The Ryder Cup will be on everyone's mind this week as the Twenty Ten Course at Celtic Manor hosts the Wales Open for the third successive year. Captain Colin Montgomerie will be there to keep a close eye on proceedings - indeed for many, proving to Monty that they can master this course may be their only way into the team by means of a wildcard. The last couple of weeks have been all about Luke Donald - whether he can maintain his recent form for a third consecutive week is doubtful - particularly as he'll feel his job is virtually done now in terms of qualification into Monty's team
Last year's winner was Jeppe Huldahl who claimed his shock maiden victory at 300/1 in places - a year on and with some course experience under their belts, I'd expect a more predictable outcome this week...
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My tips for this week:
Huldahl won last year's tournament with a sublime putting performance - if there's anyone who can repeat that this year then it's Rhys Davies....this boy can putt!! Already a winner on Tour this season in Morocco, Davies has also finished runner up in China (I see some positive form lines from the China Open to this event) and last week he pushed Luke Donald to the wire. Finished in a tie for 17th here last year and his 'no fear' putting stroke - where he scares the hole virtually every time - can see him notch a second victory here.
Dyson was my pre-season tip to make the Ryder Cup team and he's now starting to warm up again following a patchy spell of form. Early season he flitted around the world competing in the bigger tournaments he qualified for by virtue of his elevated OWGR ranking and win at the Alfred Dunhill Links (another tournament with positive form lines to this), however he's now settling down in European tournaments. Dyson's been improving steadily of late - a top 20 in Seville, a positive showing at Wentworth and a top 10 last week all show progressive form, coupled with his T6 finish here last year suggest a weekend in contention for the Ryder Cup hopeful.
Wood is going to be top, top player in my view. Inside the top 6 in his last 3 starts, plus a top 10 here last year - backing him to finish top 5 here this week is a very attractive proposition at 13/2. I'm not convinced he's quite ready to win just yet, although it won't be long...
Andersson Hed has been hanging around the predictor top 10 for most of this season and his stats don't lie - top for putts per round, 2nd for putts per GIR, third for scrambling...coupled with excellent form (13/17/1/2) until last week when it all caught up with him, this could be another great price for a top 5 finish. Don't forget, Extrabet pay out in full for ties so the 13/1 will be paid even if he shares 5th spot with other players.
Odds and bookmaker offers correct at 9:30BST 1.6.10 but naturally subject to fluctuation
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