Italian Open: Rahm the pick in strong field
The 74th Italian Open plays host to one of the strongest fields in the event’s history and rising Spanish star Jon Rahm can land the third title of a remarkable breakthrough year in Milan, writes Dave Clark.
The European Tour have elevated the event at Golf Club Milano to Rolex Series status this year, with the USD 7million prize fund attracting a star-studded field.
The 22-year-old Rahm’s first full year as a professional has been nothing short of sensational, winning on both the PGA and European Tours and finishing third and second in the first two World Golf Championships of the campaign.
Rahm also heads to Italy in stunning form, having finished third, fourth, fifth and seventh in his last four outings to finish fifth in the PGA Tour’s season-long FedEx Cup.
Currently third in the Race to Dubai, a win this week could send Rahm top and put him on course to finish the season as European number one, enough incentive for us to make him the first of our Italian Open betting predictions at 13/2.
Defending champion Francesco Molinari is set to lead a strong home contingent again. Molinari has finished in the top 20 in 10 of his last 12 appearances at his national open and can be backed at 16/1 to lift the title for a third time.
However, finishing the week ahead of Sergio Garcia in matched betting at evens looks better value, with the Masters champion yet to return to top form since landing his first major.
The Spaniard has missed two of his last five cuts and with Molinari likely to be mounting another tilt at the title, the Italian can finish above his Ryder Cup team-mate on the leaderboard.
The man who handed Garcia his green jacket at Augusta National, 2016 winner Danny Willett, offers plenty of outside interest at odds of 80/1.
Willett has endured a wretched year plagued by injury problems but there have been signs of recovery in recent weeks, with a round of 65 in Portugal followed by three sub-70 efforts at the British Masters.
Throw in a runner-up finish and tie for third at this venue in the last two seasons, and it would be no surprise to see Willett in the mix come Sunday.
Big-hitting Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts can also come into the equation at 100/1 and is the last of our Italian Open betting tips.
Despite being without a win for five years, Colsaerts was third at the BMW PGA Championship this year, played over a similarly tree-lined course at Wentworth, and fired a course-record 63 at this venue two years ago.
Best bets for the Italian Open
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