It's Rolex Series time again on the European Tour. Who is our tipster picking to go well?
The fifth Rolex Series event of the season is just around the corner and after Jon Rahm’s rampant victory in Spain, many of the game’s biggest names will be looking to get their hands on the latest trophy. With the inflated prize money and Race to Dubai points on offer, names like Justin Rose, Paul Casey and Francesco Molinari have been drawn to the event. My Italian Open betting tips are later, but first…
Venue: Olgiata GC, Rome, Italy
Date: October 10-13, 2019
Course stats: Par 71; 7,566 yards
Course Summary: A long parkland course which has treelined fairways and fast greens. There is water that is in play on five of the holes which along with the trees make hitting fairways an important factor.
Purse: €7 million
Last year’s champion: Thorbjorn Olesen (-22)
Wednesday: On the Range – Sky Sports Golf & Main Event, 3pm
Thursday: Sky Sports Golf, 9am, Main Event, 10.30am
Friday: Sky Sports Golf, 9am, Main Event, 10.30am
Saturday: Sky Sports Golf, 11.30am, Main Event, 12pm
Sunday: Sky Sports Golf, 11am
Italian Open betting tips: Players to follow
My leading pick is Andrea Pavan (35/1 on bet365) who seems to be a little overpriced for a player who is in great form and teeing it up in his home country.
I fancied the 30-year-old to go well in Spain last weekend and but for a sloppy second round of +4, he would certainly returned a place with his three other rounds reading 66-67-65.
He headed into his last event of the back of a top-10 finish at the Dunhill Links and results of 46th, 12th, 16th and 3rd before that.
Having been born in Rome, these will be familiar surrounding for Pavan and despite the strength of the field I think the home support may be just what he needs to help him go close, if not win outright.
Ian Poulter (45/1) looks to be a good each-way selection despite only teeing it up once in the last seven weeks at Wentworth.
The Englishman finished in a tie for 8th at this event in 2018 and there are further good signs when looking back into his Italian Open record.
He won his first European Tour title at the tournament in 2000 and two years later won again, this time at Olgiata when the event was last held there.
The rekindling of fond memories plus the evident comfort that he feels in Italian surroundings could see him challenge at the top.
From one Englishman to another – I like the look of Jordan Smith (50/1).
The 26-year-old has one European Tour win to his name which came in 2017 and is probably due another.
After a series of missed cuts earlier in the season, he appears to have returned to form in his last two outings with at T24 finish and a tied 5th at the Alfred Dunhill Links.
He has taken a week off since then so should be feeling fresh heading out to continental Europe and last year he finished in a tie for 8th at this event.