This week will see the European Tour head to Russia for the first time in five years for the M2M Russian Open. Although this one has drawn a less than stellar field, there is still a bit of value to be had as a few fairly well-known names will take to the long par 72 course, which measures in at 7,491 yards in length and which should suit those who hit it long off the tee. With a number of these players looking to secure a card for next season expect a hotly contested tournament during which some of the unknown’s will look to topple the likes of Robert Rock and Simon Dyson. Will they succeed though? Let’s have a look.
To Win Outright
Simon Dyson 10/1
Soren Kjeldsen 14/1
Romain Wattel 18/1
Tommy Fleetwood 25/1
Morten Orum Madsen 25/1
Tommy Fleetwood (25/1 a win, 11/2 a place)
Tommy Fleetwood is tough to ignore this week because I recognise his name…jokes aside, the young man has played the course before and has fared well, having managed to shoot a 66 in the Russian Challenge Cup. He isn’t the most consistent player out there but catches the eye in a field like this because he’ll know that a victory will go a long way in brightening his star. 25/1 is a bargain and the places at 11/2 can’t be ignored.
Robert Rock (25/1 a win, 11/2 a place)
Robert Rock has had a poor season thus far and despite a small number of decent performances he really hasn’t done much. This could all change this week though and he’ll come into this hoping to turn his luck around and secure that elusive win. In tournaments like these, the benefits of winning extend beyond the prize pool, which isn’t huge, and Rock will know that a solid performance will go a long way in boosting his confidence and ensuring the second half of his season is better than the first.
Mikael Lundberg (90/1 a win, 20/1 a place)
Mikael Lundberg hails from Sweden and has proven himself more than capable of handling Russian courses, having won the Russian Open in 2005 and 2008. There are those who recognise that these victories were at Moscow Country Club but he’ll still return to the country with fond memories and at 90/1 you can’t get hurt having a small strike. Each way is the bet here.
TOP BET: Rikard Karlberg (50/1 a win, 12/1 a place)
Karlberg is one of those whose name you hear on occasion and has proven he is capable of a top five finish, as we saw in the Nordea Masters earlier this year. In a field like this there can’t really be a “top bet”, but it’s the price here that makes a lot of appeal. At 50/1 a win and 12/1 a place there is no way that Karlberg can be left out of any selections.