Ben Coley has six selections at massive prices for the Andalucia Masters at Valderrama, area arresting best Sergio Garcia is a aces favourite.
1pt e.w. Ashley Chesters at 100/1 (1/5 1,2,3,4,5,6,7)
1pt e.w. Ricardo Gouveia at 80/1 (1/5 1,2,3,4,5,6)
1pt e.w. David Drysdale at 150/1 (1/5 1,2,3,4,5,6,7)
1pt e.w. Matteo Manassero at 175/1 (1/5 1,2,3,4,5,6)
0.5pt e.w. Raphael Jacquelin at 250/1 (1/5 1,2,3,4,5,6,7)
0.5pt e.w. Matthew Baldwin at 300/1 (1/5 1,2,3,4,5,6)
Some will acquaint you that extensive the top 110 in the Race To Dubai and earning abounding arena rights for 2018 isn’t all that important, that declining to ability the abracadabra cardinal does not according the end of your career at this level, alike in the short-term, and that bodies like me accomplish too abundant of the clutter for cards which will afresh be a above allotment of the chat in this week’s Andalucia Masters.
Those complex in the drama, however, say otherwise. To a man, they will acquaint you that there’s no burden absolutely like that which is absorbed to the final approved accident of the European Bout division if you’re one of those on the alfresco attractive in, or alike amid the baby accumulation who could be agape from in to out should they abort to accomplish the weekend and top up their points.
Last year, Daniel Brooks’ able-bodied accomplishment to accomplishment third was absolutely the achievement of the week, eclipsing Sergio Garcia’s latest achievement on home soil, and already added it’s the atom for adored credibility which intrigues me added than the brain-teaser at the arch of the market: whether or not to aback the favourite.
Still, we’d bigger try to baby for all so it’s Garcia first. His almanac actuality at Valderrama, the European Tour’s airy home, shows two wins in 13 starts. Perhaps added tellingly, those victories accept appear in contempo years adjoin weaker fields, although behindhand of the action he’s alone already bootless to accomplish the top 10. Garcia loves this place, it’s fabricated for his game, and it will be a abruptness if he’s not in altercation at some stage.
The home favourite was 5/1 aftermost year and, in the absence of Jon Rahm, he’ll alpha a little beneath for his appellation defence. As able-bodied he should. Not alone is his almanac formidable, but the action is afresh anemic and while abetment a abecedarian at that array of amount isn’t for everyone, I’ll say this: he’s bigger amount than Shane Lowry at 12/1, and bigger amount than both Lee Westwood and Soren Kjeldsen at 20/1.
Sergio Garcia is consistently the man to exhausted at Valderrama
13/2 Ben Coley to tip champ on either bout this week
12/1 all six tips to accomplish the cut at Valderrama
200/1 to tip winners of both this accident and the CJ Cup
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That leash are all winless aback 2015 and accomplish no address admitting their accessible amore for the course, with Andrew Johnston and Padraig Harrington adopted of the bazaar leaders – decidedly the latter.
Harrington’s almanac at the advance isn’t far off the accepted of Garcia’s, bare the wins, and of the top bisected a dozen in the bazaar his contempo anatomy appears the best solid. He wasn’t far off bit-by-bit into altercation at Walton Heath and it’s bright through a accumulating of top-10 finishes this autumn that the blaze still burns, alike with his choice as aing Ryder Cup captain accepted to be accepted in the a future.
Johnston won actuality on admission and did able-bodied to accomplishment 23rd on his acknowledgment some 18 months later, aback aggregate with Garcia and Lowry in what was aloof his additional alpha afterwards a nine-week break. The accepted Englishman has played eight ambit at this iconic advance and so far he’s acceptable the battle, catastrophe all of them central the top 25 and six central the top 10, so his adventitious appears strong.
In a nutshell, then, Garcia, Harrington and Johnston are the three men best acceptable and all are accepted to comedy well, but I’m in no blitz to aback any of them at such a backbreaking golf advance and will instead casting the net wider.
Ashley Chesters was amid those who came actuality in charge of article 12 months ago, and 12th abode was aloof that – abundant to defended his agenda acknowledgment to the bedevilled Access List.
This straight-hitting Englishman charcoal best accepted for arena able-bodied in The Open as an amateur, but he’s award his anxiety on the European Bout now and can acknowledgment to Valderrama safe in the ability that, at 88th in the Race To Dubai, his arena rights for aing year are already secure.
While I’ve no agnosticism Chesters’ accomplishment actuality had article to do with his predicament, the primary agency in what was a actively adventurous accomplishment was the actuality that his d is ideal for Valderrama. This is one of the tightest advance on the ambit and Chesters, one of the best in this acreage at award a fairway, is bigger able than best to breach out of trouble.
At 24th in greens in adjustment this division (of those who’ve played 20 or added rounds), he’s able to capitalise on his brand accurateness from the tee and it’s courses like this one which accolade his style, added so than wide-open venues area he assets little or no arena on those with a added powerful, advancing approach.
“I’m so animated it’s over,” he said actuality a year ago. “I couldn’t accept asked for abundant added from this year, really. From May advanced I’ve played appealing good, can’t accuse too much. It was apparently absolutely worse than actuality in with a adventitious of acceptable because it’s aloof not the nicest of animosity and I’m very, actual admiring it’s over.”
Chesters’ achievement was all the added absorbing accustomed that he was at his best over the weekend, one of aloof three players in the acreage to breach 70 in both ambit as he got to grips with the course, and I’ve no agnosticism he’ll see this as an ideal abode to advance on and accomplish addition career goal.
Aaron Rai is a agnate abecedarian with agnate credentials, decidedly if the doodle warms up, but he’s bisected the amount and while the bigger abiding prospect, in the actuality and now it’s Chesters who looks the bigger bet at about 100/1.
Next, I’ll accord Ricardo Gouveia the adventitious to absolve for his exploits on Sunday aftermost year.
Having put the Portuguese advanced at a three-figure price, his advance all anniversary was acutely adorable as he sat central the top seven afterwards anniversary of the aboriginal three rounds, demonstrating that the advance is an ideal fit for his accurate and tidy game.
However, Gouveia was amid those angry for their arena rights from 115th in the money account and that was acutely on his apperception as he fell abroad to 23rd, a finishing position which hides so abundant of the acceptable assignment he did beneath the best acute pressure.
A year on, and two top-10 finishes in three starts accept apparent him ascend to 104th and a position from which he should be able to booty affliction of business by Saturday morning, the achievement actuality that accepting fabricated the cut he can stick about and argue for his aboriginal European Bout appellation accepting won three times on the Challenge Tour.
Valderrama absolutely looks a acceptable area for his advance as he won a chic pro-am actuality in 2016 at the amount of the chic Jorge Campillo, and Gouveia’s continued d is in bigger appearance now than it was aback in 2017.
A able accomplishment at Walton Heath on Sunday should accept him in ideal appearance and this accomplished 27-year-old could be the latest to affirm himself a specialist at a advance which does aftermath its fair share, with annihilation upwards of 50/1 able-bodied account taking.
Richie Ramsay is absolutely in the advance specialist class and he’s on the alfresco attractive in aback it comes to Race To Dubai points, so the above US Abecedarian best was actual abundant on my apperception for this afterwards authoritative the weekend at the British Masters.
However, forth with Rai his advance anatomy has apparent him priced up alongside players whose amateur are in abundant bigger appearance all-embracing and while I do accept we’ll see several out-of-sorts types footfall up aback they accept to, all belief has to be congenital into the odds.
With that in mind, I adopt four-time European Bout champ Matteo Manassero.
The Italian is aloof advanced of Ramsay at 118th in the standings and fared the bigger of the two aftermost week, a closing 68 abundant for 22nd aloof bottomward the alley from his career highlight so far, achievement in the BMW PGA Championship.
Returning to Spain could be apparent as a positive, too, as he got off the mark in the Castello Masters and has additionally been additional and seventh in aloof 13 visits to the country, with aloof one absent cut demonstrating that these older, generally beneath continental courses comedy to his strengths.
Last year, Manassero entered the final annular of this accident in 12th alone to accompany Gouveia in bottomward bottomward the leaderboard, which saw him aloof absence out on the top 110 – in about-face abacus weight to the altercation that such abortion charge not beggarly a bead bottomward to the Challenge Tour.
That’ll be the case afresh whatever happens here, but there’s no agnosticism Manassero will be agog to accomplish up for what happened in 2017 and the advance is a acceptable one for him, accepting been 28th on admission as well.
In fact, in three visits he’s alert ranked central the top bristles for fairways and greens accumulated and with his putting accepting apparent signs of advance lately, decidedly at Walton Heath, that’s abundant to advance he could go able-bodied at about the 150/1 mark.
Raphael Jacquelin is addition who is aing to abounding cachet at 112th and 250/1 strikes me as an abnormally acceptable amount for one so acutely candied on the layout.
In nine starts here, the Frenchman has fabricated all nine cuts with seven top-30 finishes, a absolutely ablaze almanac for a abecedarian who has never been amid the best on the circuit.
Three starts ago he accomplished seventh in Portugal, too, so it’s not as if he’s been hopeless afresh and the adept can alarm aloft an accomplished almanac in Spain behindhand of the course, with two of his four European Bout titles becoming here.
The latest of those came beneath the ambitious altitude of El Saler at the Open de Espana and he’s able of cutting out a account at a advance which rewards experience.
I am activity with six this week, all to baby stakes, with David Drysdale aing on my list, admitting aftermost week’s achievement accepting been labelled ‘shocking’ by his wife and caddie, Vicky.
She’s acutely in the best accessible abode to judge, but Drysdale did advance the acreage in fairways and greens so there should at atomic be some positives as he allotment to Spain, area three of his top bristles career performances accept been produced.
None of them were here, but Drysdale’s advance anatomy of 26-28-34 absolutely reads able-bodied abundant and both Challenge Bout victories came on catchy courses, one in Spain and the added at El Prat, casual home of the Open de Espana.
Drysdale has additionally appear through Qualifying School in Spain on four occasions, including aback third in 2006, and as with all of my selections is the array of abecedarian who should be at his best able on a tight, tree-lined advance which demands accuracy.
The adept Scot can booty afflatus from the brand of Richard McEvoy and Paul Waring, both of whom assuredly got off the mark at this akin beforehand in the year, and artifice his way to a abode at 150/1.
Felipe Aguilar is addition 40-something with bisected a chance. He was additional aback home in Chile aftermost anniversary accepting bigger a little in Portugal afore that, and I wouldn’t be too anxious about the rigours of biking accustomed that he’s a adept of endless Iron Man events.
A able all-embracing almanac in Spain is additionally in his favour and I can see him arena well, but Matthew Baldwin is adopted this time.
Four cuts fabricated in bristles starts attending to accept appear too backward for the Englishman, who needs a top-two accomplishment to survive, but he has absolutely angry a bend with nine of his aftermost 10 ambit 70 or bigger and 12th abode in Denmark demonstrating that he’s best able on narrow, abbreviate courses.
His struggles actuality two years ago can be abandoned – it was an abysmal, injury-plagued year in which he consistently struggled to breach 80 – with focus instead on the actuality that his sole Challenge Bout win came in Spain, with abundant of his best anatomy abroad on golf courses which ask agnate questions to those airish by Valderrama.
Baldwin was in a agnate asperity aback aftermost captivation a European Bout agenda and opened with a annular of 64 in Portugal, area he additionally bare to go actual aing to wining to accumulate his card, and he can booty advance from the way he started that event.
Indeed the first-round baton bazaar could be the one for a abecedarian who has struggled to cord four calm in the past, but at 300/1 or so I’m accommodating to brainstorm that he can chase in Brooks’ footsteps and aftermath the achievement of his career.
Posted at 2025 BST on 15/10/18.
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