Andalucia Masters - Winner

The Spanish swing is a treat for European tour fans with courses in immaculate condition and entertainment galore. Last week was probably a bit too much entertainment for us as we wanted a quieter finish for our boy Arnaus to hold onto his lead for the final few holes. He didn't do anything wrong in defeat and better days await the talented Spaniard. Valderrama is the venue this week where good old fashioned greens in regulation is always a stat to look to. Winners and contenders here have almost always managed their score by a neat tee to green game and avoiding all the trees that surround these holes. Rahm heads the field once again and despite his prowess off the tee being reduced here due to less drivers, I would make the case that the difficulty of the course plays into his hands and he is more likely to separate himself this week than last. 3/1 awaits those brave enough but it has been a long season for Rahm and he is surely stretching it at this point and maybe best left alone as winning at 3/1 won't cause us many sleepless nights.

Victor Dubuisson at 100/1 (7 Places)

Victor Dubuisson posted his first top 20 since his 4th placed finish in the BMW International Open a few months ago and can be supported on a venue that should suit his eye. He won twice on the Montgomerie course in Turkey, a course that is also tree lined and very well manicured although a fair bit simpler. Nevertheless I believe the Frenchman's best chance for a return to the top is around one of these tracks that demands strategy from tee to green. His long game has been fairly accurate all season which has resulted in him climbing around 150 places in the world rankings. His game was on song last week and if he gets a sniff of a victory he may react extremely well to it. Finished 20th here in 2019. 

1pt each-way V.Dubuisson 90/1 (1/5 7)

Victor Dubuisson - 1pt e/w @ 100/1

David Lipsky at 80/1 (7 Places)

David Lipsky managed to secure his first ever PGA Tour card courtesy of an impressive season on the Korn Ferry Tour and a trip to Spain is surely strategic given his tendency to perform his best stuff on these tighter tracks. A win at Crans combined with solid efforts at Chapultepec and Hong Kong are a sign of what he can do when the driver is somewhat eliminated and accuracy reigns. He won on the Korn Ferry in 2020 and managed a couple of runner up finishes this year to cement his place on the pga tour and this must be considered a huge success, especially for someone who doesn't have the power off the tee. He finished 8th at the Palmetto 4 starts ago on the big tour, and kicked off this season's campaign with a top 25 finish at the Fortinet before missing the cut at the Sanderson which was solely down to a horror show on the greens. Already a winner on an iconic European tour course, he could add another when riding the crest of a wave in the States.

1pt each-way D.Lipsky 80/1 (1/5 7)

David Lipsky - 1pt e/w @ 80/1

Andrew Johnston at 45/1 (6 Places)

It is difficult to get away from Andrew Johnston's chances of another victory around here given the quality of golf he is playing and a tree lined track is just what he needs for that extra improvement. 24th last week in Madrid was a fair effort considering he ranked nearly last in putting for the week. He showed what he could do on a more claustrophobic course when finishing 6th at Wentworth last month. He finished 4th in the Canary Islands earlier in the year and Valderrama may just provide Johnston with his second victory on tour and a coming of age following some difficulties. Given a few of his best performances other than the win here have come at the European Masters, Hero in India and Wentworth tell us he is better equipped than most here. Simply needs a few more putts to drop.

1pt each-way A.Johnston 45/1 (1/5 6)

Andrew Johnston - 1pt e/w @ 45/1

Fabrizio Zanotti at 66/1 (7 Places)

Fabrizio Zanotti certainly has not the rewards for his long game this season. Incredibly he ranks inside the top 11 for both Driving Accuracy and Approach play but has only managed one top ten this season. That is simply down to a horrible year on the greens, one of the worst of his career. His long game has made up for it lately with results of 27-20-12 across Italy, Wentworth and Madrid and if there is any upturn on the greens he can capitalise heavily. Shouldn't find a whole pile of trouble around here and is surely threatening a big week. 

1pt each-way F.Zanotti 66/1 (1/5 7)

Fabrizio Zanotti - 1pt e/w @ 66/1

Connor Syme at 150/1 (7 Places)

Connor Syme finished 34th last week despite not all aspects of his game being in full working order and can be gambled upon to do better this week around Valderrama. The Scot had yet to manage his first victory on the big stage but has posted a handful of top 3 finishes over the last few years and is talented enough to break down the door. He was 20th in putting last week which represents a huge improvement as recent performances have been littered with efforts on the greens that you wouldn't take out on Halloween night. After four missed cuts on the trot the 34th last week was another sign of how he improves his game in Spain. 12th and 5th in the Canaries this year as well as his top ten here at Valderrama last year is similar to the upturn in form we see with some Spaniards who enter the conversation from nowhere when the tour lands in these parts. Syme's fortunes on the greens changed last week and if can manage to hit the fairways he could post another decent four round score here. 

0.75pt each-way C.Syme 150/1 (1/5 7)

Connor Syme - 0.75pts e/w @ 150/1

Jordan Smith at 80/1 (7 Places)

A victory around Valderrama certainly wouldn't look out of place on the CV of Aaron Rai and I wouldn't be surprised should he put his best foot forward here. Marcel Siem has been playing well all season and could get into the mix at triple figures. With three top 30s here Jason Scrivener may be worth a second glance also as he continues to shake off some rust. Instead I'll opt for Jordan Smith who has three top 25 finishes in his last six and managed 20th last week in Madrid despite putting fairly poorly. His long game was on song, and although some of that is somewhat curtailed this week due to the course, he should be confident of striking the ball well around Valderrama on debut. An improvement on the greens could see him going well at a nice price.

1pt each-way J.Smith 80/1(1/5 7)

Jordan Smith - 1pt e/w @ 80/1