Each-Way Betting

Soudal Open Each-Way Tips: Anniversary vibes for 110/1 Manassero

Golfer Matteo Manassero
Matteo Manassero is already a winner this year

The DP World Tour's hits European shores with this week's Soudal Open. Thomas Pieters heads the betting but Matt Cooper looks elsewhere for his three selections with the Betfair Sportsbook paying seven places...

  • This week's test should suit Matteo Manassero

  • Guido Migliozzi can land a second track win

  • Darius Van Driel is a winner this year with course form

Time can be a bewildering concept.

For example, a friend's 10-year-old daughter recently asked me which generation I fall into.

I wasn't sure but she quickly Googled a chart whereupon I revealed myself to be Generation X, an answer that prompted an explosion of delighted and astounded shoulder-heaving chuckles that really ought to have appalled me because when she finally stopped giggling she snorted: "My gran's Gen X!"

The exchange vaguely reminded me of a conversation in the clubhouse during the Bahrain Championship, when I told a young journalist there that Ugo Coussaud, the French rookie he'd been heralding as a promising youngster (he had a decent tournament that week and would finish second a week later in Qatar), is actually older than Matteo Manassero.

The more I told him about Manassero's story, the less he could fathom what I was talking about (the journalist was young himself).

We didn't know it at the time, but the Italian would shortly afterwards win in South Africa, ending an 11 year drought since his fourth win on the DP World Tour.

And that's the gist of the youngster's incomprehension: Manassero has now won five times, and also endured that decade (and more) of disappointment, yet he turned 31 only one month ago (and still looks considerably younger).

Talking of Matteo ...

Main Bet: Matteo Manassero 1pt each-way @ 110/1111.00

Prior to my chat with the befuddled Swede I'd actually been in conversation with Manassero himself, discussing the details of his long journey back onto the main tour.

In the process, I learned the rather lovely tale of how his first win on the Challenge Tour last season not only came in the last full week of May (i.e. this one), but also on the anniversary of his finest achievement to date - his win at the 2013 BMW PGA Championship.

It wouldn't entirely surprise me if fond memories of that experience prompt further good vibes and the course at Rinkven International for the Soudal Open ought to suit him, too.

Short and tree-lined, this week's venue calls to mind Club de Campo del Mediterranean where Manassero made his DP World Tour breakthrough, but also Hong Kong, Crans and Aloha where he landed top four finishes at the height of his career. That win at Wentworth, and even the recent win at Glendower, were among the trees, too.

He backed up this year's win with fifth place in the Indian Open and he was the headline pick in the China Open where he made an average start (72 to be outside the cut line) before carding nice rounds of 69-67 to shoot up to T23rd in a shortened event.

He's kicked off this week with rounds of 71-65 at Walton Heath in the US Open Qualifier, good for tied sixth and a return to major championship golf.

He's a big price to celebrate in fine style this week.

Next Best: Guido Migliozzi 1pt each-way @ 40/141.00

When the Italian Guido Migliozzi landed his second Alps Tour event he contended in a play-off later that month.

When he won for the first time on the DP World Tour in Kenya he landed this title, in its former guise as the Belgian Knockout, within three months.

In late May/early June 2021 he was second in the British Masters and Made in Himmerland, and then fourth in the US Open in three consecutive starts.

Has he hit another hot patch?

He was second in the China Open last time out and he started this week shooting 71-66 to finish T12th, just outside the qualifying spots for the US Open.

His win in Kenya at Karen, that extra hole defeat at The Belfry, sixth at Valderrama and seventh at Le Golf National all proved that he likes a tight driving test - as, of course, does the win on this very layout.

And last time out he ranked ninth for Strokes Gained Tee to Green and third for Putting.

Final Bet: Darius Van Driel 1pt each-way @ 80/181.00

Tight and tree-lined has always been Dutchman Darius Van Driel's favourite kind of test and I'm happy to include him this week at this price.

Like Manassero he is already a winner this season, in his case in Kenya and it's all part of a really quite solid season that has included six finishes of T31st or better including three top 10s.

The win at Muthaiga suited him all ends up because it was not only tight and tree-lined, but short being at altitude.

His first Challenge Tour top 10 came on the short St Omer, just over the border in France. He also won on that circuit at the tight, tree-lined and short Adamstal and also at Geneve.

He also very nearly won this event when it was a part stroke/part match play event in 2019, falling at the final hurdle.

This is a fine opportunity for him to contend again.

Now read Steve Rawlings' take on the Soudal Open here!

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