Open de Espana Golf 2023 – Tournament Outright Tips and Betting Preview

The DP World Tour heads back to the continent this week for the Open de Espana, one of the longer running events on the circuit and one which always delivers some excellent golf as we build towards the end of the campaign.

Jon Rahm has won three of the last four of these tournaments and he will be in Madrid looking to make a successful defence of the title a couple of weeks after being a part of that winning Ryder Cup team. A fairly competitive field will be out to stop him keeping the title.

Recent Winners

2022 – Jon Rahm

2021 – Rafa Cabrera Bello

2019 – Jon Rahm

2018 – Jon Rahm

2016 – Andrew Johnston

2015 – James Morrison

2014 – Miguel Angel Jimenez

2013 – Raphael Jacquelin

2012 – Francesco Molinari

2011 – Thomas Aiken

The Course

The Club de Campo Villa de Madrid is the venue for the tournament this week. This is the fourth tournament in succession that we have been at this course. The track has lengthened a touch since last year. It is now a par 71 which stretches out to 7,154 yards which isn’t particularly long by modern standards, especially when the course is some 2,500m above sea level. That means we are looking for players who have good distance control.

The track has undulating greens where being on the right part of them is pivotal. The fairways are treelined but at this time of the year there is not likely to be much in the way of rough. There isn’t too much in terms of a test off the tee so it might be the second shot and in where the field gets sorted out. Look for strong iron players who are wielding a decent putter in what is likely to be a low scoring competition.

The Field

We are getting into a few weeks on the DP World Tour where the bigger names put their clubs away to prepare for the big tournaments at the end of the year but Jon Rahm respects the game and his home open and he is the standout player in the field this week. Rahm is joined in the field by his Ryder Cup winning teammate Justin Rose who is the only other player in the top 50 in the world golf rankings who is teeing it up this week.

There are six other players in the top 100 in the world on show here. Victor Perez will look to find some form in this event while Pablo Larrazabal will look to win on home soil. Thriston Lawrence, Yannik Paul, Thorbjorn Olesen and another home man in Adrian Otaegui make up those from the top 100 in the world. Joost Luiten and Romain Langasque are inside the top 20 in the Race to Dubai rankings and will be looking to move up that order here.

Market Leaders

The big thing when the entry list for this tournament was released was what sort of price would Jon Rahm be to defend the title. The answer is he is 9/4 to win, which seems perfectly fair when you consider that he has won three of the last four of these, two of them on this track. He is clearly the standout player in the field and looked in decent order at the Ryder Cup so he is very much the man to beat and hard to oppose if 9/4 shots are for you.

The positive for Rahm being in the field if a 9/4 shot isn’t for you is if you can get him beat you are going to get handsomely rewarded such is in his impact on the market. Justin Rose is a second favourite and for as good as he is you can get him at 16/1 to be the man to deny Rahm a successful defence of the title. Rose looked fairly good at Marco Simone and often Europeans who win the Ryder Cup carry the confidence of that for a while but whether his touch is as good as others would be my question here.

Yannik Paul has had a good season so far and the German can be taken at 25/1 to win the Open de Espana. He was tied for eighth on debut here last year and is probably a better player on arrival this time around. He comes here off the back of a T6 at the Open de France and then T14 at the Dunhill Links last week. He won in Spain last year at the Mallorca Open and has seven top 20 finishes on the season. Were Rahm to fail then Paul could easily be the one to take advantage.

The only other player who is shorter than 40/1 this week is Joost Luiten. The Dutch player has been in good form since the summer began and can be taken at 30/1. Luiten has a couple of top five finishes in this tournament albeit neither of them were around here. Luiten has finished in the top 15 10 times this season without winning and while that looks good it is a concern too with him finding one or two too good too often. The bigger question mark comes around his short game which is the weakest part of his game.

Main Bets

Adrian Otaegui might be extra motivated this week. He would be motivated anyway because this is his home tournament but he was forced to miss the event last year because of the crossover between the DP World Tour and the LIV Golf and that might fuel his fire. He is one of those players who will come alive at certain times of the year and that is when the courses played are on the shorter side because he is a position player rather than a pounder off the tee.

From the iron play and in he is usually very good and that is the test this week. Otaegui has won on courses like this on the DP World Tour throughout his career and he should be pretty fresh having not been involved at the Dunhill Links and all the delays and everything that took place there. I’m always happy to take him on courses like this one and at 40/1 thanks to the Rahm effect he is a more than acceptable price here.


The rest of my bets this week will be outsiders with the first of those being the four-time DP World Tour winner Thriston Lawrence. The South African has won twice in South Africa and at the Omega European Masters in the Swiss Alps so the rarified air is something that he is able to deliver the goods in. He hasn’t had too much in the way of recent form but a third placed finish in Ireland certainly catches the eye given that it was in a much stronger field than the one which he tackles here. He is twice a winner this season and just on that looks a big price.

Nick Bachem won in South Africa earlier in the year so the altitude of this event shouldn’t prove too much of a problem for him. The German actually comes into the tournament with some decent form figures. His last six starts have been T4-MC-T7-MC-T20-T25. The first missed cut was in Switzerland where he missed the cut with a -2 score. The other missed cut was at Wentworth where the field was the strongest on the DP World Tour all season. Bachem won with -24 in South Africa and posted -17 in the Czech Masters where he was fourth. His scrambling stats are good and form over that length of time tells us he is hitting the ball well. I’ll pay to see how the German goes this week.

Richard Mansell is another whose scrambling stats are decent enough. He has some form lines which interest me in line with that as well. He was third at Crans-sur-Sierre last year so the altitude shouldn’t be an issue and just a few weeks ago he opened up with a 65 at Le Golf National and was sat T6 after 54 holes before making a bit of a mess of the final round but that is a tough track so to be hitting the ball well there certainly bodes well here. Mansell hits a lot of greens so it is good to know he can get up and down when he does miss them and I’ll pay to see how he goes here.

Lastly this is an event I like to go in with more than one home player on my team. Five of the last seven Open de Espana tournaments have been won by Spaniards so they are very good in their home conditions so I definitely want one more on my side and I’ll take a punt on Nacho Elvira. He has finished third in this tournament in the past, albeit not at this course, so we know that he can play well in front of a home crowd. If you look at his recent form there is nothing there to write home about but when you look a little deeper over the last three months he finished second in Denmark on a course he can overpower like this one, opened with a 63 in Switzerland at altitude, a little like here, and shot a pair of 66s to begin the Dunhill Links last week before struggling in the third round which was eventually the final round. His final round was at Carnoustie so a +1 round there was no shame. I think he’s hitting the ball better than his results suggest and with a game that should translate well here I’ll pay to see how he goes.


Back A.Otaegui to win Open de Espana (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 41.00 with Betway (1/5 1-7)

Back T.Lawrence to win Open de Espana (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 81.00 with Unibet (1/5 1-6)

Back N.Bachem to win Open de Espana (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 81.00 with Unibet (1/5 1-6)

Back R.Mansell to win Open de Espana (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 81.00 with Coral (1/5 1-8)

Back N.Elvira to win Open de Espana (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 176.00 with Betway (1/5 1-7)