The Open D'Italia | Thursday 17 September - Sunday 20 September | Golf Club Milano
A tough four days on the European Tour last week saw us come up empty handed. I doubt anyone managed to find Thomas Pieters so I’m not all that bothered and looking forward to what should be an interesting event this week.
The Open D'Italia has always been one to keep an eye on and generally draws a decent field and this week is no different as the likes of Francesco Molinari and Danny Willett make their way to Golf Club Milano. This is the first time that the course has hosted the event in some years and things have changed a lot since - but if reports are to be believed this week will be challenging. Not only are the fairways narrow, which places a premium on driving accuracy, the greens are also small and so GIR% will be key. On a positive note the smaller greens place less pressure on those who struggle with the short stick so, for what feels like the first time in ages, I’m not going to worry about looking for those who putt well. Scrambling will be key though as it seems likely a lot of greens will be missed this week. This looks to be one of those events that will be dominated by the favourites and my first thought is that the top five in the betting will take a lot of beating. Fortunately there is money to be made on places. So who looks to be worth backing this week?
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To Win Outright
Francesco Molinari 11/1
Martin Kaymer: 12/1
Bernd Wiesberger 14/1
Danny Willett 14/1
Eddie Pepperell 22/1
David Howell (28/1 a win, 6/1 a place)
A terribly slow start to the KLM Open saw Howell languishing in the middle of the field at the close of play on Friday but he really got into it on Saturday and Sunday and his rounds of 63 and 67 respectively saw him finish twelfth. On both days he hardly missed a fairway or green in regulation and if he arrives in Italy and plays like that again he’ll finish somewhere near the top. This is an event that he’s done well in traditionally, I’m expecting more of the same this time around. Each way on Howell is the bet for me.
Eddie Pepperell (22/1 a win, 48/10 a place)
Eddie Pepperell has been one of the most consistent players on the Tour over the past few months and he seems to be hitting his stride at just the right time. He finished T5 last week at pretty decent odds and that wasn’t his only Top 5 in recent weeks. He managed a T4 in the Scottish Open and a second-place in the Irish Open. I explained all of this last week though…all I know is that I’m backing him again this week. 22/1 looks to be a great price on a talented golfer, I’m having an each way bet.
Danny Willett (14/1 a win, 31/10 a place)
Since the US PGA Championship Willett has been noticeably absent on the European Tour and yet despite this he still lies second in the Race to Dubai. This bears testament to just how well he has been playing this season and he’ll be relishing the opportunity to earns some more of those valuable points this week. He shouldn’t have too many issues getting around this course, he’s one of the more accurate players on the Tour and the layout looks like it will suit his game to a tee. The price looks about right but for once I’m going to avoid the places and double up on the win bet. Willet should be tough to beat this week.
Bernd Wiesberger (14/1 a win, 31/10 a place)
Wiesberger seems to enjoy playing in Italy and did well in this event last year, posting a sixth-place finish on the back of some very consistent golf. He’s returned to Europe after a tough few weeks in the States and although he didn’t look particularly impressive there he certainly didn’t disgrace himself. He will definitely be looking forward to competing against this field though and could very well take this course apart with his accurate drives and great iron play. I’m backing Wiesberger each way this week.