Selectabet: Saab Wales Open
May 31, 2011 Leave a comment
Date: 2nd – 5th June 2011
Competition: Saab Wales Open
Venue: Celtic Manor Resort, The Twenty Ten Course
The well lush Twenty Ten course was designed with the 2010 Ryder Cup and all the thrills and spills of team based match play in mind, but it also provides a unique stage for traditional stroke play. Water hazards feature on no fewer than half of the holes and classic risk reward considerations frequently add to the drama depending upon what’s occurring.
For a European Tour event with a top ten prize fund, and a tidy £300,000 awaiting the winner, the field seems remarkably light but for those on their game, it is a good opportunity to make a move on the order of merit.
Ryder Cup heroes Jimenez, Fisher, Peter Hanson and MacDowell – master of last year’s Ryder Cup proceedings – all turn in an appearance. John Daly adds colour to the event and Paul Lawrie and his putter also return to dismiss the demons of 8 putting the 2nd green in 2010.
Arguably, the Saab Wales tournament is too open an Open to call, however, bare the following in mind…
With risk reward being a crucial element; accuracy and length are the key tools for a high placing finish.
There are opportunities to shoot low including the dogleg 15th 377 yard par 4 (though drivable at 270 as the crow flies), the 575 yard par 5 last with water catching all short mishit 2nd or third shots and the cracking par 4, 14th with lakes either side of the fairway that catch the shot that leaks left or right but is a realistic chance for the longer straighter hitter who can carry the first stretch of water.
My two to view this week come in the shape of Johan Edfors, 60/1 (Bet365), fresh from an encouraging performance over a testing West Course and has shown good levels of consistency throughout May.
Edfors is an increasingly potent performer with three European Tour wins to his name from 2006 and looks like being on the cusp of a return to winning ways soon.
Daffodil dressing Bradley Dredge (55/1 at Bet365) also shows signs of flowering in time despite the disappointment of a wilting 78 in his last round at Wentworth.
One Each Way:
One of Denmark’s many Hanson’s is my each way tip for this week. Anders Hanson at 33/1 (Bet365, Betfred) currently sits 5th in the Race to Dubai, 12th in stroke average, high in the ranking for both putts and scrambles and at 38th in the World Rankings is a strong contender for a podium finish.
One to Win:
I won’t lie to you but its home grown 25/1 shot (Bet365, Blue Sq) Taff, Rhys Davies that catches my eye this week. 2nd here in 2010, 18th at the PGA last week and ranking high in putts per round this year, the 40,000 strong home-support will aid a performance-of-the-season display that ensures it’s Rhys’ lightening that strikes this year!