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PREVIEW: 2022 DP World Tour – Open de Espana

The DP World Tour moves back to continental Europe for one of the oldest events on tour: the Open de Espana.

DP World Tour
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Damien Kayat previews the DP World Tour's Open de Espana taking place at Club de Campo Villa de Madrid in Madrid.

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

2021/2022 DP World Tour 
Open de Espana 
Club de Campo Villa de Madrid, Madrid 
6th-9th October 

I can’t begin to tell you how delighted I was for Ryan Fox last week. Not just because of his ludicrous snub from this year’s President’s Cup. But he actually finished second in last year’s team event alongside the late, great Shane Warne.

It just seemed written in the stars that a visibly emotional Fox would claim his second DP World Tour title at St Andrews. The tour moves back to continental Europe for one of the oldest events on tour: the Open de Espana. 

The Open de Espana

This event dates all the way back to 1912 and has been pretty much a staple on tour since its inception in 1972. It was inexplicably absent from the schedule in 2017 and was cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic. 

This event has a storied history, with European great Seve Ballesteros winning three titles between 1981 and 1995. Spanish superstar Jon Rahm will be looking to join his hero with a 3rd title in five years. 

This will be the 3rd consecutive time that the Club de Campo Villa de Madrid hosts this event. It previously hosted the first of four editions of the now defunct Madrid Masters in 2008. 

Club de Campo Villa de Madrid

The Club de Campo Villa de Madrid is a picturesque, undulating course that just looks so inviting. The tree-lined fairways are pretty wide and the undulating greens are fairly well protected by bunkers. 

It is located around 2,500 feet above sea level. This makes a mockery of the 7,112 yardage. But statistical analysis suggests that what you do off the tee is fairly irrelevant.

The fairways are too wide and the course too short for driving to be the major determinant. This is a low-scoring test that requires accurate iron-play and solid scrambling.

The contenders

Sure, Jon Rahm hasn’t been as electrifying as he was last year. But he still heads into this event with three top 10’s in his last four events. 

He has won at this venue and the field is greatly diminished this week. Fellow European heavyweight Tommy Fleetwood was disappointing last week and will be keen to find a few more leaderboards as he approaches the end of the season. 

Defending champ Rafa Cabrera Bello and Adri Arnaus lead a strong Spanish contingent operating in the Rahm slipstream. Another high-profile Spaniard- Pablo Larrazabal- has had to run back to the DP World Tour with his tail between his legs.

He played only one LIV event before being discarded for shinier, more expensive toys. I wonder if he looks back at that decision with a tinge of regret now. 

Past Winners

2021: Rafa Cabrera Bello (-19) *playoff 
2020: event cancelled due to Covid
2019: Jon Rahm (-22) 
2018: Jon Rahm (-20) 
2017: no event 
2016: Andrew Johnston (+1) 

To Win Outright:

Jon Rahm 22/10 | Tommy Fleetwood 15/2 | Adri Arnaus 20/1 | Min Woo Lee (28/1) 

Value Bets

Thriston Lawrence- To Win 45/1 | To Place 19/2 

Two-time DP World Tour winner Thriston Lawrence looks like a solid bet this week. He has shown his penchant for playing at altitude with victories at the Joburg Open and Omega European Masters. South Africans have played well at this course in the past- Schwartzel and Sterne have won here- and I think Lawrence could add his name to that list. In France, he ranked inside the top eight for SG: Approach. That stat- coupled with his power- could make him deadly this week.

Joachim B. Hansen- To Win 80/1 | To Place 17/1 

Joachim B. Hansen looks like a tantalizing prosect at 80/1. Lest we forget, this is a man who has won in each of the last two seasons. Both of those victories came towards the end of the campaign. He also has some decent course form to consider. He took 4th place in 2019 despite having little to no form coming into the event. He also played solidly last year to finish in 24th. I think you can largely discard his missed cut at the links last week (he has missed the cut there in his last five starts). He was 13th a few weeks back and I think he represents great value in the place market.

The Man to Beat- Jon Rahm- To Win 22/10 | To Place 48/100 

I know, I know. Original, right? Hear me out. This will certainly be one of the weaker European fields in recent weeks. And while Rahm hasn’t been dominating like he did when he reached the summit of world golf, his recent form is still pretty devastating. He finished T5 at the FedEx St Jude Championship prior to a T8 at the BMW Championship. He finished in the middle of the field at the Tour Championship before a devastating performance at the BMW Championship. He shot nine-under in his last ten holes at Wentworth, nearly stealing the title from underneath Shane Lowry’s nose. He has won here previously and seems to be regaining some of that aura of invincibility. 

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