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Rocco Forte Sicilian Open – Verdura GC – Italy

The Course

Resort Links… Of very similar character to that of a links course but lacking the punch that a true links offers. Wide fairways, large greens and simplistic bunkering offer all levels of golf a chance to enjoy their rounds whilst visiting Verdu.. Now, of course the pro’s will be teeing it up much further back but if the weather stays as settled as its currently forecast the extra length will hardly factor  and the course will be subjected to the low scoring that we witnessed over the first two days last year.. That wind could of course feature at any point being so close to the coast and if it does then those scoring average will climb considerably.

Par and Layout:  71 (3x par 5’s, 11x par 4’s and 4x par 3’s)

Par 5’s: 2nd hole 591 yards, 9th hole 542 yards and 12th hole 569 yards.

Although there are only the 3 to attack this week, these holes will present great scoring opportunities. The players solid from the tee will have a distinct advantage and if the event pans out similar to that of last year scoring well on these holes will be crucial for success

Par 3’s: 5th hole 164 yards, 7th hole 122 yards, 13th hole 186 yards and 15th hole 178 yards.

On paper these holes are a far from daunting, all under 200 yards and the 7th hole nothing more than a flick with a wedge. All dependant on the wind to offer up a real challenge.

Par 4’s: Generally this is where the course adds yardage to its layout, most of them ranging between 450 and 500 yards, however they often play much shorter than the yardage suggests and even the requirement to hit driver is far from necessary as Zander Lombard proved last year by ripping his Titleist TMB 2 iron off every tee to great effect and a 2nd place finish.

Course Length: 7217 yards

Event History

This is only the 4th time that this event has been played and the 3rd time at this course. So really other than the info we have from last years win from Alvaro Quiros and Thorbjorn Olesen’s win in 2012.

The Field

With all the elite off contending for The Players, were only left with a small splattering of household names. So to say the least this is one extremely weak field.. Due to the weak field and all the attention rightly so the other side of the pond, DraftKings have replied with some of the weakest Gpp’s ive seen for a while. 

Weather

As always I’ll do my last checks in the early hours before the first tee shots hit but for my DK line-ups I cant see much that will influence any preferences, however with that being said I will be taking a little look at early tee times Thursday for my first round leader bets. In the hope that a little extra moisture in the greens early on cough up a few extra birdies and an outside bet comes good.

Key Stats

Distance is always an advantage and with the wider than average fairways, less requirement for accuracy I’m certainly factoring in a few bombers to score on the par 5’s.

To be perfectly honest its a fairly simple task this week. Rip it down the fairway, keep aggressive and attack the pins. A few errors will be made but there’s more than enough birdie chances out there to make up for any slip.

Course fit over recent form – last year practically all that featured on Sunday afternoon had sub-standard to shocking form coming into the event. This was partially caused by a far less competitive field but mainly caused by a change in style of course and requirement of skill set. I fully expect to see some great examples of this again this year and why I’m happy to play a few that may be off the radar to others this week.

Personally I wont be pumping too much into Euro this week as it is the week of The Players and I’d much rather spend my dollars and my hours watching the worlds elite compete for the “5th major”

My Picks.

$10,000+

Alvaro Quiros $10,200

Eddie Pepperell $10,000

$9,000 – $10,000

Andrea Pavan $9,500

Sam Horsfield $9,600

$8,000 – $9,000

Soren Kjeldsen $8,600

Lucas Bjerregard $8,200

Lorenzo Gagli $8,100

$7,000 – $8,000

Christian Bezuidenhout $7,700

Bradley Dredge $7,600

Nino Bertasio $7,600

Tom Lewis $7,300

Zander Lombard $7,100

$7,000 or less

Charlie Ford $7,000

Chase Koepka $6,700

Connor Syme $6,700

Up Next

Well that’s an easy one… I very much doubt DraftKings will be covering the Belgian knockout next week and the event after that is one of my favourites and only an hours drive from home.

So tickets sorted and time off work arranged I best rest up a little, get ahead of my research and write up as I plan to spend as much time as I can at Wentworth and report live back from the course and range before the BMW PGA Championship gets started.

 

 

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Ceiling

A golfer’s upside or the maximum number of points you could expect.