Omega European Masters 2013: Dark-Horse Choices Ready to Challenge on Sunday

Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistSeptember 8, 2013

NEWPORT, WALES - AUGUST 29:  Ross Fisher of England in action during the first round of the ISPS Handa Wales Open on the Twenty Ten course at The Celtic Manor Resort on August 29, 2013 in Newport, Wales.  (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Andrew Redington/Getty Images

In the final stage of this weekend's European Masters trials, the field looks fairly open as to who might be challenging for the trophy come the end of Sunday's play.

Craig Lee and Alejandro Canizares look like two of the more likely stars to be dueling for the European Tour stage, but there are three players lurking beneath the surface.

Mostly as a result of their improving form at the Crans-sur-Sierre course, it would be worth keeping one's eye on the following contenders, who will all be in the running to cap off this week's alpine competition with a bang.


Maximilian Kieffer

Maximilian Kieffer's European Tour has been an up-and-down affair of going from superb highs—such as the pro's second-place finish at the Spanish Open in April—to the 123rd-place result he came up with at the Volvo China Open.

This weekend's trip to Switzerland is shaping up to be one of the better performances. The 23-year-old shot his third consecutive under-par performance, which gives him a score of seven-under par heading into Sunday's climax.

Kieffer has shot an under-par fourth round in six of the 11 fourth rounds he's played in this year, but if able to move outside the safe zone and push for some of the lower shots, he can still pose as a threat to the pack leaders.


Ross Fisher

Having made the cut with a score of two-under par, the progress made by Ross Fisher on Day 3 of the Swiss tournament was nothing short of incredible.

Only once this year has the 32-year-old managed to finish any of the nine events he's competed in with a prize fund of less than €20,000.

It's starting strong that's been Fisher's bigger obstacle so far, with five of those competitions seeing the Englishman post a higher score in his second third and fourth rounds than his first and second.

Having shot a Day 3 score of eight-under par, however, Fisher will most certainly be looking to challenge for first place on Sunday as long as his current vein of form can be maintained, as the European Tour can testify:

On Saturday, Fisher eagled his first hole before birdying another six and not putting a single blemish on that round's record.


Damian Ulrich

Bit by bit, Damian Ulrich has improved his performances in the Alps this weekend.

He started off with a first-round par, followed by a second-day score of two-under. The Swiss native improved once again on Day 3, shooting a round of five-under par to pitch him seven shots under for Sundays climax.

Failing to drop even a single shot on Saturday, the 30-year-old needs to record another sub-66 round if he's to stand even the slimmest chance of upsetting the odds this weekend, a realistic feat given that he appears to be warming to the Crans-sur-Sierre climate.