Consistently Picking Consistent Tiley in Switzerland
The Challenge Tour stays in Central Europe this week heading to Switzerland for the Swiss Challenge presented by Association Suisse de Golf. It will once again be from the Golf Sempachersee near Lucerne, and Pierre Relecom will look to defend the title he won last year. The event has been moved forward a month in the calendar having been held in mid-July since 2008, but it does stay an hour ahead of the UK and so this will start around 6am UK time on the 4th June.
Golf Sempachersee is about 10 miles north of Lucerne near the town of Sempach and the lake of the same name, about an hour west of the hullaballoo that is the FIFA Headquarters in Zurich. There are views of the Alps from the 7,147 yard, par 71, course which is one of two at the club. It is the Woodside Course that is used and is the longest championship course in Switzerland, although it can play longer the 13th is shortened for this event playing 439 metres and a par for instead of a par 5 at 506 metres.
Although the name of the course hints at tree lined holes it is not completely tree lined and they are sparse in some areas, with a few lakes to add some difficulty.
The past winners of this event have been:
||Players Under Par
Mixed scoring playing easier in the first year but has been tougher with the winning score just in double figures.
As he has been for the last few weeks Ricardo Gouveia
is again the favourite as he continued his impressive run of form on this tour. Ended last year with a win, 58th, 12th & 9th to secure his card on this tour for this year. Then this year started with 12th in Kenya which is his worst result, 2nd in Madrid, 8th in Turkey, 6th at the Karnten Golf Open in Austria and 9th last week in the Czech Republic. In his early season form in 2014 he played just 6 times before his win, missing the cut 4 times, but in the second of those events he was 13th here. He started well with a pair of 69's & a 68 before he dropped down to 13th with a final round even par 71, giving him an average round of 69.25 which is 12th best and 75% (3/4) rounds under par which is equal 9th best.
My pick a couple of weeks ago was Ruaidhri McGee
and he continued his good run of form with 16th, although that was only after an excellent 62 in the final round. Started the year with a 19th in Kenya and then 2nd, 8th & 6th before being my pick in Austria. Played here last year and missed the cut by a shot after rounds of 72 & 71.
There are in effect two returning champions here as the victory in 2013 for Victor Riu
helped him gain his card on the European Tour last year. Struggled on the main tour in 2014 with his only top ten coming in his home open just down the road from his home club at St-Nom-la-Bretche. Started this year ok with 24th in two events on the main tour in Joburg & Indian, but after a 6th in the opening in Kenya his form has been progressively worse; 20th in Madrid, 29th back on the main tour in Mauritius, 53rd in Denmark and a missed cut in Austria. Before his win here he played in the first three visits here with 28th in 2010, a missed cut in 2011, 19th and his win in 2012. With 10 under par rounds he's only beaten by one player, and at 71 % is 16th best in the field. He has the lowest round in the field with a 62, shot on his way to his win, but overall only averages 69.43which is 19th best in the field.
My pick for this event last year was Steven Tiley
who went on to have his worst finish here in 34th. He'd played here three times before that with 14th in both 2011 & 2013, and 19th in 2013. He has the most under par rounds with 11, at 69%, and an average round of 69.81 which is 23rd best in the field, but made higher by a 78 in 2011 when he was 2nd going into the final round. Has not started the season too well with a missed cut in Kenya, 49th in Madrid before another missed cut in Turkey, and in the last two weeks 22nd & 54th.
Following in the footsteps of fellow Americans Uihlein & Koepka, Brinson Paolini
also made an impact on this tour making his debut in this event and finishing runner up before winning a couple of weeks later. That was in 2013 and seemed to have been a flash in the pan as while the rest of 2013 was ok and secured his card on the main tour, in 2014 he missed 17 of 21 cuts, from the Nordea Masters last year he made just one cut a 12th in Russia. He only made his return to action four weeks ago in Turkey where he again missed the cut but was then 29th in Austria. The 2nd place finish here means he has the best record with an average round of 67.00 and all rounds under par.
With an average round of 68.00 Rhys Davies
has the 2nd best average in the field thanks to his 3rd place last year, and he also had all 4 rounds under par with a pair of 68's, with a 67 & 69 in between. A recent winner on tour in Turkey, but only 64th in Denmark the following week and missed the cut in Austria. The win was also a dramatic return to form having missed the cut in his first two events of the year.
Playing his first event outside of his native Australia, well Australian Tour, is Geoff Drakeford
. It also means this is his first event in nearly three months, since he was 15th in the BMW New Zealand Open. Had started the year with missed cuts in the Victorian Open & Victorian PGA, and then 25th at the Queensland PGA. His only top 10 in 15 events on the Australian was 2nd at the Holden New Zealand PGA Championship.
In 9th last week in the Czech Republic was Jamie McLeary
which was his first cut in three events having failed in Turkey & Denmark, had been 58th in Kenya and 20th in Madrid before that. Has played here three times in the past with 20th in the first year in 2010, 37th in 2012 and then 4th the following year. Proved he can go low here with rounds of 64 & 65 in 2013 and a 65 in 2010, whilst it was a 78 in the final round in 2012 that let him down, but despite that he still averages 69.08 which is 11th best in the field and he also has 10 rounds under par but at 83% is 7th best in the field.
Final thought is a young Austrian Manuel Trappel
who has played here for the last two years and was 32nd in 2013 when a pair of 72's in the middle rounds let him down, and 10th last year when he opened with a 73. In each case though he did manage a 66 and so can go low and averages 69.38, with 63% (5/8) rounds under par. The 10th here last year equalled his best performance on tour generally struggling in his first full year on tour. Has started this year better with three cuts made from three, 20th in Madrid, 40th in Denmark and then 16th in Austria a couple of weeks ago.
Struggling to really find anyone who jumps out here, it probably is Gouveia but he's quite short at 8-1, having had another top ten last week, and also 13th here on debut. Whilst McGee is also in good form this year but didn't go quite so well here last year missing the cut by a shot. My pick from last year Tiley was still consistent in his performance with three rounds of 70 and a 71, and had some ok results with 22nd & 54th last two weeks. Whilst McLeary & Trappel have also had some good performances here, and 9th for McLeary last week is perhaps a return to form, whilst Trappel has started the season ok.
Ok I think I will stay with my tip from last year Steven Tiley
. Three top 20 finishes here and a 34th last year, and apart from a 78 in his first visits has 12 of his 16 rounds between 67 & even par 71,with a low of 65. Not great from but 22nd a couple of weeks ago was an improvement and he played fairly consistently last week with a pair of 70's, and a 71, justa 75 in round three letting him down. 100-1 with SkyBet seems good value given he is as low as 55's with others.