The European Tour heads to Italy this week and Dave Tindall has three each-way picks to be First Round Leader...
"The Englishman has a fourth (Omega European Masters) and a sixth (Hero Open) in his last three starts and he's managed that with impressive driving and tee-to-green stats. He started with a 67 in both events."
Each-way terms: 1/5 odds, 6 places
Weather forecast for Thursday: It's a sunny day with temps already at 20 degrees at 8am in the morning and peaking at 29 around 2-3pm. Winds are light at between 5-9mph.
First-round leader history in the Italian Open:
2020 - 60 Laurie Canter
2019 - 64 Tapio Pulkkanen
2018 - 63 Laurie Canter, Robert Rock, Richard Sterne
2017 - 64 Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Matt Wallace, Francesco Molinari, Eddie Pepperell, Jamie Donaldson, Alexander Bjork
2016 - 64 Rikard Karlberg
Jordan makes appeal at 80s
A new course always presents a challenge to punters and perhaps even more so for first-round leader betting.
Marco Simone GC in Rome is a 7,268-yard par 71 with three par 5s and will host the 2023 Ryder Cup.
It's a little more exposed than the usual tree-lined Italian courses used for this event and players should be able to hit driver a little more.
The weather doesn't really help our first-round leader decision-making so I won't use tee-times as a guide.
We'll have to lean on current form more than usual so that brings Matthew Jordan into the frame.
The Englishman has a fourth (Omega European Masters) and a sixth (Hero Open) in his last three starts and he's managed that with impressive driving and tee-to-green stats.
He started with a 67 in both events while shooting 65 and 66 respectively in his second rounds so Jordan has done his best work before the cut.
At 80/1 he's worth a play for FRL.
Lee looks overpriced
Min Woo Lee is already a two-time European Tour winner at the age of 23 and his second victory came only last month at the Scottish Open.
Lee has also been starting fast in recent months, his last six first rounds reading: 66-68-68-74-67-66.
One of those 66s came at Crans last week where he his short game looked sharp and, while this is his Italian Open debut, the new course means he's not giving up any course advantage to his rivals.
Like Jordan, he's an 80/1 chance for first-round leader.
Molinari can flourish in front of home fans
Finally, I want an afternoon starter so why not try home hero Francesco Molinari. The Italian has an excellent record in his home Open and that extends to fast starts too.
In fact, between 2014 and 2017 he was never out of the top two at the end of day one, twice finishing as first-round leader.
His current form is certainly mixed but 13th in the US Open and a Friday 64 in Switzerland last week offer some encouragement. I also think the inevitable Ryder Cup chat this week will get his juices flowing. Back Molinari for FRL at 50s.
The tee-times for my trio are: Jordan 09:10 (10th tee), Lee 08:20 (10th) and Molinari 13:00 (1st).