After another near miss last week, when Richy Werenski and Peter Uihlein missed the Zurich playoff by a stroke, Steve Rawlings is off to Tenerife and Florida for this week's monster-priced picks...
"Del Rey played the three long holes in 14-under-par over the week, which was one better than the big-hitting winner, Higgo, and this week he gets two more to have a pop at every day. That looks like a huge advantage but it’s not just all out power with Del Rey."
As highlighted in the preview, this week's European Tour event, the Tenerife Open, looks set to be an extremely low scoring event, very similar to last week's test in Gran Canaria, won by Garrick Higgo in 25-under-par.
Like last week's venue, Meloneras Golf, this week's host course, Golf Costa Adeje, is a very straightforward resort course and the tournament is certain to develop into a birdie-fest. It's almost inconceivable that the winner won't be in the top-10 for putting for the week and it's also highly likely that they rank somewhere near the top for par five scoring given Adeje has five par fives.
Most courses have four long holes but last week's venue had only three and it's the evidence of last week that makes 180.00179/1 chance, Alejandro Del Rey, a very obvious selection here, despite his price.
Del Rey to make hay
Having finished a respectable 24th at the Austria Open the week before, 23-year-old Spaniard, Alejandro Del Rey, finished 21st at the Gran Canaria Open last week and this week's venue will suit him even better.
Del Rey is monstrously long off the tee and he absolutely devoured the par fives last week, failing to make birdie or eagle on only one of the 12 occasions he encountered a long hole. He birdied the fourth on all four days, he eagled the 13th on Thursday and birdied it on Friday and Saturday and he played the 18th in six-under-par, bookending a pair of eagles with a pair of birdies.
In total, he played the three long holes in 14-under-par over the week, which was one better than the big-hitting winner, Higgo, and this week he gets two more to have a pop at every day. That looks like a huge advantage but it's not just all out power with Del Rey.
In addition to ranking first for Driving Distance, Eagles and Par 5 Scoring last week, Del Rey also ranked third for Strokes Gained Around the Green, third for Birdie Conversion, and an impressive seventh for Putting Average.
On a week where power and putting are the two main requirements, Del Rey is a perfect fit and he's a big price at 180.0179/1 to win and a very fair price with the Sportsbook to finish inside the top-20 at 6/1.
Mitchell the man for Valspar value
As highlighted in the preview, the venue for this week's PGA Tour event, the Valspar Championship, isn't a typically Floridian type of course so backing anyone purely on Florida form alone might not be too wise but Georgia-based Keith Mitchell, has form in Florida at other tracks, as well as this one, and he looks an interesting runner at a triple-figure price.
Mitchell's PGA Tour debut came at this event in 2017 when he finished tied for 11th, ranking first for Driving Distance and for Strokes Gained Putting, after Monday qualifying via a five-man playoff on Tuesday morning.
This is Mitchell's first trip back to Copperhead and he returns as an in-form PGA Tour winner, having won the Honda Classic in Florida two years ago and having finished 17th at the Texas Open in his penultimate start, where he putted very nicely, and having finished fourth alongside Brandt Snedeker at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans last week, where the figures suggest Mitchel was very much the driving force.
Last week's pair worth picking again
Last week's Zurich Classic result was frustrating given the Florida-based pairing of Richy Werenski and Peter Uihlein, backed at 130.0129/1, didn't get matched at any lower than 13.012/1, despite missing out on the playoff by only a stroke but I'm going to back both again here and I'm going to put up Peter.
Uihlein has clearly hit form given he'd comfortably won the MGM Resorts Championship on the Korn Ferry Tour the week before (by four strokes) and I'm happy to chance him again, despite his ordinary course form reading 57-MC-MC-MC-65.
Werenski isn't an official bet for the column but I've had a small bet at 200.0199/1.
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STEVE'S 2021 FIND ME A 100 WINNER P/L
Staked: 83.5 units
Returned: 22.5 units
P/L: -61 units