could well favour the likes of Daniel van Tonder and Jacques Kruyswijk who are both big hitters.

And world No 85 Sam Horsfield will be chasing a third Tour title in 10 months.

The Englishman, who was born in Manchester but moved to the United States when he was five, leads the way in the category Strokes Gained: Approach the Green, and is ninth in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green. So his game must be in decent shape right now.

Twitter: Andy Swales@GolfStatsAlive

MC* – Missed Additional 54-Hole Cut

Note: List Contains Leading Reserves