Despite the fact this is certainly the weaker of the 2 European tour events this week, this is the only one I will be previewing; the Match play over in Bulgaria is over a new course again, and that only adds to lottery factor!
With that said I like both Poulter and Colsaerts chances but they are 8/1 and 10/1 respectively; so I will stick to this event and try to secure some better value and hopefully a winner!
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Renowned for its stunning location the 6,826 yard Clube De Golf Do Santo da Serra course is set in the hills of Madeira, and looks like a fine place to be when hitting that little white ball around. Things might not be that enjoyable for all the golfers this week, with 20 mph winds expected throughout the tournament the idyllic setting will provide a stern test despite the short course. With the wind blowing this course, that normally favours the pure ball strikers, may play into the hands of players who can scramble efficiently, as well as strike the ball well in the wind.
Defending champ Ricardo Santos is favourite at 16/1 and he fits the profile of player I am looking at, but I think there are better value options available this week.
Shiv Kapur – 40/1 EW
2 top 10’s in his last 7 starts and just one MC in that time frame shows Shiv is playing some consistently sound golf at the moment, he also finished a steady 26th here last year on debut. A good all round player Kapur is ranked 50th in GIR on tour this season and 54th in scrambling, he is one of the form players in this weakened field and that solid finish here last year suggests he could go better again this time around
Alvaro Velasco – 50/1 EW
In 6 events this season (4 on Challenge tour, 2 on European Tour) Velasco is yet to miss a cut and also took T5 at another tricky layout at the Trophee Hassan II, finished 5th on this course in this event back in 2008. Has been on and off the main tour in the last 6 seasons and with solid recent form this could be the big breakthrough for the 32 year old, in a weakened field.
Rikard Karlberg – 66/1 EW
If the wind gets up and it becomes a short game contest this is the man I want on my side, ranked 36th in scrambling and 28th in putts per round on tour this season; with those numbers he should be able to get up and down from most spots! Has form figures of 27th-26th-19th in his last 3 starts across Europe and Asia, he is a man coming into some form. Will need to strike the ball better than he has been to date this season to cope with the wind, but if he gets down by the green, he is the man you want in your corner.
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