Seeing as though this is the final major of the year and our last chance to strike it rich with the upcoming 'Milli Maker' I thought I would cut my break a little short and return to you all with a quick write up purely based on those that I think could perform well from The European Tour or in a couple of cases, players that simply come from my side of the pond.
I wont be delving into things like tournament history, weather or picks from the PGA Tour, all the information you could ever need is available through the Pod and through twitter. With David and Pat both in attendance this year you can be sure their information will be second to none.
My Euro Top Plays.
I have picked all of these players based on course fit, pedigree, style of play, recent form and skill set. All I believe could feature come Sunday afternoon. Please bare in mind that these are not necessarily my overall top plays, the field is incredibly strong and theirs an abundance of exceptionally talented players to pick from, my line ups will have a blend of players from around the world but I can assure that each of the players that I have included here, feature in at least one or two of my entered contests.
Jordan Smith $6,500
Player history and form - Jordan's story is remarkable, especially when considering what he has achieved in such a relatively short space of time. This is only his 3rd season as a professional and his 1st year representing at the top level.
In 2015 (debut season as a pro) topped The PGA EuroPro Tour and earned his rights to compete on the Challenge Tour.. In 2016, now competing against higher calibre players from across the globe repeated his accolades and took The Road To Oman Title and progression on to the European Tour.. Fast forward to this year, now competing at the highest level he is continuing his story and impressing the masses in the process...
So far this year Jordan has made 18/20 cuts, picked up 4 top 10 placings and only 2 weeks ago at The Porsche European Open earned his first European Tour title. This recent victory has now pushed Jordan into 18th in the Race to Dubai rankings, 82nd in the World Rankings and consequently grabbed himself a late spot at this years US PGA Champs.
Player style, stats and reasons to play - Impeccable swing, meaning that very little mistakes are made from tee to green. Plays in a fearless fashion.. Par 5 scoring is superb as are his stats for birdie conversion.. Good length of the tee, averaging at 297 yards with most of that yardage being covered in flight.
Although his stats are attractive (cuts made, FFPG and recent win) I still expect Jordan to be reasonably low owned. No doubt many will be put off due to his rookie status, however I can assure you he will be looking forward to the challenge and even more so he will be looking forward to turning heads and making a name for himself on a global scale.
Ross Fisher $6,600
Player history and form - Much more of a household name so thankfully i don't need to go into as much detail. Former and successful Ryder Cup Player, 6 time winner, 7th in the race to Dubai and a world ranking of 43rd. Has made 11/15 cuts this year and had 5 top 10's. Best results have come at venue where driving distance and accuracy weights heavily.
Player style, stats and reasons to play - An incredible ball striker, hits driver long with good carry distance. Has all the tools to contend in any tournament, including any major, even though his recent attempts would suggest differently. Personally I'm surprised to see Ross available at such a low price. Ok he didn't exactly have his best week in the WGC event or the 2 events prior however if he has managed to iron out the issues he was having with the big stick, the rest of the game looks really sharp and could see him pushing into the top 10.
Hao Tong-Li $6,800 (Cheating a bit with this one, not from Europe but a Euro Tour Player)
Player history and form - Having an amazing season so far, highlighted with his 3rd place finish in The Open at Birkdale. Former winner of The Volvo China Open. Made 12/15 cuts so far and 4 top 10's. Currently sitting 12th in the race to Dubai and a world ranking of 66th.
Player style, stats and reasons to play - Just like Jordan Smith I seem to be writing about this player almost every week. Good thing as well as both have served me incredibly well throughout the season and I have no intention of fading either anytime soon. Anyway back to what's relevant.. very consistent player thanks to a repeatable swing. Has the most amazing temperament, always smiling and loving every minute being on the course (except maybe when he snapped his putter and his poor old mum tried fishing it from the lake) Very solid off the tee and the rest of the game is equally as sharp. With players like Zach Johnson and Jimmy Walker available at a similar price can see him being very low owned.
Ian Poulter - $7,000
Player history and form - Multiple winner on the European tour with 12 victories and of course a Ryder Cup and big occasion legend. currently 61st in the race to Dubai and a world ranking of 71st. 17/19 made cuts this year and 3 top 10 placings, best of those coming from a 2nd place at The Players and a recent 14th place finish at The Open. In exceptional form and looking very much like the Poulter of old.
Player style, stats and reasons to play - As Poults says himself... Trending in the right direction. Since returning to full time play and having secured his playing rights Ian has been pushing hard for a long overdue victory. You can see he has that fire in his belly right now and playing some of the golf we associate to his Ryder Cup performances. Driving the ball superbly and hitting a lot of green. With a hot putter and determination to win a major this could be a great week for Poulter.
Thomas Pieters $7,500
Player history and form - Currently 9th in the race to Dubai and a world ranking of 26th. Can be a little hit or miss as demonstrated with 8/15 cuts made, however when playing well he is most certainly a contender. Coming off superb form from last weeks event, even though driver was not at his best
Player style, stats and reason to play - Don't think i necessarily need to explain much here, he is undoubtedly an incredible talent and I can almost guarantee he will eventually be a multiple major winner. Smashes the ball miles of the tee, yet has stunning control with irons and wedges. Also very talented on and around the greens. Broke plenty of hearts last week including mine and DB's. However at this price I would be more than happy with another top 10 and a bucket load of birdies in the process. Course fit is perfect and Thomas is certainly not shy to perform well on the big occasion.
Paul Casey $7,800
Player history and form - 14/15 made cuts and 4 top 10's this year but no win yet. 6th at The Masters, 26th at The US Open and 11th at The Open.. Since the US Open has played 3 times, finishing 5th, 11th and 5th. Has a world ranking of 18th but with form like this should really be placed much closer to the top 10.
Player style, stats and reasons to play - Potentially a bit more of a cash play than gpp, features almost every week he plays but somehow and very frustratingly always comes up short of picking up a win. However even a top 10 placing could be good enough, especially if Paul goes on his usually birdie blitz and picks up plenty of bonus points over the course of all 4 days. One of the best ball strikers on the planet and in my opinion strikes it better than Sergio but at a much cheaper price.
Henrik Stenson $9,800
Player history and form - Major winner, 2 time race to Dubai winner, 11 wins on the Euro Tour, Ryder Cup superstar and all round living legend in the game.. Currently ranked 15th in the race to Dubai and a World ranking of 8th. Not considered to be at his very best at the moment but very close to finding winning ways again. 11/16 cuts made this year and 6 top 10's. Since missing the cut at the US Open has finished T10, T26, T11 and T17. Finished with a good weend at the WGC so should take confidence and form into the start of this week
Player style, stats and reasons to play - World class player that is very capable of winning any event. Course history may not be anything to be proud of, but personally I'm hoping that this puts off all the statisticians out there and lowers his ownership massively.
Jon Rahm $10,100 -
Player history and form - By now we all know Jon and his record.. 14/16 made cuts this year, 8 top 10's and 2 wins. Currently 3rd in the race to Dubai and 6th in the world rankings. had a bit of a disaster on Friday in the WGC, however still finished T26 and if not for that awful round of 77 would of been in contention to compete on Sunday.
Player style, stats and reasons to play - Perfect course fit and a massively experienced caddie on the bag for this venue. If you haven't already please revisit the Pod with Adam Hayes, after listening to it again only yesterday I have increased my ownership of Rahm considerably. Just like Pieters he will win multiple majors and this could easily be the perfect venue and opportunity to open his account.
Rory McIlroy $11,800
Player history and form - Whatever I write here simply won't be enough to do Rory justice. Former world number 1, currently 4th in the world rankings and 10th in the race to Dubai.. 13 European Tour victories and 3 race to Dubai titles, 22 victories across the globe and 4 majors so far (number 5 coming up this week!!)
Player style stats and reasons to play - Its Rory!! Big time favorite with the bookies and going to be headlining in a huge percentage of line ups. Loved what I saw last week, Driving the ball immensely well and starting to hole puts again.. wedge play was the only thing that let him down, so if he gets that dialed in I truly believe he could walk away with the title and win in a comfortable fashion. has the best of all the course history here, knows the course well enough that a rookie caddie shouldn't hurt too much.
There are other players I would certainly look at playing from the European Tour but just with considerably lower ownership... Ryan Fox, Alexander Levy, Francesco Molinari, Lee Westwood, Thorbjorn Olesen and Tommy Fleetwood.
Anyway ladies and gents that me done and now cracking back on with my break. I wish you all the very best of luck for all your line ups, lets hope its one of us rolling deep in dollar bills come Sunday evening after topping that 'Milli Maker' leader-board.
As always any other questions message me on Twitter @AshleyMorrisson and I'll try my up-most to answer all your questions as quick as i can.