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Rupert Wyman 18th May 2011 - 13:13

For Westy it can go from Baddeley to worse!

A fantastic field heads to the Finca Cortesin Golf Club in Spain for the return of the Volvo World Match Play Championship. It was not on the European Tour schedule last year and adaptations have been made to the event.

The number of contenders has been increased from sixteen to twenty-four . The players have been divided into eight groups of three for a round-robin tournament over the Thursday and Friday. It will leave us sixteen players for the weekend's play.

The field is world-class and it features some of the best and most in-form players in the world of golf. Viewers should be in for a treat.  The world number one Lee Westwood (13/2) is playing, the 2011 US PGA Champion Kaymer (8/1), the US Open holder McDowell (16/1) and local hero Alvaro Quiros (14/1) all feature.

The course is challenging for professionals, the fairways are generous but they are lined with plenty of bunkers. It has fast undulating greens with demanding pin positions.

The current holder is England's Ross Fisher (25/1). In his group, he will have to face the world no.2 Luke Donald (7/1) in what could be a scintillating match. Donald has been playing some of the best golf of his career.  He has played eight events on the PGA Tour this year and been in the top-10 in seven.

Donald can revel on this course, he is aggressive but he is also a smart player.  He is on-course for a stellar season and he ended a 5-year victory drought when he won the Accenture Match Play Championship in February.

He will come into this event brimming with confidence and he should qualify through his group. He is not a long-hitter but he is currently ranked second best on the PGA Tour for scrambling.  He regularly makes par or better on a hole.

Donald's group is extremely tough but Fisher is holder for a reason. He looks a big price considering his course form. However, not only does he have Donald in the group, he must also face Ryan Moore (33/1).

He is not a familiar name on the European Tour.  He shared fifth-place in the Accenture in February and he performed very well at match play when an amateur in the USA.  It is his first visit to La Finca Cortesin but there is no pressure on him to perform.

Quiros resides in Sotogrande near La Finca Cortesin, along with Jimenez (20/1) he will have the backing of the locals and course knowledge. He is a long-hitter and if he can control his drives he has the advantage of making birdies on plenty of holes.

A player that can slip under the radar but could go close in Spain is Aaron Baddeley (16/1). He is in the same group as Anders Hansen and Lee Westwood.  Westwood has a miserable record in the WGC-Accenture Match Play and he only came tied-ninth here two years ago.

Baddeley can win the 'Seve Ballesteros' group at 2/1. He opens up against Anders Hansen on Friday morning and he will play Westwood in the afternoon.  He won the Northern Trust Open in Los Angeles and he was tied sixth at Sawgrass last week.

The Aussie makes plenty of birdies and is a strong putter. He is fifth in Birdie Average on the PGA Tour so far this year and he can go all the way in Spain.

 

 
 
 

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