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With the Saltire Energy Paul Lawrie Match Play there’s a welcome break from the 72-hole strokeplay format which quite frankly does become a bit repetitive.

We’ve still got the re-scheduled Madeira Islands Open taking place on the European Tour this week but it’s nice to throw a bit of Match Play into the mix once in a while.

One of the reasons why Match Play is so good to watch is because it is highly unpredictable.

Over the course of four rounds, the best player usually comes out on top. With Match Play, a player can play badly but still scrape through.

You can make no birdies and win 3&2. You fire eight and lose by the same margin.

So I think recent strokeplay form can go out of the window when trying to pick a winner.

But one thing which is important, is Match Play form. Some players thrive in the head-to-head battle while others just can’t get to grips with it.

Looking at the bookmaker odds, the field is quite tight as it’s hard to pick an out-and-out favourite. 

And with all due respect to the field, there is no one inside the world’s top 50 teeing it up at Murcar Links this week.

Scotland natives Marc Warren 18/1 and Richie Ramsay 20/1 head the betting with the bookmakers as the players with the highest world ranking of 58 and 78 respectively.


The first player I’ll offer up is Robert Karlsson who unlike the much of the field, has bags of Match Play experience.

He’s played in two Ryder Cups and four Seve Trophies along with a string of appearances in World Cups, Dunhill Cups and Royal Trophies.


His singles record in Ryder Cup and Seve Trophy matches is won three, lost three which doesn’t sound amazing but his loses came against Colin Montgomerie, Tiger Woods and Graeme McDowell.

It’s fair to say he won’t come up against anyone with that sort of Match Play pedigree this week.

If you fancy Karlsson to upset the odds then back him each-way with odds up to 80/1.

My other pick for this week is Graeme Storm who also has a little bit of Match Play experience to call upon.


He was part of the victorious Walker Cup side of 1999 where he crucially beat Jonathan Byrd in the singles.

In the 2007 Seve Trophy he smashed Thomas Bjorn 6&5 as GB&I racked up a convincing win.

Storm can be backed this week at odds of up to 100/1 so there’s definitely a bit of value there for an each-way bet.

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