One more birdie from Mark Foster would have yielded a clean place payout for last week's column, but the Englishman's tie for sixth nevertheless means the each-way column has struck four winning bets in the last three weeks. Can we go close again? Here are the five to follow in Sicily
"One good judge after another has tipped Jordan for big things and his brief career on the main tour has been extremely promising - finishing top-25 in more than half of his starts, thrice inside the top-ten. Most significantly, his recent long game stats are outstanding, averaging well over 70% of both greens and fairways during his last six starts."
Paul Krishnamurty: Back Jordan Smith @ 20/1
*Each-way 1/5 odds, 6 places
Dan Geraghty: Back Ashley Chesters @ 80/1
Ashley Chesters had a wonderful amateur career; he won the European Amateur twice in a row (2013/14) and put in a marvellous performance to finish 12th at the Open (while still an amateur) in 2015. He then finally turned pro at the end of 2015, at the age of 26. It's been slow and steady progress since then, he put in some excellent performances on the Europro Tour and successfully came through European Tour qualifying school last year. Since then, he's put in a number of eye-catching rounds, including an opening 66 last week in Portugal (where he finished 18th). He's in good form and of interest this week on a links course that should suit.
Paul Krishnamurty: Back Jordan Smith @ 20/1
It isn't often that the favourite makes each-way appeal, but 20/1 offers a decent place return and I simply can't see Jordan Smith being far away. Like last week's event, this is effectively a Challenge Tour fixture - a level which Smith cruised through last season. One good judge after another has tipped Jordan for big things and his brief career on the main tour has been extremely promising - finishing top-25 in more than half of his starts, thrice inside the top-ten. Most significantly, his recent long game stats are outstanding, averaging well over 70% of both greens and fairways during his last six starts. That is bound to yield dividends soon and, with wind forecast and firm, undulating greens demanding accurate, controlled approaches, that long game excellence should prove invaluable.
Joe Dyer: Back Tom Lewis @ 66/1
Another week and another impossible-to-solve puzzle - thanks, European Tour! As per the last few weeks we don't have much to go on with the venue (but not the course, specifically) apparently being used twice before. Steve Rawlings points to links exponents potentially having an advantage this week and in what is a poor quality field my tentative vote goes the way of Tom Lewis. Tied for 11th the last time he played in Sicily, the Englishman can play the coastal golf game - famously finishing joint top of the leaderboard on day one of the 2011 Open Championship. The 26-year-old has been in the wilderness since bursting onto the scene around the turn of the decade, but has shown signs of coming back to form. He was tied for 18th last week, putting together four consistent rounds, and showing good stats in all departments. Lewis opened at 80/1, and has since been cut to 66/1 but let's take the positives from the market support and hope for a reward in a below average field.
Steve Rawlings: Back Richard S Johnson @ 100/1
I'm not prepared to moan too much about the quality of this week's European Tour offering given we've got wonderful Wentworth to look forward to next week but this week's fare is a meagre serving compared to most weeks so back-to-back top-tens on the Web.Com Tour is fairly decent form to bring to the table. Sweden's Richard S Johnson also has a top-ten finish in an Open Championship to his name (in 2009) and given this week's test in Sicily has a very linksy feel about it, that's no bad thing either. I can't say I'm brimming with confidence about the 40-year-old's chances but at 100/1 he may represent a bit of value in what quite frankly is a very weak tournament.
Mike Norman: Back Ryan Fox @ 60/1
This week's course is set to play firm and fast, in hot weather, with wind expected during the first two days, so we can be excused for thinking it will play a bit links-type. Conditions should be fine then for New Zealander Ryan Fox, whose best recent form came in Australia (fourth in Australian Open and ninth in Australian PGA) where conditions can be much the same as he'll face this week. The 30-year-old was in fine form on the Challenge Tour towards the end of 2016 and he made the cut in all three Desert Swing events on the main Tour at the start of 2017 in much higher quality fields than what's being assembled this week. A fine sixth-place finish in his home Open a few months ago has been followed by a few below par performances back on the European Tour, but at 60/1 he's well worth chancing to bounce back in another low-quality affair.
2017 Season P/L to date: -£394.67
- Open de Portugal, Mark Foster @ 50/1 - PLACE (Mike)
- Golf Sixes, Denmark @ 10/1 - WIN (Dan)
- Golf Sixes, Scotland @ 12/1 - PLACE (Paul)
- Volvo China Open, Dylan Frittelli @ 35/1 PLACE (Paul)
- Masters, Paul Casey @ 50/1 - PLACE (Steve)
- Hero Indian Open, Carlos Pigem @ 80/1 - PLACE (Paul)
- Tshwane Open, Dean Burmester @ 16/1 - WIN (Paul)
- Abu Dhabi Championship, Martin Kaymer @ 30/1 PLACE (Steve)
- Alfred Dunhill Championship, Thomas Detry @ 66/1 - PLACE (Dan)
- Alfred Dunhill Championship, Richard Sterne @ 22/1 - PLACE (Paul)
* Total P/L for 2016 Season: +£267.58
* Total P/L for 2015 Season: +£958.37
* Total P/L for 2014 Season: +£251.75
£5 E/W Per Bet