The European Tour remains in Spain this week for the Andalucia Masters at the Real Club Valderrama, Sotogrande, Spain.
The 126 field will all be competing around this stunning par 71 parkland layout for a share of the €3M purse with the winner collecting the title and €485,330.
John Catlin returns to defend the title he won last year when beating Martin Kaymer with only one shot to spare.
The weather is forecast to be mostly sunny and warm throughout with the breeze expected to pick up for Sunday’s final round and that could spell trouble around this Valderrama track.
This event will be screened on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Golf with live coverage starting at 11 am GMT on Thursday.
I’ve already posted a preview for the CJ Cup over on the PGA Tour where a host of big names will be looking for a win in Las Vegas. We were so unlucky last week with our main selection on the European Tour at the Open de Espana.
Adri Arnaus finished runner up to eventual winner Rafael Cabrera Bello at the first playoff hole. It looked almost certain Arnaus would win after all the drama coming down the 18th but Rafael got a lucky break with a free drop when facing an almost unplayable shot.
Arnaus still had a birdie putt inside 10 feet to win but shoved it to the right to force the playoff. It was still decent each-way value if you backed Arnaus at the advised 35/1 but could have been much better.
So lets move on with this weeks Andalucia Masters selections.
For my first and main selection, again I’m trying to oppose the skinny price available for World No1 Jon Rahm, currently 3/1 so I’m going to advise Andrew (Beefy)Johnston 35/1 EW Bet365. The 32 yrs old from London has caught my eye recently and looks to be riding a wave.
Beefy just seems to adore playing his golf in Spain and can back that up with his victory at this venue in 2016 to claim his only European Title to date when winning the Open de Espana. It was only just a few weeks back that Johnston finished 6th at the European Tour flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth. Last week in Madrid he finished a reasonable 24th at the Open de Espana. Other notable finishes this year include another event in Spain, T4th at the Canary Islands Championship and 9th at the Irish Open.
Beefy just seems to have found a groove and can get back to winning ways around a track he has conquered in the past and must bring back good memories do the 35/1 on offer looks fairly decent especially with a place if not winning outright returning a tidy profit.
For my next selection I’m going to single out, wait a minute, can I oppose the World No1 on home soil?
The simple answer is no I can’t so for that reason it’s Jon Rahm 7/2 Bet365 and I’m going to make this my Nap of the tournament. It’s just not sensible as a tipster to leave out the best player on the planet so I’m sorry, I know the price is skinny but Jon Rahm can run away with this if in the mood.
At only 26yrs old, if Rahm stopped playing now he would still go down as one of the best golfers ever but there is still plenty more to come from this talented kid. He is just such a good ambassador and role model for the sport and is definitely up there amongst my favourites.
The recent US Open champion and Tour Championship winner ( 72 holes) already has eleven victories to his name and without being disrespectful, Rahm is head and shoulders above anyone in the field this week at Valderrama. He only managed 17th last weekend in Madrid at the Open de Espana and will come here with a point to prove especially playing in his homeland. Rahm is a patriot and will want to leave Spain this week with a title on his way home to the States so I wouldn’t be surprised whatsoever if he runs away with this destroying the field and the course along the way.
He could make the 7/2 look huge after only a few holes, last weekend he went to as into as little as 1/2 in play and I can only see the same happening this weekend but this time he will prevail to add the Andalucia Masters to his already busy CV & trophy cabinet.
For my next pick, I’m going to suggest Matthias Schwab 28/1 EW Betfair. The 26yrs old from Austria has two Top 10 finishes in his last five events and was also a very respectable 12th at the BMW PGA Championship a few weeks back .
He has recently been playing on the KFT Tour for his PGA Tour card and finished 8th and 4th to successfully secure his card. He will come here full of confidence after his success in the States and will be hungry to return to Europe to claim that elusive maiden European Title. Schwab has already proved he can go on and win that European crown finishing runner up at both the Turkish Airlines Open and the Porsche European Open.
He also has far too many Top 5s and Top 10s to mention on both the European and PGA stages so if you ask me, a victory is imminent and it could well be this Sunday that Matthias Schwab is crowned a European champion.
For my final selection, it’s the customary matchbet and I’m liking the look of Matthias Schwab again to get the better of Aaron Rai 10/11 Bet365.
Andrew Johnston 35/1 EW Bet365
Jon Rahm 7/2 Bet365
Matthias Schwab 28/1 EW Betfair
Matthias Schwab to beat Aaron Rai 10/11 Bet365, 72 hole matchbet.