Paul Williams

Paul Williams' Canary Islands Championship Tips

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The final leg of our Canary Islands adventure sees us stay in Tenerife and at last week’s Costa Adeje Golf venue for a second consecutive week. Dean Burmester coasted to victory here on Sunday by 5 strokes courtesy of a faultless final day 62 and he plays again this week alongside 130 or so other hopefuls.

From a pool of players that’s largely the same as last week’s cast, notable players from the top of the betting who have opted against staying on for this week are Antoine Rozner, Matthias Schwab, Joost Luiten, JB Hansen, Kurt Kitayama, Max Kieffer and Thorbjorn Olesen. Coming into the field we have the likes of Chris Paisley, Gavin Green and Paul Peterson, however overall the quality of field has declined and that’s reflected in this week’s betting market where Garrick Higgo leads the way at 12/1.

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Understandably much of this week’s preview is a carbon copy of last week’s so some of the below is simply duplicated, however we do have the benefit of last week’s event stats-wise which I’ve covered a little further into the page.

Course Overview. Designed by José Gancedo and opened in 1998, Costa Adeje Golf is a coastal resort course that boasts superb views over the Atlantic Ocean and the island’s volcano, Mount Teide. As well as last week’s event, the course also hosted the 2003 Canarias Open de Espana – you can find the final leaderboard here.

Just 3 miles from the popular tourist resort of Playa de las Americas, the course was built on the site of a former banana plantation and it overlooks the sea and the island of Gomera as it meanders along the coastline.

As per the test in Gran Canaria a fortnight ago, this is another short track, currently listed as 6,816 yards for its par of 72 with the 8th hole quoted back to its original par-5 status for this week, however regardless of whether we call it a long par 4 or a par 5, the course is essentially the same as last week.

Back in 2003, the course was set up in one of the more unusual ways with the 18 holes comprising of 6 par-3s, 6 par-4s and 6 par-5s and although there’s scope to reduce some of the par 5s to long par-4s, that’s once again how the layout is described on the European Tour’s website.

Understandably such a setup puts a massive focus on how a player fares on the longer holes with Paul McGinley 21-under on the par-5s over the course of the 4 rounds one eye-catching stat. With the 8th hole playing as a tough par 4 last week, Garrick Higgo’s 18-under for the 5 remaining par-5s led the stat.

Fairways are wide and laid to Paspalum grass; greens have been upgraded from Bentgrass to TifEagle Bermuda since the 2003 event and run quicker than the 8.6 on the stimp that the players faced 18 years ago, as we saw last week.

Tournament Stats. We’ve published some key statistics for this week’s event that will help to shape a view on players who may play well this week.

With just 1 event held here 18 years ago aside from last week, the few players who played both events are included on the combined stats: Current Form | First Round Leader Stats | Combined Stats.

Predictor Model. Our published Predictor Model is available here. As always you can build your own model using the variables available.

Course Winners. 2021: Dean Burmester (-25); 2003: Kenneth Ferrie (-22).

Weather Forecast. The latest weather forecast for the area is here.

Almost a carbon-copy of last week once again with mild, sunny conditions expected and the thermometer hitting the low 70s Fahrenheit. The breeze may pick up a little in the afternoons with 10mph likely, although this won’t cause the professionals too much trouble.

Tournament Trends & Key Factors.

There was some very basic data captured from the 2003 event held here at Costa Adeje:

  • 1st, Kenneth Ferrie (-22). 291.5 yards (60th). 70.8% fairways (17th), 76.4% greens in regulation (37th), 28 Putts Per Round (8th)
  • 2nd, Peter Hedblom (-22). 311.5 yards (21st). 56.3% fairways (51st), 79.2% greens in regulation (23rd), 28.5 Putts Per Round (12th)
  • 2nd, Peter Lawrie (-22). 285 yards (71st). 64.6% fairways (35th), 70.8% greens in regulation (67th), 27 Putts Per Round (3rd)
  • 4th, Brian Davis (-21). 303.8 yards (40th). 70.8% fairways (17th), 83.3% greens in regulation (6th), 29.5 Putts Per Round (27th)
  • 4th, Mads Vibe-Hastrup (-21). 285.8 yards (70th). 47.9% fairways (68th), 69.4% greens in regulation (70th), 26.25 Putts Per Round (1st)

Last week’s event was a little more extensive in terms of data:

  • 1st, Dean Burmester (-25). 332 yards (1st). 33.3% fairways (63rd), 66.7% greens in regulation (37th), 79.2% Scrambling (10th), 1.57 Putts Per GIR (6th)
  • 2nd, Nicolai Von Dellingshausen (-20). 305 yards (31st). 33.3% fairways (63rd), 62.5% greens in regulation (59th), 81.5% Scrambling (6th), 1.49 Putts Per GIR (1st)
  • 3rd, Adrian Meronk (-19). 312 yards (16th). 47.9% fairways (15th), 70.8% greens in regulation (14th), 81.0% Scrambling (8th), 1.62 Putts Per GIR (12th)
  • 3rd, Kalle Samooja (-19). 292 yards (59th). 54.2% fairways (5th), 68.1% greens in regulation (21st), 73.9% Scrambling (24th), 1.63 Putts Per GIR (17th)
  • 5th, John Catlin (-18). 287 yards (69th). 56.3% fairways (1st), 70.8% greens in regulation (14th), 61.9% Scrambling (55th), 1.60 Putts Per GIR (10th)

Shorter hitters weren’t overly disadvantaged 18 years ago with Peter Lawrie making the play-off despite ranking as one of the shortest players from off the tee on the week. Kalle Samooja and John Catlin averaged towards the lower end of that statistic last week too, however that’s balanced by eventual winner Dean Burmester who led the field for Driving Distance on the week.

Accuracy wasn’t critical either in 2003 or last week, meaning a player’s performance on and around the greens was the most important aspect both times from a traditional stats perspective. Put into context, the top 5 finishers all ranked inside the top-17 for putting average on the week.

From a Strokes Gained perspective, SG Tee-to-Green was the strongest indicator of success last week:

  • 1st, Dean Burmester: T: 3rd; A: 10th; T2G: 1st; ATG: 18th; P: 16th
  • 2nd, Nicolai Von Dellingshausen: T: 17th; A: 34th; T2G: 3rd; ATG: 5th; P: 18th
  • 3rd, Adrian Meronk: T: 1st; A: 9th; T2G: 2nd; ATG: 51st; P: 43rd
  • 3rd, Kalle Samooja: T: 9th; A: 58th; T2G: 17th; ATG: 11th; P: 11th
  • 5th, John Catlin: T: 25th; A: 5th; T2G: 5th; ATG: 47th; P: 27th

Key: T: SG Off the Tee; A; SG Approach; T2G: SG Tee to Green; ATG: SG Around the Green; P: SG Putting.

With 6 par-5s in play back in 2003, it’s no surprise that the par 3/4/5 split is fairly extreme compared to regular par 72s:

  • 1st, Kenneth Ferrie: Par 3: -1; Par 4: -8; Par 5: -13
  • 2nd, Peter Hedblom: Par 3: -3; Par 4: -5; Par 5: -14
  • 2nd, Peter Lawrie: Par 3: -1; Par 4: -4; Par 5: -17
  • 4th, Brian Davis: Par 3: Ev; Par 4: -1; Par 5: -20
  • 4th, Mads Vibe-Hastrup: Par 3: -5; Par 4: -4; Par 5: -12

Last week wasn’t massively different, despite the 8th hole playing as a par-4:

  • 1st, Dean Burmester: Par 3: -3; Par 4: -8; Par 5: -14
  • 2nd, Nicolai Von Dellingshausen: Par 3: -2; Par 4: -2; Par 5: -16
  • 3rd, Adrian Meronk: Par 3: -3; Par 4: -5; Par 5: -11
  • 3rd, Kalle Samooja: Par 3: -4; Par 4: -4; Par 5: -14
  • 5th, John Catlin: Par 3: +1; Par 4: -6; Par 5: -13

Of course if there are any last-minute tweaks to the setup this week then that will affect this metric, however assuming no changes then holding on over the numerous par-3s and attacking the par-5s would seem to be the recipe for success once again.

Incoming Form: Of the top 5 finishers here back in 2003, Peter Hedblom and Brian Davis both had some tangible recent form and eventual winner Kenneth Ferrie had finished 16th the week before in tough conditions on the Algarve:

  • Kenneth Ferrie: MC/48/19/46/MC/MC/30/DQ/16
  • Peter Hedblom: MC/MC/MC/MC/5/MC
  • Peter Lawrie: 42/MC/MC/MC/MC/20/48/MC/MC
  • Brian Davis: 8/MC/14/MC/57/50/11/2/2
  • Mads Vibe-Hastrup: 17/19/79/MC/MC/MC/63

Season-long form for last week’s top-5 is as follows:

  • 1st, Dean Burmester: MC/35/41/2/WD/8/MC/MC/38
  • 2nd, Nicolai Von Dellingshausen: 38/24
  • 3rd, Adrian Meronk: MC/47/MC/56/15
  • 3rd, Kalle Samooja: MC/4/MC/28/12/MC
  • 5th, John Catlin: MC/MC/MC/42/28/MC/1/52

Each of last week’s top-5 finishers had already recorded at least one top-25 finish in 2021 to date and in Burmester, Samooja and Catlin we have either a contending or winning (Catlin) performance in there also.

We should expect birdies once again this week with little in the way of wind to protect this track. 16-under was leading at the halfway point on this course last week and the cut fell at -4.My selections are as follows:

Garrick Higgo 4pts Win 12/1 with bet365

A smaller field with a good number of players from the upper end of last week’s market choosing to fly home this week means for a weak event, with some rather unappetising odds against a whole host of players who you could make a tentative case for.

The bookies’ favourite is Garrick Higgo and from what we’ve seen of the 22 year-old so far in his fledgling career he’s worthy of that status, and given a dozen attempts at this title in his current form I suspect he’d beat the odds on aggregate so is worth backing this week in my view.

If truth be told, I’d earmarked him for last week’s event after seeing him flash some form in his first round in Gran Canaria, however he put paid to that bet by going on to win his second European Tour event in a little over 6 months in impressive style. Back-to-back wins is never easy so I left him alone last week, however 8th place from a poor draw showed some liking for this layout in Tenerife and with his mental batteries recharged a little I can see him pushing on once again to complete a South African clean sweep on the Canaries.

Rounds of 65/64/63/63 on Gran Canaria for a 25-under total demonstrates the kind of scoring prowess that’s likely to be required once again to win this week and his other win on the European Tour came at 19-under on a Portuguese track with 5 par-5s. After leading the field for par-5 scoring here last week at 18-under, he should be licking his lips at the prospect of attacking the long holes here once again this week.

4th for Par-5 Scoring and 10th for Par-3 Scoring for the season-to-date further cements his credentials on this layout, and if he drives the ball even slightly better than last week then he’s going to give himself a massive chance to notch another title here this week and move closer still to a top-50 OWGR position from his current ranking of 66th.

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Adri Arnaus 2pts EW 25/1 (5EW, 1/4) with bet365

Second favourite Dean Burmester will have to lift himself immediately after last week’s fabulous effort if he’s going to go back-to-back – he went off the boil a little after his other European Tour win in 2017 – whereas third favourite Justin Harding’s approach play left a little to be desired last week on a track where players must set up as many opportunities as possible to make birdie or eagle.

Laurie Canter and Sami Valimaki both rate as 25/1 chances, with Canter’s price virtually halving week-on-week despite closing with a very disappointing 73 last week for a share of 48th place; Valimaki was better for a tie of 22nd after a 9-week break, however preference goes to Adri Arnaus at that price point who bounced back to form last week after a slow spell of late.

Only eventual winner Dean Burmester beat the Spaniard’s total of par-breakers last week and 28 birdies for a 16-under total and a tie for 8th came despite shooting level par on a lacklustre Friday round of 71. A pair of 66s to finish the event was much more like it though and he’s one of those players who would surprise nobody if he were to capture his maiden European Tour title here this week.

With the Bermuda greens and exposed fairways, Middle East form looks handy – particularly with last week’s victor Burmester having recorded a pair of top-4 finishes at the DP World Tour Championship in the past, so Arnaus’ impressive record in the desert is worthy of note, including 10th at the Earth Course last year, 12th in Abu Dhabi this year at Rolex Series level and 3rd and 9th at the Dubai Desert Classic over the past 2 renewals.

21st for Par-5 Scoring for the season-to-date is positive as the 26 year-old has picked up over half a stroke on average every time he’s played a long hole this year, and his long game looked on point last week, ranking 7th for both SG Approach and SG Tee-to-Green, the latter stat tying in nicely to last week’s podium finishers.

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Masahiro Kawamura 1pt EW 50/1 (7EW, 1/5) with Boylesports

Previous week’s performance hasn’t necessarily been the be-all and end-all at these same course double-headers on the European Tour since lockdown eased, however one player who’s shown the aptitude to progress having seen a course once is Masahiro Kawamura.

Looking back to Celtic Manor last August, winner of the second event Romain Langasque hadn’t even played the week before, whereas Daniel Van Tonder missed the cut on his first attempt at Karen Country Club before winning the week later. Going back to Cyprus though in October/November last year is a different story with Robert MacIntyre winning after finishing 3rd the week before and our man Kawamura improving from a 34th-place finish to end up 2nd to one of Scotland’s finest prospects.

28th last week on his first look at Costa Adeje Golf last week should be taken as a positive then in my view and an opening round of 65 was a strong effort before a third round of 64 tied the best effort on the day to suggest that his game’s in a pretty good place right now. Of course to finish 28th with those 2 efforts his other 2 rounds were disappointing, however 26 birdies on the week overall was just below the very best on display and 13-under on the par-5s tells us he got to grips with the scoring holes very nicely.

12th for SG Tee to Green needs only a minor improvement to get him in the vicinity of the leaders based on last week’s evidence and whilst the putter was a little cold last week – despite 26 birdies of course! – we know that he can react on Bermudagrass greens having recorded 11th for SG Putting at Leopard Creek and 7th on the same count at the Earth Course at the back end of last season.

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Pedro Oriol 1pt EW 100/1 (7EW, 1/5) with Boylesports

Finally, I’m taking a chance on a longer-priced player who caught the eye last week, and that’s Pedro Oriol.

6th on this track last week goes down as the Spaniard’s best career finish on the European Tour and elevated him almost 300 places in the World Rankings into the bargain. Another start on the European Tour this week gives the 35 year-old a very welcome opportunity to accumulate some more points and Euros in his quest to play more regularly at the top level of European Tour golf.

Similar to Kawamura, 11th for SG Tee-to-Green ties in nicely with those players above him on last week’s leaderboard and he combined that with a positive putting week to suggest he’s quite comfortable performing on home soil. 7th on the same Tee-to-Green count last month in Austria tells us that was no fluke and more of the same this week could see him reward each-way backers.

8th at the 2018 Tshwane Open rates as Pedro’s second-best result on the European Tour and that effort in Pretoria may be a little more relevant than it seems at first glance with last week’s winner Dean Burmester having won his only other European Tour title on that track the year before.

A win at the Challenge Tour’s Rolex Trophy in 2017 via a playoff tells us that Oriol’s capable of winning and before last week’s effort he’d also finished 3rd on home soil as recently as November on the Tour’s second tier.

65/64 to close having made the cut on the number should give him lots of momentum and an identical finish or better to last week in what is a weaker field would be a great result for this bet.

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Odds and bookmaker offers correct at 06:10BST 4.5.21 but naturally subject to fluctuation.