Race to Dubai: Reale Seguros Open de España

Race to Dubai:   Reale Seguros Open de España

Hola, bienvenido a Sevilla! And amazingly only for the third time this year, the European Tour at last returns to its own fair shores and time zone for Spain’s’ Native Open in the Southern Europe swing. This week’s event marks the 40th anniversary of the Tour, and with such a good showing from top drawer runners and riders, while the weather may only be a mediocre 20 degrees – the potential action heading towards Sunday should be Scorchio!

Date:                     3rd – 6th May 2012

Venue:                 Real Club de Golf de Sevilla, Seville, Spain

This is a 20 year old development from Jose Maria Olazabel (225/1 with Bet365) with 18 holes, 90 spectacular bunkers, 10,000 trees, 9 lakes and flattering par of 72. It is a challenging layout, not long in today’s terms but features undulating greens and generously wide fairways that might mean scoring could be as low as the airline prices that probably got you here.

Yards:                   7,140 yards

Par:                        Par 72


This week’s tournament involves the Spaniards not daring to take a siesta – Rafael Cabrera-Bello (50/1), Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (45/1), Ignacio Garrido (66/1) and Pablo “Drinking­-from-his-own” Menjibar (1,000/1) and typically plenty of daily record reading sun worshipping shell-suited Scots with ghetto blasters including Scott Jamieson (125/1), Craig Lee (250/1), Marc Warren (200/1) and Peter Whiteford (175/1 – all SkyBet).*


It is possibly that this week’s event could be a simpler one to call than in previous weeks – not for the lack of quality in the field, but more from a breaking the game down into its component parts. To succeed this week you will simply need to be on song with your putter as due to those runway wide fairways you can also be a long, not so consistent driver which opens this up as a pitch and putt event with scores to match.

Ones to watch:

World Ranked 41 is still Aberdeen’s Paul Lawrie (33/1 with Ladbrokes) – who continues to play well with 4 top tens’ in 8 starts including the big win in Qatar in Feb. Rumoured to have nearly quit the game in 2011 but decided to work harder and its clearly paying dividends. Two of his 7 tour wins have come in Spain and not having missed a cut and currently lying 7th in the Race to Dubai – this rich vein of form looks set to stay for a while longer.

Then there is little known Frenchman Romain Wattel (80/1 with BetFair), who finished 5th at El Prat last year. He is consistent with 5 top 25’s in 9 starts including a 7th place in Malaysia a few weeks back. He lies 12th in putts per GIR and 29th in distance. Is mentored by Gregory Havret (who also came 5th in 2011) and is only the 5th amateur to have won on the Challenge Tour. This is only his second year on tour having come 90th in 2011 with 350,000 Euros.

Ones to win:

…leading to the obvious long hitting local hero Alvaro Quiros (25/1 with Bet365) who springs to my mind this week. Quiros flew the flag for the event last weekend by hitting shots during the Real Betis v Athletico Madrid. My day job is in football and it’s just crazy to see on one hand, throwing missiles is banned at matches but give a talented man a golf club and some balls – and that’s perfectly acceptable? Quiros long game should see him right this week.

…and then also big hitting and clearly keen to pay off a student loan with the week in week out playing its Nicolas Colsaerts (16/1 with Ladbrokes) with his 5 top ten finishes in 9 events that keep in 8th position in the Race to Dubai and firmly in the mind. His stats are impressive, 25th in putts, 15th in greens in regulation, 4th in stroke average and he leading driving distance. On this track, you’ll be lucky to find anyone who better fits the profile of a winner.

Jenks out!

* = (Shell suited fact not as yet proven)