Paul Williams' tips for the 2010 Open de Espana:
Off to sunny Spain this week to the Jose Maria Olazabel designed Real Club de golf de Sevilla in Seville. The course features wide fairways lined with trees and a few lakes thrown in for good measure. The greens are large and undulating and the rough is expected to be reasonably tough following a wet winter.
This is another tournament where the venue has changed since last year, however we do have 2 pieces of recent course form to go on: this tournament was played here in 2008 when Peter Lawrie captured his maiden European Tour victory, plus this venue also hosted the Open de Andalucia here in 2009 when Soren Kjeldsen won by 3 shots from Scot David Drysdale. The differing styles of Lawrie and Kjeldsen show that there are different ways to conquer this course, however I've erred more on the side of Kjeldsen's putting ability with my predictor selections this week.
Scores of 68 or below are very good around here, so don't expect a birdie-fest despite the expected perfect weather conditions (dry, calm, 30c) - a score around -15 should be enough to win this. By focussing on a strong short game, positive recent form and some good results from the 2 aforementioned course results, I've come up with the following selections:
The talented Dane absolutely loves playing in Spain with 2 of his 3 wins coming on Spanish soil, including the Open de Andalucia here in 2009. His quality short game is perfectly suited to this course and he holds much more appeal than the other front runners Francesco Molinari (poor putting) and Alvaro Quiros (off the boil recently). Finished 6th in Andalucia on his last European Tour outing before fading to a creditable 30th at The Masters when in a prominent position coming into the weekend. I'm being brave here and backing him to win outright at 18/1.
It's no surprise to see the Welshman so high up in the predictor with recent form of 6/4/6 over his last 3 events. If Kjeldsen fails to win then expect Donaldson to be snapping at his heels. Another player with a great short game, his excellent bunker play will also come in handy on this course where there are approaching 100 sand traps...
100/1 against Morrison is just a crazy price given the form he's in. Has had a fortnight to recover from his maiden victory in Portugal, however that wasn't so unexpected following a T4 in Africa and a T6 in Andalucia. Not out of the realms of possibility that he records personal back-to-back victories. Again, an excellent short game is his key strength, however Morrison has also got a straight driver to help keep himself out of trouble.
Another crazy price - Dodd blows hot and cold however has been steadily improving of late to finish in a tie for 2nd in China on his last start. Straight when playing well, good short game, 14th here is 2009 and 11th in this tournament last year. Worth a few quid at 80/1.
Kulacz faded to 22nd with a final round 75 last week however is now showing some of his early season form which put him in my notebook as a future winner. Last week's finish has pushed his price out to 125/1 generally - that's super value!
Check out my top 20 'Double Your Money' tips for the Open de Espana here: Open de Espana Top 20 Tips
Odds and bookmaker offers correct at 14.00BST 27.4.10 but naturally subject to fluctuation