Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Madeira Islands Open - 2013

Undoubtedly the weakest field on the European Tour assembles for an event that also incorporates the Challenge Tour on the Madeira Islands in Portugal, where local boy, Ricardo Santos, hopes to defend his title. The event is being played on the Clube de Golf do Santo da Serra and will see eight former champions tee it up. Whilst this event is being staged for a paltry purse of €600k, Volvo are staging the World Matchplay Championship in Bulgaria in groups of 3 where the 24 players will contest for the €3M purse on offer. I wont be having a bet on it with no course knowledge to go on but having had a quick research it does look "linksy" and similar to courses that will suit the Irish & British players.  Shane Lowry was my fancy and I may still get involved pending the draw.

Onto Madeira though and I've opted for two of the more experienced guys to prevail. Damien McGrane has shown some improved form the past couple of months and will relish playing here this week as he has shown a real liking to playing in the Iberian Penisula in the past and almost won this event a few years back. He comes into the week off the back of two solid results in Korea and China (T40-T29) and competes in a much weaker field than usual. He has the head to get the job done and I expect him to go really well. He's generally available @ 50/1.

My second and final pick here is Scotsman, Peter Whiteford @ 50/1 also. It hasn't been the best of seasons so far but he did finish 2nd to Brett Rumford in Korea last month and but for a final round 78 in China he could easily have recorded a top20. I love this player's swing and if he finds his tempo early he may be encouraged to go on and finally win on Tour to back up the excellent Challnge Tour career that he did have. Last week at the Players at Sawgrass I opted to back Zach Johnson over Kevin Streelman and stated so in my preview only to see 80/1 shot, Streelman finish 2nd to Tiger ! I'm hoping the same thing doesn't happen this week with Whiteford chosen ahead of Graeme Storm @100/1. The Englishman should be competing well in these fields but is too inconsistent for my liking....but I may include in the plan pending my final weekly staking plan to include the Byron Nelson Championship so keep an eye out on twitter (@birdieclubtips) if i do decide to include him

TIP1: 1 pt e/w Damien McGrane @ 50/1 Betpack
TIP 2: 1 pt e/w Peter Whiteford @ 50/1 Betpack new customers click here