Paul Krishnamurty previews both of this week's main events in search of value bets among players trading at 99-1 or bigger...
"Experience, especially of Valderrama's unique test, is surely an advantage and that bodes well for Raphael Jacquelin, who has only missed the top-30 twice in nine visits."
Valderrama, host to this week's Andalucia Valderrama Masters, is one of my favourite golf courses for two reasons. First, its always more enjoyable watching golfers struggle than birdie-fests and second, the indicators are very strong.
Check out Steve Rawlings' comprehensive tournament preview for the full low-down but, in short, this is all about accuracy - both off the tee in order to thread your way through the trees and for the approach to small, fast, complex greens.
Jacquelin can utilise his extensive Valderrama experience
As Steve notes, this is a place where the cream invariably rises to the top and, in truth, this is about the only place on earth I'd consider taking [5.7] about Sergio Garcia. However his presence has the counter-effect of pushing everyone else out in the betting, so there's plenty of sense in an each-way punt.
Experience, especially of this unique test, is surely an advantage and that bodes well for Raphael Jacquelin, who has only missed the top-30 twice in nine visits, including a trio of top-15 finishes. This four-time European Tour winner is always available at big odds because he misses so many cuts but he's always been the type to pop up on occasion.
For example he was seventh last month in Portugal, shooting nothing worse than 68, third earlier this season in Italy and tenth in the Irish Open. Critically for this test, he's driving accurately at the moment, ranking 16th among these over the past three months.
Other outsiders worth a mention here include Dave Tindall's each-way pick Peter Hanson, currently available at [140.0] on the exchange.
David Drysdale [130.0] is another experienced, accurate type, as is Greg Havret [260.0], who has some good numbers here a long time ago. Finally at [220.0], Thomas Aiken's excellent Wentworth record could offer a clue for this tree-lined track.
In-form Mitchell to thrive in the wind at Nine Bridges
Last year's CJ Cup may have gone to an obvious market leader in Justin Thomas, but there was plenty of encouragement for outsider backers among the places. Statistical indicators from that renewal aren't obvious apart from par-five performance, predictably around a par-72.
Back Keith Mitchell 1u each-way @ [120.0] (1/5 odds, five places)
First a player who has caught the eye performing well in good company of late. During the two middle events of the FedEx Cup series, Mitchell averaged 67.2 in a run of six consecutive sub-70 rounds, and last week's 22nd place included a 65 and closing 66. He ranked second for strokes gained off the tee amongst these last season and fifth for par-five performance.
Form in windy conditions is another good signal around this exposed layout and Mitchell scores well in that department. It was blowing in excess of 20mph during the best results of his rookie season, when finishing second at Corales and third at Trinity Forest - another very exposed course.
Consistent Dahmen well up to challenging for a place
Here's another rank outsider with a solid long game and form in the wind. In Dahmen's case, that form lies in top-16 finishes at the aforementioned Corales and Trinity Forest events, plus Quail Hollow. He ranked an impressive 16th for strokes gained off the tee among these during his rookie season, registering 11 top-25 finishes.
That sort of consistency could bring the places into play among this smaller field and there was plenty of encouragement in last week's CIMB Classic. Dahmen was in the top-15 through 54 holes, suggesting a return to the pre Fedex Cup form that yielded four straight top-15s during July.