GOLF analyst Lewis Blain (@LewisBlainSport) shares his betting thoughts ahead of the Andalucia Masters in Valderrama Golf Course in Costa del Sol.
Andalucia Masters | 3rd-6th September 2020 | Sky Sports
The European Tour moves away from the UK Swing after a rather entertaining six weeks or so. We begin in Spain before back-to-back events in neighbouring Portugal.
Meanwhile over in America, the PGA Tour comes to a climax with the Tour Championship, something I won't be covering this week due to the shambolic format of the competition.
We picked up too healthy places on Sunday with Jorge Campillo 66/1 and Jason Kokrak 80/1 sneaking in across both Tours. On another day, it would have been two or three others and perhaps a winner – but we move.
A former WGC and Ryder Cup venue plays host to the Andalucia Masters and it's a course we've seen in each of the last four seasons – Valderrama GC.
This gorgeous track will be a vastly different test to what we have seen in England and Wales over the past few weeks. It's tough, sloping and lined by cork trees with really small and tight greens.
Thus, accuracy will be the key barometer this week – that's both off the tee and on approach whilst a solid short game is just as imperative. The wind can get up around here so experience in those conditions would help too.
At the front of the market, it was ever so hard to stay off Bernd Wiesberger but at 14s, I am happy to swerve and if he wins, so be it. Likewise, Andy Sullivan could like this test but at similar odds, it's a swerve from me.
Jason Scrivener (30/1 Coral)
Instead, we'll start a bit further back with one of two Aussies this week, the first being Jason Scrivener (30/1 Coral).
He is yet to win on the European Tour but you feel like that maiden bow is brewing after three straight top-15s in as many weeks.
His form around here bodes well too with a trio of finishes in the 20s, so clearly, he can make the cut and stick around, and given his current form, he could elevate to be in contention come Sunday.
The field is fairly weak in comparison to the UK Championship so Scrivener's numbers for the season look even greater. On the ET, he's 9th for scrambling, 25th for driving accuracy and inside the top 40 for greens in regulation.
Wade Ormsby (40/1 Boylesports)
Next up is fellow Aussie Wade Ormsby (40/1 Boylesports)
who loves a test on a tree-lined track and to bolster matters further, he's just turned 40 and become a dad. So maybe we get some added motivation this week. He was absent for the majority of the UK swing but recorded a T25 in his return to action at the Belfry.
Now that he's shaken off the rust, he could trend in the right direction towards another win having won in Hong Kong at the start of the campaign. That win along with his in India bodes well for this setup. He's done well at windy decks too and that is of course also relevant when you're from Australia.
Sami Valimaki (45/1 SkyBet)
My best bet of the week could be Finnish sensation Sami Valimaki (45/1 SkyBet).
He's got the absolute perfect game for Valderrama as he's long and straight off the tee, hits a lot of greens and has a wonderful short game which is summed up by ranking 5th on the ET for strokes gained putting.
He won in Oman at the start of the year, his fifth victory in 13 months – albeit four of those came on the PGT but clearly, he knows how to pull over the line. He went T6 then 2nd at the two Celtic Manor events, the latter his last outing. It's perhaps to see him priced this way back.
Thorbjorn Olesen (50/1 SkyBet)
I'm going to take a little risk on another Scandinavian in Thorbjorn Olesen (50/1 SkyBet).
Had this event been an ordinary one in the middle of a regular season and in regular circumstances, then there would have been a good chance that the Dane went off as one of the favourites. He's a perfect fit for this week's test.
Olesen has had a lot to deal with off the course in the past year which is why he has barely featured but last week's T17 is cause for optimism. The 5-time ET winner is accurate off the tee and with his irons and contends well in windy conditions, two wins in Italy and Australia, as well as top-10s in France and a few majors, reinforce that.
Whilst it might be too much to ask for him to win outright, we're getting odds that wouldn't be there had certain things not happened. It's a fantastic value play that could have us onto a winner.
Max Kieffer (100/1 SkyBet)
Someone who will love a grind like this is German Max Kieffer (100/1 SkyBet)
and whilst he's rather hard to get exactly right, he's well worth a bet at three figures. His inconsistencies lie in that T6 at the Hero Open which was sandwiched in between two missed cuts.
Some of his best finishes on the ET have come in Spain (T2 in 2013, T5 in 2015). Meanwhile, he rates out inside the top 20 on Tour for driving accuracy, scrambling and strokes gained around-the-green.
Ben Evans (400/1 SkyBet)
I'll end this week's staking plan with an almighty punt, adding Ben Evans (400/1 SkyBet)
at monstrous odds. His best form has long escaped him but back in the day, he's pop on leaderboards in Denmark, Holland, Scotland and so on. All windy destinations.
Last week he delivered one of his best finishes in a very long time, a T15 at the UK Championship where he performed rather well in the first and final round. Evans was accurate off the tee, scrambled well and had decent spells with the flatstick.
I'm not expecting him to do much but if he gave us a good run at 400/1, I won't be complaining whatsoever.
Andalucia Masters – Jason Scrivener (30/1 each-way Coral)
Andalucia Masters – Wade Ormsby (40/1 each-way Boylesports)
Andalucia Masters – Sami Valimaki (45/1 each-way SkyBet)
Andalucia Masters – Thorbjorn Olesen (50/1 each-way SkyBet)
Andalucia Masters – Max Kieffer (100/1 each-way SkyBet)
Andalucia Masters – Ben Evans (400/1 each-way SkyBet)