Consecutive returns for Steve Rawlings' bets have kept the BB each-way column in profit and they another quintet to follow at the Rocco Forte Sicilian Open...
"Hitting it miles, getting up-and-down when a green’s missed, and putting well were the ingredients for success at Verdura on the two previous occasions the venue was used, in 2012 and 2017, so the stats I looked at were Driving Distance, Scrambling and Putting Average and the player that currently ranks nicely in all three is Tapio Pulkkanen, who just happens to be available at an industry-best price of 80/1."
*EW Terms: 1/5 Odds | 6 Places
Dave Tindall: Back Sebastian Heisele @ 80/1
The giant German took the eye in this event last year when opening with a 63 and backing it up with a 69 to lie inside the top 10 at halfway. His challenge faded away but we've seen recent evidence that he can take it through to the finish via a tied 8th at the Qatar Masters where he shot all four rounds under par. Doha actually has some decent correlating form with this week's venue so that adds to his appeal. Heisele heads back to Italy on the back of a top four finish on the Challenge Tour on his most recent start and this is a good opportunity for the man with a degree in architecture to build on his recent good form.
Paul Krishnamurty: Back Lucas Herbert @ 125/1
It is evident from last year's result that extreme power off the tee offers a big advantage here - Alvaro Quiros won and Pep Angles produced a career best. Lucas Herbert has power off the tee in spades plus tremendous long-term potential. The 22-year-old finished top-eight over the winter in the Australian Open, PGA, Singapore Open and World Super 6 - all of which were probably stronger than this. After three straight missed cuts, there must be a significant form doubt but that is more than reflected by these massive odds. Herbert will achieve more in the game than the vast majority of this field and the best Aussie prospects tend to reach the very top. He's well worth persevering with while still rated a rank outsider.
Steve Rawlings: Back Tapio Pulkkanen @ 80/1
Hitting it miles, getting up-and-down when a green's missed, and putting well were the ingredients for success at Verdura on the two previous occasions the venue was used, in 2012 and 2017, so the stats I looked at were Driving Distance, Scrambling and Putting Average and the player that currently ranks nicely in all three is Tapio Pulkkanen, who just happens to be available at an industry-best price of 80/1. This is the Finn's first season on the European Tour and so far he's fared quite well. Having finished third in his very first event, the Joburg Open, he missed three of his next four cuts but he's back on track now and this venue that may well suit him nicely.
Joe Dyer: Back Matthew Southgate @ 80/1
With the eyes of the golfing world focused on Florida the European Tour serves up an understandably thin event. For me, those at the top of the betting aren't to be trusted at such short prices and I'm looking down the list in the hope of finding a big winner for the column, as this is surely a great opportunity for an up-and-coming golfer to claim a first European Tour win. Matthew Southgate is one to catch the eye on a linksy track where he should be seen to his best. Southgate's best results last year all came on seaside tracks, he was second at the Irish Open and sixth at The Open, and he can hopefully feel more at home on the track than he did last year (missed the cut). Southgate's length will be a decent weapon this week and if he can get the ball rolling on the greens - a big if I'm afraid - then this talented golfer can put up a decent effort at big odds.
Mike Norman: Back Anthony Wall @ 90/1
This is a tough event to weigh up, with another weak European Tour field assembled, so I'm happy to take Betfair's joint-best industry price of 90/1 about veteran Anthony Wall. He finished sixth here in 2012 in his one and only visit to the venue, which obviously augers well, but the fact that the final six holes are played alongside the coast, and that the course is exposed to coastal conditions, then hopefully this will be in Wall's favour. The Englishman was in fine form around this time last year, having very good finishes at the Irish and Scottish Opens on weather-affected links courses before finishing fifth when defending the Paul Lawrie Matchplay. After a very good top-25 finish in Dubai earlier this year his form has dipped, but that's exactly why we are getting 90/1. Those odds look too big in this low-quality field for a proven European Tour winner who might just have conditions in his favour this week.
2018 Season P/L to date: +£44.00
- 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)
* Total P/L for 2017 Season: -£336.17
* Total P/L for 2016 Season: +£267.58
* Total P/L for 2015 Season: +£958.37