Italian Drag Race in the BMW Turin
BMW Italian Open.
Royal Park Golf and Country Club near Turin, Italy, will be host for yet another BMW European Tour event. The home faithful will be pleased as heading the betting to get round the course in the four days with the lowest score will the charismatic Italian pairing of, Matteo Manassero 7/1 and Francesco Molinari 10/1.
Despite a recent bout of rain the 7,282 yard Par 72 course is in fine condition, and having started his professional career at the corresponding fixture last year Manassero will be looking to win his third European title after picking up wins in Spain and Malaysia.
The Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year has without a doubt had a sensational year, but the younger Molinari brother will be keen to add a second tour win to his name to bring himself in-line with the teenage sensation.
Molinari has already won this same tournament after success in Milan five years ago, and will not want his younger compatriot to get one up on him in front of home support. It was also his first professional win back in 2006, so the event holds sentimental value and he will want to put on a good show.
Molinari missed the event last year leaving the door open for Fredrik Andersson-Hed 80/1 of Sweden to claim top spot. He has not been in great form of late but did dominate the first three rounds here last time and will be hoping that those memories will inspire a return to form.
If the Italians don't fulfill expectations, then the door will be left open for the likes of Gregory Bourdy 16/1 and the Iberdrola Open winner Darren Clarke 33/1. Bourdy is just three places behind Manassero in the race to Dubai money list, so 16/1 for me looks like a value bet.
Recent stars, Thongchai Jaidee 40/1, who holds the record for most career victories and most career earnings on the Asian Tour and Rafael Cabrera- Bello 66/1 who is in good form of late should both feature this week and could even walk away with the trophy.
If you can't see past the Italians a safe bet could be picking a top ten finish. These following three considering their current form and level of opposition should be in and around the Top 10 and still provide you with value for money:
Darren Clarke 11/4; Rhys Davies 17/5; Jamie Donaldson 21/20
As for the match bets, the value for me comes in the all French encounter between Romain Wattel and Victor Dubuisson. The pairing are similarly matched, but my money would be on the younster Dubuisson at 21/20 as he has played relatively little golf on the tour but looks a very good prospect at the age of just 21.
Highlight of the week will be left to the ex-caddy turned pro Costantino Rocca 500/1. What a story it would be if the most successful golf player that Italy has ever produced made the cut and was in the hunt until the last day. The rank outsider won 5 European Tour titles in his career and is best known for his second place finish in the 1995 Open Championship. At 54 years young could he give us a BMW Italian Open to remember?