Can Quiros reign supreme in Spain?
For the third time in ten weeks, the European tour heads to mainland Spain. We are off to the Real Sociedad Hipica Espanola Club de Campo Golf course in Madrid, for the third Madrid Masters.
It promises to be a great week's golf, event organiser Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (33/1) has managed to lure a fairly strong line-up. Luke Donald (12/1) has extended his stay in Europe after putting in a solid performance at the PGA Championship event at Wentworth last week, where he finished joint second.
I mentioned Donald as a major contender last week for the PGA Championship and with his current form he should be thereabouts at the top of the leaderboard come the end of the Madrid Masters.
The German world number eleven Martin Kaymer (16/1) was another fancy last week but he had a poor first round and has now failed to make the cut in three of his last four events. He is too short at 16/1 and I would rather watch him for now.
England's Ross McGowan (66/1) is the defending champion. His form this year has been average and he will need to perform considerably better to be in contention on Sunday. He has had one top ten finish but he has missed the cut three times in nine tournaments.
Last year, he shot a very impressive 60 on the Saturday, giving him a seven shot lead going into the final round. He could struggle this year as he is not returning to the same course.
Sergio Garcia (14/1) has flown in from the States to play in Madrid, hoping to win his fourth European Tour title. He will want to win in-front of his home fans but he will need to significantly improve on his indifferent form shown over the last few years.
Alejandro Canizares is priced at 20/1, he plays very well in his home country and he was born in Madrid. He now resides in Malaga and he finished third at the Spanish Open in Seville earlier this year. Only two weeks ago he lost the Mallorca Open in a play-off to Swede Peter Hanson.
He has past experience and knowledge of this undulating course, the course has few flat lies and the pro that shall win in Madrid will be a very strong slope player.
There is a strong Spanish contingent playing at Madrid, with other players such as Jimenez (25/1), Quiros (20/1), Pablo Larrazabal (100/1), and Ignacio Garrido (50/1) all participating. The Spaniards will be keen to put on a show with Spain bidding to host the 2018 Ryder Cup contest. The Madrid Masters is Spain's first professional golf event since the bids were submitted.
Quiros was put in the same 3 ball as Kaymer at Wentworth and he also had a nightmare. He will be viewed as a hero in Madrid, after winning their national golf title in Seville last month and is a serious contender to win on home ground again.