European Golf: Lorenzo to strike oil…

This week’s event on the European tour is an experiment by the golfing authorities to speed up play – the Shot Clock Masters.

The Diamond Country Club in Austria hosts the event, where 120 players line up in the field. The first player in each group is allowed 50 seconds to play a shot, and each subsequent player only 40 seconds.

Each player is allocated two ‘time outs’ per round, where they have twice the allocated time, but they will be penalised one shot every time they go over this time.

Speeding up the time of play will be a popular decision, and thus we’re not sure this will impact many players, particularly those who have signed up to play this week.

That said, a lot of top European players have ducked this event, concentrating on practice for next week’s US Open.

With this in mind, we’re going to take a punt on Lorenzo Gagli. The Italian has spent a number of years bouncing between the main European Tour and the junior Challenge Tour. At his best he finished tied third in the 2011 Scottish Open and second at the Madrid Masters the same year.

Loss of form since saw him drop back down to the Challenge Tour, but he has shown recent signs of playing well again, including winning the Kenya Masters in March. The lack of Europe’s elite could give him a chance to shine.

Recommendation: Gagli to win, 1 pt, at 18/1, widely available 

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