Selectabet: Bankia Madrid Masters
October 3, 2011 Leave a comment
Date: 6th – 9th October 2011
Competition: Bankia Madrid Masters
The fourth Bankia Madrid Masters will take place this week with some of golf’s top names bullfighting for the lion’s share of the €1 million prize money. This year, the tournament, will be held at the El Encín Golf Hotel in Alcalá de Henares for the first time, taking over from last year’s venue, the Real Sociedad Hípica Española Club de Campo. Alcalá is a beautiful, historically rich city located around 20 miles from the Spanish capital, no-where near Benidorm.
Venue: El Encin Golf Hotel, Alcala de Henares, Spain
El Encín Golf Hotel is a typical Robert Von Hagge design; a long championship course, but with six different sets of tees overlooked by the stunning mountains of the Santos del la Humosa region. It is a ridiculously flat course but comes with great undulating greens, a plethora of bunkers and huge water hazards in play on 16, 17 and 18.
Yards: 7,651 yards
Par: Par 72
It will mark the first time for 18 years that the World’s number one player will compete in a European Tour event in Madrid – if you lot remember Nick Faldo (Google him), he was the last in ‘93! There will be 22 home nation players competing including a Pedro (Oriol (399/1)), a Jose (Manual Lara (69/1)), a Javi (Colomo (499/1)) and Jesus himself (Arruti (749/1))! Perhaps mid-transgender operation, there are even a handful of Marias. The Master of the Masters is 48 year old winner of the 1995 Madeira Islands Open, Santiago Luna (499/1 – all BetDaq) who is making his 589th European tour start.
The rain in Spain won’t be falling mainly on the plain this weekend as it is planned to be typically warm and sunny and the key considerations are what time is the siesta, who’s backswing is least hindered by huge sun hats and who can follow through properly with a wicker donkey stuffed under their arm. And if stereotypes are to be believed, we can count out the Brits who come midday will be sun burnt and pissed and wont figure at all. That said….
Ones to watch:
Former Essex born English Amateur Champion and paella addict, Ross McGowan (294/1 at BetFair) is worthy of casting your mince pies on as a former winner of this tournament with record breaking scores (-25 under par) in 2009. Despite returning from a serious injury in 2010 and having a more off than on season, Ross is a fantastic putter and more than capable of causing some serious harm on these greens.
Former Johnny Walker Championship and Scandinavian Masters winner Marc Warren (85/1 at BetDaq) is also a man on form after a season best 5th place over the three links courses of the Alfred Dunhill Championships. Returning from missing his Tour Card in 2010, Warren’s season has been bitty (like tapas) at best but is on the up again.
Ones to win:
With 9 top ten’s from 11 starts in Europe (not to mention 13 top ten’s from 18 Stateside) Luke Donald (9/2 everywhere) reaches the real pinnacle of his career being mentioned in this feature two weeks on the trot. The winner of the paella pan and flamenco master class of the Madrid Masters in 2010 is again a contender this year, despite only three wins amongst his global dominance. Donald is proving to be as consistently brilliant as a Torres Rioja or the Rodriguez Spicy Chorizo sausage. This was the event that kick started his global ascendancy – will it continue here?
If it’s not a Brit, it may be a fiery Latin (non Spanish) and this week we look no further than one of the Molinari’s. And specifically the quiet brother to the even quieter hairy one. A repeatedly consistent performer with one missed cut in 2011, Francesco (19/1 at BetFair and BetDaq) is where my money is at this week and I anticipate 166,666 reasons he believes he can win before he packs up to head for the hills and his annual snowboard-fest. No bull.