Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: The European Tour 2019: Rolex Series Preview

The European Tour 2019: Rolex Series Preview


The European Tour switches European capitals this week with a trip from Madrid to Rome. Jon Rahm romped home to a fairly routine victory last week, and we can only hope for a slightly more competitive affair this week. The Rolex Series once again rolls into town, which is clearly evident in an exciting roster this week. 

Photo Copyright Steve Haag - Hollywoodbets

The European Tour 2019
Rolex Series
Italian Open
Olgiata Golf Club, Rome, Italy
10th-13th October

The European Tour switches European capitals this week with a trip from Madrid to Rome. Jon Rahm romped home to a fairly routine victory last week, and we can only hope for a slightly more competitive affair this week. The Rolex Series once again rolls into town, which is clearly evident in an exciting roster this week. That in itself should help increase the competition this week. This event dates back all the way to 1925, with this being the 76th edition of this event. It has been a staple of the European Tour since its inception in 1972. The event will be hosted at Olgiata Golf Club for the first time since 2002.

Ian Poulter won the last staging here in 2002, which is no surprise given his affinity for tree-lined courses. Back then Olgiata was a bit of a pushover. Jim Fazio- brother of famed architect Tom Fazio- remodelled 15 holes in a huge effort to defend the course. And what’s the easiest way to achieve this? Lengthen the course. The course is now a veritable monster, measuring over 7,500 yards. It seems to have worked, with scores on the Challenge Tour trending downwards. It’s also interesting to note that the 2022 Ryder Cup is to be staged in Italy, though that will take place at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club.

Clearly the lure of Race to Dubai points and increased prize money has brought some of the tour’s stars out this week. Of the four Rolex Series victors this year, only Open de Espana winner Jon Rahm will be sitting it out this week. Danny Willett, Bernd Wiesberger and Shane Lowry will be in action.  A strong showing from Open Champion Lowry may propel him back to the top of the Race to Dubai standings. Paul Casey leaves the markets after an excellent year while Justin Rose has proved slightly disappointing of late. Clearly Francisco Molinari will attract a huge portion of the crowd this week, though he too has been slightly underwhelming in his recent outings. Perhaps it would be unwise to discount the likes of Matt Wallace and Erik Van Rooyen, as this looks set to be a potentially exacting test of the tee-to-green credentials.

Past Winners

  • 2018: Thorbjorn Olesen (-22)
  • 2017: Tyrell Hatton (-21)
  • 2016: Francisco Molinari (-22)
  • 2015: Rikard Karlberg (-19)
  • 2014: Hennie Otto (-15)

Betting Favourites (To Win): 

  • Paul Casey (9/1)
  • Justin Rose (10/1)
  • Francisco Molinari (16/1)
  • Shane Lowry (18/1)
  • Matthew Fitzpatrick (25/1)

Value Bets 

Erik Van Rooyen- To Win (35/1) To Place (15/2)

The man with the most unique pants in golf returns to action this week. Regardless of which side you fall on in regards to the sartorial debate, though I think some individuality is refreshing, you can’t deny the talent of the young South African. Let’s just take a look at his form figures leading up to that disappointing missed cut at the Alfred Dunhill Links. He had figures of T14-T20-T5-1-T12-T14. That is a testament to his concerted efforts to bring more consistency to his game. His prodigious length from the tee should also put him in prime position on a course that looks set to challenge length.

Mike Lorenzo Vera- To Win (40/1), To Place (17/2)

Frenchman Mike Lorenzo Vera perhaps matches Andrea Pavan in terms of consistency of late. He played well in Italy last year but was never really in the hunt, ultimately finishing in a tie for 19th.  He is in exceptional form, with a pair of top 10 finishes and a top 15 finish in three of his last four starts on the European Tour: his only miss was a tie for 37th at Wentworth. e currently sits 13th in stoke average on the European Tour. He has a real opportunity to once again prove himself in a high quality field.

The Man to Beat- Danny Willett- To Win (25/1), To Place (11/2)

Englishman Danny Willett also returns after a brief hiatus. His tie for 26th at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship did show some signs of fatigue. But the Englishman has been rejuvenated of late, adding an exceptional victory at the BMW PGA Championship. He actually finished 2nd in greens in regulation around Wentworth. Willett will love this tree-lined test, as evidenced by his victories at two of the most iconic tree-lined challenges in world golf: Augusta National and Wentworth. This makes him a prime candidate this week. Furthermore, Willett has excellent form in this event, showcasing a preference for the typical tree-lined, Italian courses. He has course figures of 3-2-MC-8 over the last four years.


Written by Damien Kayat for Hollywoodbets

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