The European Tour begins a couple of weeks in Tenerife on Thursday when the Tenerife Open continues the swiftly arranged ‘Canary Swing’ which has been put together due to the demise of a couple of bigger events because of Covid-19 restrictions still being in place.
This tournament was actually a feature on the schedule back in the day but it is 26 years ago since it was last played so it goes without saying that we are going to have a new champion this week. With the tournament next week on the same course now is a great time to play well.
It is the Golf Costa Adeje which is the venue for this week and next. This is a very quirky looking course it has to be said. Just like last week this is another resort course so the first thing to expect is another very low scoring event where the cut will be a fair few under par and unless the weather gets involved the winning score is likely to be well into the 20s under par. The course is a par 71 which only measures 6,857 yards which really tells you all you need to know.
The European Tour website isn’t always the greatest guide in the world but if it is then we have six par 3s this week and five par 5s so with the wide fairways that come with these resort layouts, which are built more for the tourist trade than the professional golfers, we’ve got to expect the bigger hitters to really thrive. The standout hole is the last where the fairway has a step design throughout so that is one hole where accuracy could be important. Much like last week though we’re after bigger hitters who have a hot putter and are in form.
The next major is beginning to loom on the horizon but despite that we have a few decent players teeing it up in the holiday environment. That includes the runaway winner of last week in Garrick Higgo who is looking for a quick double to start this Canary Swing. The South Africa is one of just three players in the top 100 in the world rankings, although the field does feel more competitive than that. The other two players in the top 100 are recent winners Antoine Rozner and John Catlin.
There are plenty of other form players in the field including the Kenya Open winner Justin Harding, runner up there Kurt Kitayama, the man who has been in the mix for the last two weeks on the European Tour in Max Kieffer, while seasoned European Tour campaigners such as Joost Luiten, Victor Dubuisson, Thorbjorn Olesen and Eddie Pepperell are all in the field. The home challenge will be led by Adri Arnaus and Adrian Otaegui.
Antoine Rozner is once again the favourite to add to his recent Qatar Masters win. He is 16/1 to win this tournament. If there were any cobwebs in just his second start after his win in Qatar he shook them off last week when he finished T15 in Gran Canaria which might well have primed him for a decent run here. He is a very good player but I wonder if he has his eye on bigger things coming up which might be a bit of a concern here. He’s a worthy favourite but I don’t think he is a guaranteed winner.
Garrick Higgo ran away with the Gran Canaria Open last week and if he hasn’t suffered any emotional baggage from that win you would think he has all the tools to come out on top here on a track that isn’t too dissimilar to the one he won on last week. He is a par 3 machine so the six of those on this course could be significant. There is a lot to like about the South African right now and at 20/1 he’ll be popular but regular readers will know I’m reluctant to take the winner from the previous week because there is only so much emotional energy a human being has. That’s all that puts me off him though.
Joost Luiten and Matthias Schwab come next in the betting at 25/1. Luiten comes here with finishes of 7-12-8 in his last three events but he just doesn’t strike me as a winner in a shootout because his putter is rarely hot enough. Even at 25/1 you’ve got to be looking at backing the winner for a proper return and I expect a few to be too good for him. Schwab is getting closer and this course should suit him nicely but he hasn’t won yet and I just can’t get involved at this price until he has done. It is 30/1 bar.
I’ll go with a couple of main bets this week with the first of those being Thorbjorn Olesen who was another who blew away the cobwebs last week when he actually led the field at the halfway mark. He understandably failed to live with the pace over the weekend in what was his first tournament of the year after becoming a father but he’s a man with plenty to prove after a dreadful couple of years away from the course which have been well documented. Olesen was eighth in the field last week in strokes gained putting and that will be a big feature this week. Any rust that lingers in his long game shouldn’t be much of an issue around this track so if the putter stays hot he should be right there once again.
Calum Hill is another one who has had a hot putter for a while now and I sense it is only a matter of time before he announces himself on the European Tour. He won three times on the Challenge Tour with scores of -19, -18 and -22 so he can go low when that putter gets hot. He already has three top 10s this season as well which is encouraging. His effort was moderate rather than amazing last week but it was still acceptable and if he has made the necessary adjustments for this week I expect this big hitter who holes a lot of putts to feast on the layout of this track at a fair price.
Adrian Meronk hasn’t won on the European Tour yet but he came close in South Africa earlier in the year and caught my eye on Sunday as a player who might run well this week. He closed out with a 64 in Gran Canaria which was a decent round of golf and backed up an inkling that I have that he can go well on resort courses having registered a top 10 in one of the Welsh events on the UK Swing last season. The Pole smacks it a mile and showed last week that he has a good feel on the greens. He could be a big price this week.
Another man who smacks it miles and can hole some putts is Julien Guerrier. In terms of the finishing positions for his results, his recent form hasn’t pulled up many trees but the two things he has done successfully is pound the ball off the tee and hole a decent amount of putts. It is generally the bits in between which is the problem but this isn’t a demanding course off the tee or into the greens so that shouldn’t be as much of an issue. The other thing he does is eat up par 5s and with five of those on the card here that is a big thing. He is fifth on the European Tour for scoring on those. Statistically he looks a big price here.
The last bet I’ll try is the inconsistent Julian Suri. He is another whose results are not the best reading but we know he smacks it a fair mile off the tee and while his putting can be inconsistent, in three of his last six starts he has ranked inside the top 10 in putting average and inside the top 20 in strokes gained putting so there are weeks when that part of his game works very well. The five par 5s should be putty in his hands this week and if he get that putter warmed up from the start he might make a mockery of his odds. He opened up with a 64 last week before a slow Friday cost him a spot at the weekend. This course might just suit him more. I’ll pay to find out.
Back T.Olesen to win Tenerife Open (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 31.00 with Betfair (1/5 1-7)
PLACED – Back A.Meronk to win Tenerife Open (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 67.00 with Betfair (1/5 1-7)
Back them here:
Back C.Hill to win Tenerife Open (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 34.00 with William Hill (1/5 1-6)
Back him here:
Back J.Guerrier to win Tenerife Open (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 151.00 with Betway (1/5 1-7)
Back J.Suri to win Tenerife Open (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 201.00 with Betway (1/5 1-7)