Find Me a 100 Winner: Defending champ Ross set to shine in Rome

Golfer Ross McGowan
Ross McGowan after winning last year's renewal

The FedEx Cup playoffs and the PGA Tour season concludes with the Tour Championship and the European Tour takes in the Italian Open. Steve Rawlings has outsiders to trade in both events here...

"The English have a fine record at the Italian Open, and so too do former winners so given he’s found some fine form, the defending champ, Englishman Ross McGowan, looks an obscene price."

As highlighted in the preview, for the third year in-a-row, the Tour Championship is now handicapped with the FedEx Cup leader, Patrick Cantlay, starting on -10. The remaining 29 competitors all have ground to make up to varying degrees and from a betting perspective, it's a hard event to evaluate.

Punters have the option to play in the Lowest 72 Hole Score market, which excludes the handicap, and that's a wide-open market with nobody trading at a triple figure price.

Looking at the outright market, John Rahm, who will begin the tournament four behind Cantlay on -6, is just favourite ahead of the American and understandably, those that receive the biggest starts dominate the market but there are some huge prices available for some of those with plenty of ground to make up and I'm happy to chance one of them modestly...

Sedgefield second suggests Na could take to East Lake

Given he starts the tournament on -2 and eight off the lead, Kevin Na has a mountain to climb and he's going to need help from the leaders but at 450.0449/1 I'm happy to take a small chance on him.

Kevin Na wins Shriners again.jpg

Na has won a couple of PGA Tour events by wide margins (four and five strokes) so we know he has the class to really get motoring if the putter warms up and he arrives at East Lake in good nick with form figures reading 2-23-2-8-17.

An opening 72 at the BMW Championship last time out put him behind the eight ball last time out but his runners-up finishes at both the John Deere Classic and the Wyndham Championship are eye-catching performances and although he's not yet taken to East Lake, his second at Sedgefield suggests he still could.

As highlighted in the preview, the two Donald Ross tracks correlate superbly. It's a huge ask for Na to muscle into the argument but there are plenty of positives and he's a huge price to do so.

Back 1 u Kevin Na @ 450.0449/1
Place order to lay 10u @ 10.09/1 & 10u @ 2.01/1

Four outsiders worth chancing in Italy

Ordinarily, I put up just three picks for the column, but I make no apologies about going with five this week. As highlighted in the preview, the Italian Open has been a great event for outsiders and I really like four in-form players at juicy prices, starting with someone that's already done us a favour, James Morrison...

The English have a great record in the Italian Open and an Englishman has finished first or second or first and second in ten of the last 13 renewals. James Morrison could extend the good run.

Morrison came agonisingly close for the column at the Hero Open in Scotland three weeks ago when backed at 130.0129/1. He was matched at just 1.341/3 when he posted the clubhouse lead but he was denied by a gutsy finish by Grant Forrest, who birdied the last two holes to beat him by a stroke.


Morrison backed that effort up with a respectable 13th in the Cazoo Classic and he opened-up last week's Omega European Masters with a ten-under-par 60! He lost his way badly on the back-nine on Friday before eventually finishing tied for 27th but he's playing far too well to be ignored at a whopping price.

Back 1 1/2 u James Morrison @ 180.0179/1
Place order to lay 10u @ 10.09/1 & 10u @ 2.01/1

Grant Forrest, quite sensibly, sat out the Cazoo Classic and the Czech Masters after he'd no doubt celebrated his Hero Open success and he started last weeks Omega European Masters too slowly to make the cut - opening-up the event with five-over-par 75. His three-under-par 67 in round two wasn't enough to make the weekend but I suspect we'll see a far better-equipped Forrest this week and he's a massive price for someone that must be full of confidence.

Back 1 u Grant Forrest @ 220.0219/1
Place order to lay 10u @ 10.09/1 & 10u @ 2.01/1

Defending champ Ross set to shine in Rome

Matt Cooper makes a great case for my third pick, Jorge Campillo, who's drifted to a ridiculous price and my fourth and final selection is the defending champ, Ross McGowan, who played very nicely in Switzerland last week...

Back 1 u Jorge Campillo @ 300.0299/1
Place order to lay 10u @ 10.09/1 & 10u @ 2.01/1

As highlighted in the preview, the English have a fine record at the Italian Open, and so too do former winners with the likes of Francesco Molinari, Ian Poulter, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano and Hennie Otto all winning the event twice this century and all at different venues, so given he's found some fine form, the defending champ, Englishman Ross McGowan, looks an obscene price.

Having finished 67th at the Cazoo Classic and 23rd at the Czech Masters, McGowan was matched at just 2.226/5 when he made the turn with the lead at the Omega European Masters last week before eventually finishing fourth and he's a cracking price to contend again here.

Back 1 u Ross McGowan @ 360.0359/1
Place order to lay 10u @ 10.09/1 & 10u @ 2.01/1

*You can follow me on Twitter @SteveThePunter

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