WHAT a weekend that was. Two firsts (18-1 and 10-1) and a T4 (50-1) for my picks gave me about a 60pts profit and hopefully I can continue this week.
With half the Ryder Cup team teeing up for the Italian Open at Golf Club Milano it will give us a chance to see how the guys who are going to Hazeltine are shaping up.
This is the second year in a row the Italian Open has been played at the course (eighth time in all). It has small greens and the fairways can be quite tight so GIR and to a lesser extent driving accuracy may be important.
Matthew Fitzpatrick has returned to form recently with three top-10 finishes in his last four. Since winning the Nordea Masters in June he has really struggled but after T9 in the Aberdeen Asset Management at the beginning of August he has a fifth in the Czech Masters and a T7 in the European Masters last week.
His GIR stat is an impressive 74.9 (10th) and driving accuracy of 61.6% (55). This could his chance to really get in the groove before the Ryder Cup.
Although he has six top-10 finishes this season Rafa Cabrera-Bello is still searching for his first win of the season. In fact he hasn’t won on Tour since the Omega Dubai Desert Classic in 2012.
Another Ryder Cup participant Rafa, like team-mate Fitzpatrick, hasn’t had the greatest back end to the season but showed some form when finishing T5 at both the Olympics and the Wyndham Championship a week later. His average stats on both sides of the Atlantic are driving accuracy in the 60s and GIR around 72% so should be in with a shout.
I saw Brandon Stone at the KLM Open and he impressed me, especially when he shot 63 in the third round. Unfortunately he couldn’t keep that sort of form going into the fourth round but still finished T10. Think he could be a good eachway with stats of DA 60.5% (71) and GIR of 70.1% (38).
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