Fairway-finding Knox looks a safe bet
Paisley can get off to flyer on home turf
Sky Sports Golf/Main Event, 9.30am Thursday
The Colt Course at Close House does not provide much freedom off the tee – accuracy is essential – and Russell Knox can approach the assignment with more confidence than most.
Knox has based a lucrative career around his ability to find fairways with ease, a skill which has helped him becomes a two-time US Tour champion, victories coming in the 2015 WGC-HSBC Champions and the 2016 Travelers Championship.
Knox, who finished second in the Irish Open last year, looks a safer bet than Haotong Li in a British Masters match. Li is a much looser driver, who could easily find serious trouble along this layout. The Chinaman may require short-game fireworks to be competitive.
Chris Paisley is worth chancing from a 7.40am tee-time for first-round-leader honours. The course knowledge of the local man gives him an edge on a track being used on the European Tour for the first time.
R Knox to beat H Li
1pt 10-11 bet365
C Paisley first-round leader
0.5pt each-way 80-1 general
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