Milan is the venue for this week’s European Tour event. In recent years, the Italian Open has meant low scores and plenty of excitement. Will we have another birdie blitz this time around?
Golf Club Milano is the host venue for the second consecutive year and eight time overall. Last year Rikard Karlberg surprised everyone by beating Martin Kaymer in extra holes. The Swede shot an impressive 19 under par, and was far from alone as more than 25 players finished in double digits under par. It sounds like we can expect plenty of birdies again this week.
The course was neither particularly long, nor particularly penal in terms of rough last year. It is considered one of the tighter tracks of the season, with plenty of trees lining the fairway, but that won’t cause a major issue given the lack of length required off the tee.
Given the relatively flat terrain, it’s a course where ball striking will come to the fore as players have ample opportunity to hit it close. With the greens considered slow by tour standards, some of the usually strong putters on tour may have their advantages negated a little. Could this be a week where Lee Westwood shows well?
Once again, we’re looking for the birdie makers to feature this week. Expect in form players to continue good runs on a course that isn’t the most challenging on tour.
High Priced Options
Martin Kaymer (€20.4m): Should really have won at this venue last year, but was let down by a bad back nine on Sunday. That poor finish shouldn’t negate an almost flawless previous 63 holes. Kaymer has shown he can contend around this track and should do so again.
Matthew Fitzpatrick (€20.0m): Fitzpatrick was tied for third last year. The Englishman went lower in every round, perhaps a sign of someone who figured out the course as the tournament wore on. He could have won last week but for a wretched opening round, eventually finishing tied for 7th.
Mid Priced Options
Fabrizio Zanotti (€16.2m): The Paraguayan has been a model of consistency over the past several months, making eight consecutive cuts. He also finished just one back last year and looks set to contend once again.
Alejandro Canizares (€12.6m): One of the more prolific birdie makers on tour, Canizares produced four rounds in the 60s at this event last year. He’s coming off a top five finish in last week’s KLM Open and also scored over 1,000 PlayON points at the Omega Masters.
Low Priced Options
Joakim Lagergren (€10.2m): Lagergren is highly inconsistent but a prolific birdie maker when on form. The Swede finished 5th at the Made in Denmark and had another Top 20 last week. Most importantly he was just one shot out of making the playoff at this event last year. Last year’s winner was also an unfancied Swede, so maybe lightening can strike twice.
Simon Khan (€7.1m): Khan is coming off a top ten finish at the KLM Open and as suggested earlier we fancy people to bring their form into this tournament. The Englishman’s performances have been steadily improving the last few weeks. He’s also one of the cheapest options on PlayON.