Recap from Portugal.
First of all my apologies for an off week, I had 5 of 14 miss the cut (7 under $7k) and I didn't have our very deserved winner Matt Wallace who started with a bang in round 1 scoring -10 and followed that up with -7 in round 2. My best placed finishers were Oliver Fisher T6 ($6,900), Tom Lewis, Max Orrin and Ashley Chesters ($6,800) T18. I should of stuck with picking players from England with high pedigree on links style courses and not tried to mix things up too much, true to links golf sometimes you can just be a little unlucky and its often unpredictable.
Even though I hang my head in shame with the results from my picks like I would after having too many "Mick Jaggers" from 3ft. Mainly thank you to the huge lack of interest this side of the pond with the Players going on, the few line ups I had made a very small profit, little gutted I missed the opportunity to take advantage and draft more teams, but I hope some of you did.
Just like the European Tour I thought I would add something new, joking aside its really because I had a very unique opportunity this week and wanted to boast about it ;)
On Monday I teed it up for my first TP Tour event for 2 years and amongst those in the field were a lot of current and former European Tour stars, including the likes of Andy Sullivan and Richard Bland, Even though I was nervous as hell and putted like a hack on greens running close to 14 on the stimpmeter, it was still an incredible day, a rare chance to get to know these guys better and of course get a little insight into who's hitting form coming into the next 2 events.
Also next week we have the BMW at Wentworth, our flagship event, the one I enjoy the most and only a couple of hours drive from home. Not only will I be attending tournament days but to give you all the best info I can I will also be there all day for both the practice day and pro-am... such a hard life.
Next Up - The Rocco Forte Open, Sicily, Italy.
The players will certainly be appreciating the much shorter flights as they now hop across to Italy. This is claimed to be a new event to the European Tour schedule however not the first time they have played an event at this location and identical in almost everyway to the Sicilian Open held in 2012.
A slightly stronger field but still missing masses of big names, as those absent start prep for the newly re-designed west course at Wentworth.
A gem of a golf course to enjoy and hopefully some spectacular golf to equal the views of the Mediterranean sea literally a stones throw from most of the fairways.
This event is being played on a collaboration of holes from the 2 championship costal courses at Verdura Golf Resort, Sicily. The holes cleverly selected and designed have been put into play to offer the very best they have and to create as much dramatic golf as possible. The last 6 holes of this composite course run along side the coastline an the 18th hole is considered to be one of the very best holes on tour.
The composite course measures 7,217 yards with a par of 71 and only 3 par 5's on offer. The greens are creeping bentgrass, and firmer than usual. Elsewhere its bermuda and the rough over seeded with rye. Fairways running fast with a firm bounce and general difficulty will depend very much on the coastal winds.
It would be very foolish not to keep an eye o the draw and the weather up to the last minute, the stronger the wind the much tougher the challenge will be for the players here, there could very easily be a good and bad side of the draw and this will without doubt influence and last minute adjustment I make to my drafts
As it stands were not talking brutal winds or conditions in fact far from it, however it is looking like the pm/am side will have a slight benefit, however as I said keep an eye on it as the advantage could increase or even flip.
Key Stats and Strategy
Last time out the stats that lead to good performance were very balanced, suggesting that ball striking is the real key attribute, fairways hit will be essential to hold greens if they really firm up into the weekend. Form is almost always a factor and 'again' you will need consistency in scoring performance as the cut could catch you out if not enough birdies made. I wont be shy to use players similar in aggressive playing style to the last event and due to calm forecast I will build a few line ups with simply bombing and birdies in mind.
From this section I will be drafting Jordan Smith $11,100 and James Morrison $10,900 and even using both in a studs and scrubs draft
Jordan Smith missed the cut in China however this should only help lower ownership a little and motivate him to play well here. As I have mentioned in many of my write ups he is very gifted at this game and after a week off competing he has been relaxing, practicing, having fun taking in the Spanish Grand and practicing more. I know it wont be long before he picks up a win and this thought is certainly shared by a lot of his fellow competitors.
James Morrison I cant think of a single good reasons why not to play him this week, ticks boxes for stats, a true steady performer, extremely consistent even if the wind blows, whatever side of the draw he is I will be happy to play him.
$9,000 - $10,000
Matteo Mannesero $9,500 He will be inspired by home crowds and eager to win on home soil, getting ever closer to hitting fine form again and no better location to impress. A ball striker and all round solid game, just needs a hot putter to win.
Phachara Khongwatmai $9,400 A very aggressive style player, hunts out flags and goes for everything, if he gets on a streak scoring could be very impressive as could his placement on Sunday.
Richard Bland $9,300. Richard played at Ealing in the same event as me on Monday and from what I heard from his playing partners somethings clicked and he's swinging and putting really well
Scott Jamieson $8,800 Solid all round game, ticks loads of boxes for stats and also very well suited to the course, Should be a guarantee to make the cut so should be a solid cash play
Chris Hanson $8,700 I hear Chris has been working very hard and swinging great at the moment, has a well suited game to do well hear, very good from the tee and solid on the greens, like above one I'm gonna stick in some cash line ups
Trevor Fisher Junior $8,300 One of the best ball strikers out there, hits it miles and straight. When the putter gets hot the birdies or better will flow with ease at this course
Julian Surri $8,100 This I admit is a player I know little about and maybe someone out there can help educate me better on this player.. What I can tell you is there is a massive amount of buzz about his capabilities and last weeks 2nd place finish has certainly caught the attention of many.
$7,000 - $8,000
Oliver Fisher $7,700 Perfectly suited to the course, trending in the right direction for form, highly capable scorer and a 6th place finish last week. I believe even with the $800 price increase he is still great value in this field.
Max Orrin $7,100 As I mentioned last week, Max is based at a coastal course and knows as well as anyone how to play these courses and the wind should it pick up. I would be happy to draft him on either side of the draw, especially as Max is a real birdie or better performer.
Ashley Chesters $7,100 Trust me Ashley is a name to keep watching, as an amateur he had the most amazing record, knows how to win and after seeing him play last week you can see it wont be too long before he is a name everyone will know.
Edoardo Mollinari $7,100 This pick as always is a bit of a gamble, consistency box is by no means ticked.. Has won already this year and of course would love another win especially on home turf. With the wider fairways and calm conditions forecast he does have the game to play stunning golf and score big in your draft.
Less than $7,000
There is a huge chunk of players in this section and equally a load I would consider, I will simply reel off a list of some I'm playing and if you want more info or want to know why just fire me a tweet.
Tom Lewis, Andrew Dodt , Chris Paisley, Daniel Im, Adrien Saddier and Nino Bertasio all at $6,800
Sebastian Soderberg, Matt Ford, Paul Maddy all at $6,500
Anyway that's me done for another week and now time to order my practice day tickets for next weeks even at Wentworth, hope you all have a great week and as always best of luck in all your drafts