Nordea Masters golf betting: Scandinavians offer value in Sweden

Golf
Marc Warren features among five selections
Marc Warren features among five selections

Ben Coley fancies favourite Thorbjorn Olesen in the Nordea Masters, while a young Finn also gets the nod at a massive each-way price.

Recommended bets

3pts win Thorbjorn Olesen at 10/1

1pt e.w. Marcus Kinhult at 50/1 (1/5 1,2,3,4,5,6,7)

1pt e.w. Robert Rock at 40/1 (1/5 1,2,3,4,5,6,7)

1pt e.w. Marc Warren at 80/1 (1/5 1,2,3,4,5,6)

0.5pt e.w. Oliver Lindell at 300/1 (1/5 1,2,3,4,5,6,7)

For details of advised bookmakers and each-way terms, visit our transparent tipping record

The Nordea Masters heads to Hills Golf Club near Gothenburg and Ryder Cup hopeful Thorbjorn Olesen is very much the star attraction.

Now achingly close to making Thomas Bjorn's side automatically and holding very strong credentials when it comes to a wild card pick if he fails to do so, it will be fascinating to see how Olesen copes as the biennial event, which takes place at a course he knows and plays very well, draws closer.

Here in Sweden, the other key challenge is getting over a busy fortnight in the United States where third place at Firestone was followed by a comparatively lacklustre effort in the PGA Championship, but coping with jet lag shouldn't be a problem for Olesen given that he's twice won tournaments in Australia.

In fact, we can draw genuine encouragement from his form when returning to Europe from America and specifically after the final major of the season. Four times, Olesen has flown from the US to Europe in mid-August and his results when stepping off the plane read 14-7-9-15, so there really should be no excuses on that front.

Fit as a fiddle, the London-based Dane won't have any issues with the physical demands of this undulating par 71 and while not quite on home soil, his first professional victory came in Sweden at the start of the decade and he bagged his best finish in this event when inside the top five just last year.

In other words, the class act of the field on all recent evidence is very much the man to beat and at 10/1, it's a fairly straightforward decision to include him in the staking plan. Form such as his Italian Open victory in the spring, a career highlight, plus second in Germany and third at Firestone make him by some way the most likely winner and with the Ryder Cup there to sharpen focus, Olesen may well be up to qualifying in style.

There are numerous examples of players winning events to either quality or sneak a wild card - Sergio Garcia, Thomas Pieters, Edoardo Molinari just three - and Olesen has the confidence and ruthlessness to perform a similar trick, whether it's enough to edge into an automatic spot or not.

Any doubt as to how weak a field this is should disappear with the fact that Alex Bjork is disputing second-favouritism with Martin Kaymer despite a humdrum month and the likes of Thomas Detry, Matthew Southgate, Soren Kjeldsen and Joakim Lagergren follow close behind.

Detry and Southgate remain without silverware at this level and while the former is very much respected, there's just too much guesswork involved to speculate that Pieters' effort last week might just help the younger model turn a run of good performances in to an outstanding one.

With little to go on at a course which last staged a Challenge Tour event a decade ago, one which was hit hard by wind and rain and reduced to 54 holes, perhaps the strongest angle here is that golfers from either Scandinavia or Britain and Ireland should be favoured.

I've always found there to be a strong crossover, perhaps for climatic reasons, with victories for Alex Noren, Kjeldsen and Mikko Ilonen in the UK and the likes of Matt Fitzpatrick, Jamie Donaldson and Marc Warren having won in this part of the world.

In fact, despite changing venues five of the last six Nordea Masters champions also have titles in the UK and Ireland to their names and four of them had done so prior to winning in Sweden - in other words, our cards had in some way been marked if you buy into this line of thinking.

The exception is defending champion Renato Paratore but he is only 21 and there's time for him to cast his net wider, so homing in on players from England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Sweden, Denmark and Finland is one way to approach a really tricky puzzle.

It should be said that they account for around half the field, but that still strikes me as a decent start with the likes of Detry, Kaymer and Hideto Tanihara not qualifying and it's therefore Sweden's Marcus Kinhult who is next on my list at around the 50/1 mark.

This hugely talented youngster doesn't quite cut it when it comes to a potentially correlating victory in the UK, but he did win the Lytham Trophy as an amateur and there's been much to like about his second season on the European Tour, which has included big performances in Qatar and France.

Both those events favour players who are comfortable in the wind which can whip around this rolling layout - there were reports that it blew up to 35mph in 2008 - and Kinhult is entitled to feel right at home as, thanks to Matt Cooper's work, it appears he lives not too far away.

Throw in the fact that he made the cut and led the field in driving accuracy at the Open, his first major start, and there's much to recommend about a player who led this event at the halfway stage when still among the amateur ranks.

Kinhult hasn't quite scaled the heights expected since but his quality ball-striking can take him a long way in an event which may not be a shootout, and it's under such conditions that he's so far appeared to be at his most dangerous.

Marcus Kinhult: The Swedish golfer takes aim at Open de France
Marcus Kinhult

Few players have caught the eye more consistently than Robert Rock of late and he looks a good price to put it all together and win his third European Tour title.

The man who once downed Tiger Woods in Abu Dhabi is entitled to feel really positive right now, especially with friend and pupil Oliver Wilson having won on the Challenge Tour a couple of weeks ago to vindicate their hard work together.

Rock, who would surely have achieved more but for dedicating so much of his time to coaching others, has been in solid nick himself for much of the summer and it's notable just how often he's engineered a strong position for the weekend.

Last time out he led at halfway in Scotland, a week after he'd been second after the first round in Ireland, while at the start of the European Tour's high-class summer run he was the first-round leader in Italy, where Olesen went on to triumph.

Having also been fifth at the halfway mark in both the BMW PGA and the Open de Espana - two quality events won by players who will represent Europe in Paris - Rock has been a habitual contender in much stronger fields than this one.

The drop in grade must surely help him keep things up over the weekend and having been third in the all-around last time, striking the ball beautifully and making more than his share, this event looks a really nice fit for a player who goes well in the wind.

If there is a concern it's his abysmal record in the Nordea Masters which does undermine some of the case made above, but the switch in course is a positive as a result and I'm hopeful he's now in the shape required to be in there at the business end.

Marc Warren's three European Tour wins have come in Sweden, Scotland and Denmark and he could go really well, too.

Like Rock, Warren is a sweet-swinging class act who has to go down as an underachiever, and you wonder what might have been had he won rather than lost a play-off for the BMW PGA and converted one of several winning chances in the Scottish Open.

However, all of that form adds to his credentials here and he is another who appears to have clicked, ranking second in the all-around on the way to an encouraging 22nd place in Germany last time.

Only small improvements are needed for Warren to step up and contend back in Sweden and his last victory came this week four years ago under the sort of breezy, testing conditions expected.

Kaymer and Kjeldsen are of course winners in the UK and each has shown something good enough to earn them a place on the shortlist but not at prices in the region of 25/1, while Andrew Johnston (a winner in Scotland), Matteo Manassero (England), Edoardo Molinari (Scotland) and Anders Hansen (England) simply don't appear to be capable of taking even a low-grade title if their recent play is a reliable guide.

Of those from further afield, Jeunghun Wang is a strong wind player who knows how to get the job done and his 13th place last time could prove to be a key pointer. Since establishing himself on the European Tour, Wang has finished between 11th and 15th just four times and his results in his next start read (recent first) 7-6-1-2, enough to speculate at least that he knows how to turn the positives of a nearly week into something better.

He's respected, most definitely, while Felipe Aguilar's long-game was right where he needs it last time and the veteran from Chile has a deep bank of UK form to go with three top-10 finishes from a dozen visits to Sweden and one near-miss in Denmark.

Scott Fernandez and Pedro Oriol won gold at the European Championships on Sunday and the former was in my staking plan last time out, on the back of a hugely encouraging performance in Scotland.

Fernandez has the talent to kick on from fairly modest beginnings at this level and if last week's performance is something he can use to speed up the process, a place inside the top 10 here is within his reach.

However, I'll head back to Scandinavia and make Oliver Lindell my final selection.

This 19-year-old by all accounts has a huge future and the fact that he fired a round of 59 in last week's Challenge Tour pro-am catches the eye.

Of course, this is an entirely different ball game but he did go on to show signs of encouragement in the tournament itself, signing off with a round of 68, and it wouldn't surprise me if he started to show what he can do over the coming months.

Lindell turned pro at the tender age of 17 and cruised onto the Challenge Tour with three Nordic League victories, so the talent is there in abundance, and he held his own when making his European Tour debut two years ago this week with 26th place in Denmark.

This is almost certainly too soon but after his sparring partner Kim Koivu won last week's Challenge Tour event, it's worth taking a small chance on one of the hottest young talents in Europe after wins in this for Paratore and Fitzpatrick.

Posted at 1935 BST on 13/08/18.

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