Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Open de Espana - 2013

The oldest Open on the European Tour (apart from The Open) takes place for the fourth time at The Parador de El Saler Golf Club outside of Valencia in Eastern Spain. This will be the first time since 2001 the course has hosted the event, so it makes it difficult to assess course form for this week. This golf course has generally wide fairways; vast, challenging greens; and almost one hundred bunkers, some of them natural, created by using the dunes that seperates the course form the sea and the pine forest that it was built on. Measuring just under 7000 yards, the course will be a test this week and will suit good putters ot those that show the creativity of getting their approach shots close as pin locations over the 4 rounds will change significantly due to the sheer size of the greens.

 Berhard Langer, who put up such a strong showing at Augusta last week, has won twice here and holds the course record 62. The latest instalment of the Open de Espana staged here was won by Sweden's Robert Karlsson. The field this week will be headed by Spain's own Sergio Garcia who won the title in 2002. The locals have only won the Spainish Open 5 times so it may be prudent to look elsewhere this week.

My first pick this week is Dubliner Peter Lawrie @ 80/1 (Paddypower).  Lawrie just loves playing in Spain and seems to do well in this event. He won it in 2008 and since has finished 3-MC-22-16. Form this season so far has been up and down with 3 MCs from 6 starts but these are offset by 2 TOP20s at Dubai and Malaysia. The course this week will have many attributes of a links course which Lawrie will have a lot of experience on, so his affinity for doing well in this event should act as a catalyst for a strong showing and at the price available he's worth backing.

My second pick this week is Lawrie's compatriot, Shane Lowry. Lowry too has decent form in this event the past couple of years but its his recent form, particularly in America that has caught my attention and I believe he will come here in great confidence. If the course does play like a links there is no denying he can play here as his win in Baltray as an amateur when winning the Irish Open proves. He also showed his capabilities when winning in Portugal last October. Available at 45/1 (Bet365), he is rapidly becoming Ireland's No2 golfer and will be winning again before not too long

My third pick this week is Michael Campbell at 100/1 (Paddypower). Cambo has shown signs earlier this year that his game was returning and having moved to Spain for the season, he will be quite fresh for this one. Brought up on links golf on Titahi Golf Club in New Zealand, this is a course layout that I think will suit Cambo and should he get a favourable start on Thursday might just get a result here.

TIP 1 : 1 pt e/w Peter Lawrie @ 80/1 Paddypower

TIP 2: 1 pt e/w Shane Lowry @ 45/1 Bet365

TIP 3: 1 pt e/w Michael Campbell @ 100/1 Paddypower

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