Fraser may prove too steady for pair of wild drivers
Accurate Aussie worth following on day one
Sky Sports Golf/Main Event, 9.30am Thursday
British Masters favourite Rory McIlroy tees off at 8.10am, joining Ryder Cup teammates Matthew Fitzpatrick and Andy Sullivan in the marquee morning threeball on the Colt Course at Close House.
McIlroy, winless this year and languishing sixth in the world rankings, has been easy to back at a general 8-1. Sergio Garcia, second in the betting at 10-1, is scheduled for a 12.40pm meeting with tournament host Lee Westwood and defending champion Alex Noren.
Fitzpatrick at 2-1 and Noren at 7-4 are arguably the best-value options in the two most glamorous threeballs of the day, but the most appealing price on the card is the 9-4 about Marcus Fraser winning the 12.30pm contest.
Fraser possesses the perfect style of play for this layout. The Australian is typically accurate from tee to green, then solid with putter in hand. This season has not been a wonderful one for the 39-year-old, but 20th place in Crans last time out was a decent effort and his record on tight, tree-lined English tracks is excellent.
Fraser is the outsider of the party against Dean Burmester and Oliver Fisher, but is the most controlled operator of the trio.
Burmester is 216th in the European Tour driving accuracy statistics, while Fisher is 209th. Close House is not a venue which shows much mercy to those unable to hit a straight ball off the tee.
1pt 9-4 Hills, Sky Bet
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