THE European Tour moves to Spain this week for the Open de Espana at the Real Club de Golf El Prat, half an hour to the north of Barcelona and the Greg Norman-designed course is one of Sergio Garcia’s favourites courses in the world.
I tipped Emiliano Grillo for the Volvo China Open and finished a credible tied third after a 73 first round.
Since turning pro in late 2011 he has improved his rankings every year on the Tour and so far this year is 22nd.
With stats of driving accuracy 69.59%, GIR of 75% and putting average of 29.4 he seems to have the all-round game to win and win soon. The 23-year-old is second favourite for the title but with Garcia just 5-1 you can have 25s on Grillo.
Francesco Molinari is back on the European Tour for the first time since December. He’s been plying his trade on the PGA Tour where he’s not had a great time but his stats are good – in driving accuracy he is first (76.75%), 14th in GIR (69.92%).
Playing again in Europe could be the start of the season for Francesco and think he could get a place this weekend.
Over on the PGA Tour we have the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow, NC. If you are a horses for courses man Ryan Moore looks a good selection.
In the last three Championships he has finished T5, T6 and T18. He is ranked 16th in driving accuracy with a GIR of 66% and although he missed the cut at The Players last week maybe playing on a course he regularly performs well on could be just what the doctor ordered.
I’m finding if difficult to pick between two of my favourites this year, Henrik Stenson and Hideki Matsuyama. If it was just down to stats the Swede is the better but Matsuyama has seven top-10 finishes to Stenson’s three, although the Japanese player has played more tournaments.
Finally if you take the man in form that doesn’t help as they both T17 in The Players. After all that I’ve decided to take them both as I would hate to pick one and the other goes and wins.
For a change this week I’ve decided to have a small bet on the ladies. I’ve always liked watching the women’s game when I can and this week the LPGA are in Virginia for the Kingsmill Championship.
World No.1, New Zealander Lydia Ko, has two wins and an additional five top-10 finishes this season and is my pick here.
Emiliano Grillo 2pts ew (25-1, Betfred)
Francesco Molinari 0.5pt ew (35-1, bet365)
Ryan Moore 1.5pts ew (40-1, William Hill)
Henrik Stenson 1pt ew (20-1, 888sport, BetVictor)
Hideki Matsuyama 1pt ew (25-1, BetVictor)
Lydia Ko 2pts win (6-1, BetVictor, Ladbrokes)