Carlos Del Moral can shine in the Costa del Sol
The European Tour heads to Spain this week for the Open de Andalucía. The tournament is being held for the second year straight at the Parador de Malaga. The event will be low scoring and I would look past the favourites for some value and the eventual winner.
The course is by the coast, near Malaga airport and is very flat. The greens tend to be large and the bunkers are big, it is suited to solid iron-play and is not that long. The big-hitters will drive from the tees but with trees lining the rough and on the fairways, often simple iron-play is best.
Unfortunately I can only work with one year of course form but you can see that three of the top four last year were in the top five for putts per GIR. I would look past Jimenez (14/1), he is the tournament promoter and he has already stated that the pressure of overseeing the event has disrupted his golf in the past.
Jimenez is a popular man on the Tour and although he would love to win this week, it is not his sole priority.
Another hotshot that will feature this week is the reigning Open de Espana and Omega Dubai Desert Classic winner Alvaro Quiros. He could only finish tied for forty-fifth last year and I will not be backing the favourite at 12/1.
He may have a massive drive but it is forecast to be quite windy of Thursday and although the fairways are wide, they are not always forgiving if you land behind a tree or in a bunker.
After his poor form last year, I would look past him and back two different Spaniards, Carbrera-Bello and Carlos Del Moral. He can be backed at 50/1 to win in Spain and he posted a top-ten finish in Sicily last week. He is 10/1 to finish the top Spanish player this week.
He is still young and improving, in his previous three European Tour events to the Sicilian Open, he posted a top-25 finish every time.
He is strong on the greens and it would not be a surprise to see him make an impact in Andalucía this week. The other Spaniard that has strong claims in Malaga is Carbrera-Bello. He is 33/1 to be the tournament winner and he has been in the top-20 in four of his last five events. He won the Austrian Golf Open in 2009 and he can win in Andalucía.
This season he is the fourth best for putts per GIR on the Tour and he is a force to be reckoned with on the greens. He is an improving player and he can take the limelight away from Quiros and Jimenez.
Another player who impressed in Sicily is Scotland's Peter Whiteford (80/1). The closest that he has come to winning on the European Tour is his second in this event last year. He was tied for fifth in Sicily last week and he posted a sixty-six on the Saturday. His confidence should be buoyed by his form in Italy last week and he can make the most of this short and relatively straight-forward course.
We are a massive 6/1 for him to finish as the top Scottish player and this course can bring out the best in him.