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Rupert Wyman 27th Apr 2010 - 17:01

A refreshed Francesco Molinari leads the charge in Spain.

The European Tour returns to its home continent this week for the Open de Espana.

Last week's event, the Ballantine's Championship was thrown into chaos in Korea because the volcanic ash cloud caused travel disruption across much of Northern Europe inhibiting players' movement.

Last year's winner was French former Ryder Cup star Thomas Levet (33/1) who completed his win with a two stroke victory over Paraguay's Fabrizio Zanotti (125/1) in Girona.

If Levet wants to retain his title, a change in course has meant he will have to defend it at the Real Club de Golf de Seville.

The last winner at the Real Club de Golf de Seville was Peter Lawrie (50/1) in 2008.

Lawrie is joined by several former champions, including Niclas Fasth (40/1), Christian Cevaer (200/1), Kenneth Ferrie (250/1), Jarmo Sandelin (200/1), Thomas Bjorn (125/1) and Colin Montgomerie (125/1) in the field.

The Real Club de Golf de Seville has often been described as one of the best courses in Spain. It was designed with the help of Jose Maria Olazabal, it is extremely challenging and is renowned for the proximity of tight pin positions to the water. There are lots of bunkers and it rewards all round good play.

Spanish native Jimenez (18/1) will be participating in Seville, he will attempt to become the first home winner of the Open de Espana since Sergio Garcia in 2002.

He is fresh after his enforced break last week, he has already won once this season, beating Race to Dubai winner Lee Westwood in a play-off to capture the Omega Desert Classic in February.

He should fare well because he often bounces back after modest performances and always tends to feature on home soil, especially where he has course knowledge.

He is a Malaga native and has played the Real Club de Golf de Seville frequently in the past.

A player of interest in the market is Francesco Molinari (14/1), it is four years since he last won an event on the European Tour . However, he has looked in peak form this year, he is a class act and is due a victory.

His most recent effort in Europe ended with him tied for fourth in the Andalucian Open before he made a credible debut in The Masters at Augusta. For punting purposes he should be refreshed and in the correct mindset.

He is a short price but that reflects his impressive form, he is a realistic contender for the prize.

Oliver Fisher (28/1) had his fifth straight top-10 finish at the Ballantine's Championship.

He has practically cemented a return to the European Tour next season, after already surpassing the earnings required last year for a place on this year's European Tour.

He has been relying on invitees after losing his playing rights at the end of 2009. He was once regarded as a better talent than US PGA star Rory Mcllroy.

Oliver Fisher is desperate to increase his earnings to guarantee his position on the European Tour next year and in current form, he could go close in Seville.



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