There's another Rolex Series event on the European Tour with a decent field playing for a slice of the 7m euro pot at the Italian Open and we suggest following this quintet...
"This Gardagolf layout hasn't been used since 2003 so the Italians will likely have an edge in terms of experience and the emphasis on tee-to-green accuracy is perfect for Gagli, who has hit an impressive 74% of gir in 2018."
Paul Krishnamurty: Back Lorenzo Gagli @ 125/1
*EW Terms: 1/5 Odds | 7 Places
Dave Tindall: Back Lee Westwood @ 45/1
After nearly two months off, Lee Westwood was impressive at Wentworth - for three rounds at least. The Englishman opened 70-69-69 to sit T7 with 18 to play but couldn't find anything in the final round. He should be better for that run and now returns to another tree-lined course where strong iron play is needed. It's a long time ago but it doesn't hurt that Westwood was T6 at this venue in 1997 and he enjoyed this event in the early part of his career. Also sixth for Scrambling in the BMW PGA Championship, if he can hole a few putts, the veteran can make a mark at 45/1.
Paul Krishnamurty: Back Lorenzo Gagli @ 125/1
Considering opportunities to play at home are pretty rare, I'm surprised to see Lorenzo Gagli down at such dismissive odds. The 32-year-old broke his duck in March on the Challenge Tour and has since been runner-up again at that level. Form on the main tour is less eye-catching but solid nonetheless, missing only one cut in six. Gagli closed with a pair of 67s for a top-20 in his last full strokeplay event and was going well at the Belgian Knockout before a narrow defeat on the Saturday. This Gardagolf layout hasn't been used since 2003 so the Italians will likely have an edge in terms of experience and the emphasis on tee-to-green accuracy is perfect for Gagli, who has hit an impressive 74% of gir in 2018.
Steve Rawlings: Back Joakim Lagergren @ 80/1
Matteo Manassero, who knows the layout intimately, describes the Gardagolf greens as "tiny" so the two stats I've concentrated on are Greens In Regulation and Scrambling. Deadly accurate iron play and the ability to salvage par when dancefloors are missed could well be the key to success this week so I'm going to take a chance on recent Sicilian Open winner, Joakim Lagergren, who ranks 14th for GIR and 24th for Scrambling for the last three months on the European Tour. His win in Italy just three weeks ago wasn't his only successful foray here, as he was also third in this event three years ago.
Joe Dyer: Back Alex Levy @ 40/1
With the Ryder Cup taking place at Le Golf National just to the west of Paris in late September this is a big year for France's highest ranked golfer and I feel Levy has another tournament win in him as he strives to make Thomas Bjorn's team. Yet to miss a cut in 2018, Levy did not enjoy his finest week at Wentworth where he finished outside the top 50, but that has never been a tournament he particularly enjoys and he was in the top 10 after two days on Harry Colt's classic layout so we have a crumb of positivity to chew on there. There are plenty more if we take a wider look, however, with that win in April's Trophee Hassan II, two top fives and a top 10 for good measure. The talk this week is that we want an ultra-straight driver but our man must also have some distance, too, and Levy certainly provides the latter while not being quite as wild off the tee as many suspect. He sits high in the rankings for scrambling and putting and the 40/1 is more than acceptable for my money.
Mike Norman: Back Jorge Campillo @ 55/1
Having backed Jorge Campillo twice this season, in which he has done us proud by landing full place pay-outs at 40/1 and 28/1, I'm certainly not going to let this in-form player pass me by this week at 55/1. True, this week's Italian Open field has more strength to it, but look past the first five or six in the betting and we're not far off being back to a standard European Tour field, the likes of which Campillo has been competing brilliantly in all season. The Spaniard recorded a very impressive five top-five finishes from his previous seven starts prior to last week's missed cut at Wentworth, marking him out as one of the Tour's most consistent and in-form performers during 2018. And as much as we don't know a great deal about this week's venue, the early suggestion is that it will suit those that record high Greens in Regulation stats and give themselves plenty of birdie chances. Just a glance at the European Tour's GIR stats tells you that Campillo certainly ticks that box.
2018 Season P/L to date: +£162.00
- BMW PGA Championship, Kiradech Aphibarnrat @ 45/1 - PLACE (Dave)
- Belgian Knockout, Benjamin Hebert @ 50/1 - PLACE (Paul)
- Belgian Knockout, Jorge Campillo @ 28/1 - PLACE (Mike)
- Rocco Forte Open, Lucas Herbert @ 125/1 - PLACE (Paul)
- Golf Sixes, South Korea @ 16/1 - PLACE (Steve & Paul)
- Volvo China Open, Lucas Bjerregaard @ 200/1 - PLACE (Steve)
- US Masters, Bubba Watson @ 16/1 - PLACE (Mike)
- Hero Indian Open, Andrew Johnston @ 33/1 - PLACE (Dave)
- Oman Open, Jorge Campillo @ 40/1 - PLACE (Mike)
- Maybank Championship, Shubhankar Sharma @ 60/1 - WIN (Joe)
- Dubai Desert Classic, Alex Levy @ 50/1 - PLACE (Steve)
- Abu Dhabi Championship, Matthew Fitzpatrick @ 40/1 - PLACE (Steve)
- UBS Hong Kong Open, Paul Peterson @ 80/1 - PLACE (Paul)