Cazoo Open - Winner

We return to the Twenty Ten course at Celtic Manor which at 7500+ yards always offers a stern test and with the history the course now has should be an interesting week from a punting perspective. It's a course where no stats particularly stand out when assessing the field but what is regular throughout the leaderboards here down the years is that ball striking must be on point to contend. Therefore off the tee and approach hold the key to unlocking the scores needed here and those misfiring in the run in are unlikely to find it around this demanding layout. Length off the tee certainly helps but all caution to the wind isn't well advised as there is plenty of danger lurking around for any wayward drives.

Andy Sullivan at 66/1 (Six Places)

Andy Sullivan looks to be heading in the right direction of late and must be chanced at the odds. It has been a barren few years for the Englishman who now languishes outside the world's top 300. A switch of coach at the turn of the year didn't seem productive but maybe now we are starting to see him return to some of his better form. His game off the tee has improved immeasurably since June and an 8th place a few weeks ago at the Cazoo Classic was a reward for the turnaround.

We have seen all too often in this game that when your off-the-tee game has gone south you hold little chance of competing. Sullivan will now rely upon an improvement in his approach game, and we've seen that in recent weeks with much better efforts in that department. Only a cold putter last week stopped him in his tracks otherwise we'd have seen the top 10 the previous week backed up by another impressive effort. I'm prepared to gamble the putter behaves again and if it does we have someone who will relish being back in contention and who has the experience to make it count.

1pt each-way A.Sullivan 66/1 (1/5 6)

Andy Sullivan - 1pt e/w @ 66/1

John Catlin at 40/1 (Seven Places)

Thomas Detry has obvious claims here this week but I'm surprised at just how short he is and at 16/1 certainly can not be relied upon to give you a run for your money. Olesen rates a better bet around the 22s mark but once again it's difficult to get involved with those odds. 

A bad week with the irons at the Scottish Open was put right by John Catlin the following week at the Open and I'm prepared to take the chance on him despite two missed cuts in those events. The weekend missed at St Andrews was solely down to his worst week of the year with the flat stick, performing admirably from tee to green over the first two days. At his last regular DPWT event he finished 4th at Mount Juliet and he continues to be a threat in events such as these. The American has already won at Valderrama and could add another Ryder Cup venue to that list this week.

His game off the tee has been extremely solid for the past four months and despite sacrificing a bit of length to the field should gain with his ability to stay out of any trouble. Plenty of the shorter hitters have contended here down the years so he certainly wouldn't look out of place should he get into the mix at the weekend, and he has shown before he has the necessary class to pull of victories in this company. 

1pt each-way J.Catlin 40/1 (1/5 7)

John Catlin - 1pt e/w @ 40/1

Matti Schmid at 33/1 (Seven Places)

Matti Schmid first came to everyone's attention when winning the Amateur medal the Open Championship at Royal St Georges. So many of those Champions have gone to achieve great things and Schmid looks destined to at least make the grade on the DPWT and land a maiden victory soon. He has already gone close finishing runner-up in the Dutch Open and 3rd in South Africa earlier in the year. Perhaps most recently came the biggest in his career when he led the Barbasol heading into the final day before succumbing to the pressure and shooting five over.

He should strip fitter for that experience and those dropping down from PGA tour events are always worth watching, even though they were co-sanctioned events. Schmid has a powerful game off the tee and certainly looks capable of taking down a field of this standard.

1pt each-way M.Schmid 33/1 (1/5 7)

Matti Schmid - 1pt e/w @ 33/1

Wilco Nienaber at 50/1 (Seven Places)

With his prowess off the tee, Wilco Nienaber surely comes into the equation and I'm prepared to bet the South African despite the glaring negatives. His approach plays these past two weeks have been very poor but he recovered last week at the Hero due to a performing putter, something that has been missing quite a while. Better efforts with the irons have been visible with two of his last five outings (BMW and Porsche) producing solid numbers in that department.

Maybe events with sponsors relating to Automobiles bring the best out of Wilco, who knows, but I'm hoping he re-produces those efforts this week in Wales. His game off the tee is sparkling and around a course like Celtic Manor, it is a major weapon to have. The problems lie thereafter, but a turnaround with the putter last week was a positive and should his approach game improve then we could be looking at a similar if not better finish than last week.

1pt each-way W.Nienaber 50/1 (1/5 7)

Wilco Nienaber - 1pt e/w @ 50/1

Garcia Heredia at 100/1 (Seven Places)

Garcia Heredia and Marcel Siem look like two worthy outsiders and I'll opt for the Spaniard simply because his figures last week were slightly stronger. Heredia has reached 40 years old now and despite having a superb game off the tee rarely challenges in these events. His ball striking was decent last week though in Scotland and wouldn't surprise me should he have a good week.

His ball striking is generally better than Siem and similarly to the German missed the cut last week due to a poor game on and around the greens. He lacks experience at the business end of events but could be suited by his first look at Celtic Manor and I'm prepared to take the chance around the 125 mark given his strength off the tee.

0.75pt each-way A.Garcia-Heredia 100/1 (1/5 7)

Garcia Heredia - 0.75pts e/w @ 100/1