Coming off the back of a very interesting Open de Espana in sunny Madrid, Rafa Cabrera-Bello managed to get the better of last week’s Easyodds 45/1 longshot tip Adri Arnausin a 1 hole playoff after Bello birdied the 18th in fine fashion. Adri had a really solid week for the page and gave us a good run at it, but unfortunately it was his iron play coming down the back 9 that really didn’t stand up to the standards that Bello was setting. Albeit a 45/1 place for us is nothing to criticise!

Andalucia Masters Preview

Onto this week and the tour stops at Real Club Valderrama in Sotogrande, Spain. For me this is one of the standout events every year on the European Tour and one I definitely look out for when the schedule for the year is announced. Below is a list of the last 5 winners to play here at Valderrama on the European Tour;

  • 2020 – John Catlin (+2)
  • 2019 – Christiaan Bezuidenhout (-10)
  • 2018 – Sergio Garcia (-12)
  • 2017 – Sergio Garcia (-12)
  • 2016 – Andrew Johnston (+1)

A mixture of winning scores, a massive birdie run is not needed to win here this week. This week will all be about patience and the willing to avoid dropped shots where you can, especially if the wind prevails as it did here last year.

Key details of Valderrama

  • 7020 yards roughly in length, sits just off the Mediterranean coastline.
  • Par 71 – 4 x Par 3s, 11 Par 4s, 3 x Par 5s.
  • Trent Jones Snr. Designed the track.
  • Bermuda fairways/rough and Bentgrass greens.

The course itself is not a lengthy one and is under the average we see regularly on the European Tour, players will face a different test this week as to what they usually face week in week out.

Take a look at the performance stats below from the last 3 winners here at Valderrama;

2020 winner John Catlin (+2)

  • 14th SG: OTT     
  • 4th Driving Accuracy     
  • 60th SG: Approach     
  • 3rd SG: T2G     
  • 4th SG: ATG     
  • 50th Putting Average     
  • 2nd Bogey Avoidance

2019 winner Christiaan Bezuidenhout (-10)

  • 41st SG: OTT     
  • 32nd Driving Accuracy   
  • 56th SG: Approach        
  • 4th SG: T2G      
  • 2nd SG: ATG
  • 1st Putting Average       
  • 5th Bogey Avoidance

2018 winner Sergio Garcia (-12)

  • 15th SG: OTT     
  • 29th Driving Accuracy    
  • 21at SG: Approach        
  • 2nd SG: T2G      
  • 2nd SG: ATG
  • 10th Putting Average     
  • 1st Bogey Avoidance

Average performance from the last 3 winners

  • 23rd SG: OTT     
  • 21st Driving Accuracy    
  • 45th SG: Approach        
  • 3rd SG: T2G      
  • 3rd SG: ATG
  • 20th Putting Average     
  • 3rd Bogey Avoidance

Stats to focus on this week

  • Driving Accuracy
  • SG: T2G
  • SG: ATG/Scrambling
  • Course Experience/good finishes
  • Bogey Avoidance

All in all, this week we are looking for guys who hit it straight off the tee, can adjust to windy conditions if needed, good ball strikers, the ability to move it both ways, a master around the greens and a guy who ranks well for avoiding bogies on tour for this year and keeping a clean card here seems imperative. I also believe that a good experience of this place will not be a bad indicator, just because of the difficulty of the course its seen players repeatedly do well in the past after their first attempt.

Andalucia Masters Betting Odds

The field itself is neither a strong nor a weak one. At the top of the market at 16/5 we have World Number 1 Jon Rahm. Jon only hit 50% of fairways last week and was way down in 76th for scrambling, he would need to sort these two areas of his game out where he to figure here this week for me.

If Dustin Johnson wins over at the CJ Cup this week in Vegas and Rahm finishes outside the Top 15 here, Jon Rahm will lost World Number 1 status to Dustin. Maybe that is added motivation for the powerful hitting Spaniard?

Next in the market at 14/1, we have Matthew Fitzpatrick. We have not seen Fitz on the course since he went 0-3-0 at this years Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits. A mixture between that and him only seeing the course once in 2019 where he missed the cut does not bode well for Fitz this week.

However, he does hold form at short intricate tracks like Crans-sur-Sierre holder of the Omega Masters in Switzerland where he went back to back in 2017/2018.

We than come to the 20-30/1 range of the market quite quickly as the field is so open. Here we see guys like Bernd Wiesberger 20/1, last week’s runner up Adri Arnaus 28/1, Martin Kaymer 30/1, Thomas Pieters 30/1 and last week’s winner Rafa Cabrera-Bello 30/1. My tips don’t start this low in the market but if I were to choose one from this range it would be Bernd Wiesberger.

Not only is he running high in confidence from his decent Ryder Cup performance on debut, but he is coming here off the back of T12 last week at the Open de Espana and a T20 at the BMW PGA at Wentworth, adding to this if it weren’t for a horror show on the 18th at the Omega Masters at Crans he would have gone onto win that which as advised before is a similar track to Valderrama.

Bigger than this price and besides my tips to come, Joost Luiten at odds of 66/1 needs consideration due to the 3 year stretch of form he went through here from 2016-2019 where he went 2nd,2nd, T11 and T20. He missed out due to having an unusually inconsistent year but still ranks 1st for GIR this year on tour! Another 2 names around this area of the market that missed out for me was Fabrizio Zanotti at 66/1.

Fabrizio is having a very consistent year, hes coming off a T12 last week into a place he has performed well in the past and his T2G game this year has been superb. The other name being Mikko Korhonen at 50/1 best-price odds for reasons very similar.

Andalucia Masters Prediction

I have 4 each way fancies for this week’s Andalucía Masters.

Richard Bland: Tipped @ 40/1

Mr. Consistent himself this year after finding that illusive win at the 478th time of asking earlier this year at the Betfred British Masters. This year Blandy has had a staggering 8 Top 10s and 6 of those have been Top 5s, the most consistent of performers on the tour this year by far. Most recently, his last 6 performance read T3, MC, T5, T57, T4 and T9 last week at the Open de Espana. His iron play last week was superb last week (ranked 5th for SG: App and 6th for SG: T2G) and he ranked T25 for Driving Accuracy.

Blandy has teed it up 5 times here, missing the cut once but then going 11th, 30th, 42nd and 62nd. Not the best of performances but that was before he found his winner and before this resurgence of form this year.

Blandy’s temperament is what impresses me – he ranks 2nd on tour this year for the number of bogies per round (averaging 2.14 per round). Tie that ranking in with a T19 for driving accuracy, stella iron play and 4th for scrambling this year, I think his game has what it takes to conquer Valderrama here this week.

Masahiro Kawamura: Tipped @ 55/1

I really like Kawamura’s game this year, he has really grown on me. I followed him around Wentworth GC a few weeks back at the BMW PGA Champs, and I made my mind up then that I would back Masahiro here this week.

Between his, controlled/accurate, low ball flight with his driver, to his lazor iron play, I feel that if the wind gets up he will be able to control the ball more than others and move it under the wind with ease. He finished T8 here last year also so he clearly holds good memories of the course when it played its hardest for a while, pair that with excellent T2G numbers this year, he as well can contend here this week.

Jamie Donaldson: Tipped @ 60/1

My only pick of the week that is not really driven by stats, Donaldson is a journeyman on the European Tour who also has a successful Ryder Cup appearance under his belt. JD’s T2G game is consistently good season upon season and with a T10 finish here last year he can move it successfully around Valderrama.

His best season performance to date came 3 weeks ago at the BMW PGA Champs at Wentworth where he finished T2 where he scrambled brilliantly, backing that up with a T24 last week I am more than confident JD will show good signs again this week.

Wil Besseling: Tipped @ 70/1

One of my favorite talents on the European Tour and has encouraging signs from last week coming into an event where he grinded brilliantly last year to finish T3 in brutal conditions. Stats wise throughout the season is nothing to get excited about but it was his performance last week that drew me to getting back on him this week.

Wil finished T6 after leading at the halfway stage, he ranked 3rd for least bogies per round last week, he was Top 20 for driving accuracy, was also Top 30 for both T2G overall game and GIR. However, in 2 departments he has always struggled with (scrambling and putting) last week he really got going on and around the greens, ranking 3rd for scrambling and 13th for putting average. Pair these with a slightly improved driver performance and I am sure he can contend again here this week.

 

Bet on the Andalucia Masters.

Read the latest expert golf betting tips.