Mallorca Open Betting Tips: Six each-way selections in Spain
Very rarely do you get to enjoy a sweat-free Sunday when in contention on the DP World Tour – at Valderrama of all places – but that’s what we got last week as Adrian Otaegui ran out an incredible 6-shot winner of the Andalucia Masters; retaining the advantage he took into the final round and winning with a record score of -19, unfathomable around such a tough venue. Providing us with a 50/1 winner in the process.
We have just four events remaining on the 2021/22 DP World Tour season after the cancellation of the Cyprus Open, which was due to take place in two weeks. Next week we’re off to Portugal for the Portugal Masters before the top ranked players in the Race To Dubai head to South Africa for the Nedbank Challenge and culminating with the DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai.
First we take a trip to Mallorca for the second consecutive staging of the Mallorca Golf Open. Last year’s event saw Denmark’s Jeff Winther win his first DP World Tour title at Golf Santa Ponsa, though there’s a change of venue this year, with the Kurt Rossknecht designed Son Muntaner Golf Club taking over hosting duties.
It’s that time of year where different players have a multitude of things on their mind. Some of the middling ranked DPWT players will be looking for a good couple of weeks to push themselves up the R2D rankings and earn a place in the two limited-field, season ending events; whilst those outside the top 120 (give or take) are simply playing for their livelihoods, hoping for a decent pay-check to help them keep their status next year; with a fortunate few able to view the next few weeks as purely an opportunity to add a trophy to their cabinet.
It creates an interesting dynamic, often seeing sudden revivals of form as players seek to achieve their varying targets over these final few weeks.
Son Muntaner Golf Club is a par 71 measuring a short 6952 yards and as mentioned, is designed by prolific German architect, Kurt Rossknecht – opening for play in 2001.
It’s a new venue to our screens and means a bit of a step into the unknown, though as a short resort course it’s fair to expect birdies to flow.
Fairways look relatively generous for the most part, some loosely tree-lined, doglegging and possessing a few elevated tee-shots; though there is danger with of out-of-bounds areas, some cleverly placed bunkers and water in-play on around a third of the holes on the course.
The greens offer variety, a good mixture of large and smaller ones, with a noticeable amount of longer, narrower surfaces. Many are sloped and two-tiered, potentially causing problems if they allow them to get firm, though I wouldn’t expect that to be the case here.
Virtually every hole reads like a potential birdie chance; the three par 5s are all reachable, whilst there is just one par 4 above 460 yards and five below 400; the par 3s an even mix of birdie chances, with two at around 150 yards and the other two potentially two of the trickiest holes on the course at 214 and 224 yards.
My ultimate take-away when looking at the images of the course and reading reviews is that this will be a course the pros take apart. There is danger to keep you on your toes but if you get your ball in-play off the tee, you’ll be able to attack all over the place.
It looks a course that bigger and shorter hitters alike will enjoy; enough room off the tee for the bombers to take driver out on a number of holes, with the potential to cut a few corners to make some of these short holes even shorter; though equally the more steady, accurate types will be able to give themselves plenty of attractive numbers into the greens to attack.
This is where I expect the tournament to be won, as with many low-scoring affairs, with quality approach play, along with a hot week on the greens.
In addition, a solid scrambling ability may come in handy with the potential for some moderately blustery conditions over the week; though it shouldn’t cause too many problems for decent scramblers, as the course doesn’t look too tricked up around the greens,
Key Stats: SG: Approach, SG: Putting, Greens-in-Regulation, Scrambling
As good a place to start as any with a new course is to check out other designs by he course architect. Fortunately we have a DP World Tour regular to call on as Rossknecht is the designer of Golfclub Munchen Eichenried, which has hosted the BMW International Open 27 times over its 33 year history; including in 2019, 2021 and 2022.
Whilst he is also the designer of the stand-in Italian Open course during covid-hit 2020, at Chervo Golf Club.
Outside of that I like the idea of other watery resort courses; the Portugal Masters at Dom Pedro Victoria Course and Ras Al Khaimah Classic/Championship at Al Hamra Golf Club appealing most.
In addition it does have a look of last year’s Mallorca Golf Open venue, Golf Santa Ponsa and I think it could also be beneficial to look at the three events staged in the Canary Islands last year: the Tenerife Open/Canary Islands Championship at Golf Costa Adeje and the Gran Canaria Lopesan Open at Meloneras Golf.
Warm, dry and humid conditions are forecast over the week. There is some wind about too, with a mild breeze in-play throughout, though nothing too severe for the most part; however it could potentially kick up a little for the final round on Sunday, with gusts of 20mph+ currently predicted.
Reigning champion, Jeff Winther will be looking to defend his title, whilst world #25 Ryan Fox is the highest ranked player in the field, with Erik Van Rooyen and last week’s winner, Adrian Otaegui the only other players from inside the world’s top 100.
There’s another eager group of Spaniards looking to make it three Spanish winners on the bounce; with the likes of Sebastian Garcia Rodriguez, Alfredo Garcia-Heredia and Alejandro Canizares looking for a good week to push themselves up the Race to Dubai rankings
Mallorca Open Tips
- Eddie Pepperell 22/1 – 1/5 8 places (Bet365) – 2 pts ew
- Tom Lewis 66/1 – 1/5 8 places (Bet365) – 1 pt ew
- Julien Brun 80/1 – 1/5 7 places (Betfair) – 1 pt ew
- Nacho Elvira 75/1 – 1/5 8 places (Bet365) – 1 pt ew
- Marcel Siem 75/1 – 1/5 8 places (Bet365) – 1 pt ew
- Jazz Janewattananond 90/1 – 1/5 8 places (Bet365) – 1 pt ew
Market Leaders: Rasmus Hojgaard 12/1, Ryan Fox 16/1, Adrian Otaegui 18/1, Eddie Pepperell 22/1, Fabrizio Zanotti 28/1, Richard Mansell 28/1
A weak field on an unfamiliar course, this week feels like an ideal opportunity for someone well in need of a good week to take a serious leap forward in the R2D rankings and I’ve made a number of selections to reflect this.
However I start near the top of the market in Mallorca, with a man who has rediscovered his form in a big way over recent months and possesses a skillset that should see him pile up birdies for fun, Eddie Pepperell.
Eddie Pepperell 22/1 – 1/5 8 places (Bet365) – 2 pts ew
After a start to the year that very much mirrored his disappointing 2021, Pepperell has made massive strides over the last three months.
An 11th place finish at Hillside in the Cazoo Classic began his dramatic turnaround in form, following with a 2nd place finish in the Hero Open at Fairmont St Andrews and he hasn’t missed a cut over his next seven starts: finishing no worse than 32nd and recording a further five top 20s.
There are two reasons for Eddie’s rediscovered form, most important of all is that he’s starting to produce a level of approach play that took him to his two DPWT titles in 2018 and sees him ranks 2nd on the DPWT this season, gaining strokes in seven of his last eight starts.
In addition he’s currently combining this with the form of his life on the greens; an area in which he’s been performing well in since his 14th place finish in the Dutch Open in May and ranks 28th on tour this season.
This level of performance in approach and with the putter is ideal for what I’m expecting to be a low scoring contest, and I am further encouraged by his strong record in Portugal, where he’s recorded finishes of 2nd, 3rd and 6th.
He’s also scrambling it well this year, ranking 15th, which will come in handy if conditions make things a little trickier and though 22/1 originally appeared a little on the short side, I believe he warrants this place in the market considering how well he’s playing and taking into account his past winning experience.
Sitting at 154th in the Race to Dubai rankings and having recently lost his full Korn Ferry Tour status, Tom Lewis will be desperate for a good week in Spain; showing positive signs since he came back over to the DPWT in August, this looks a good place for him to find a much needed performance.
Lewis has hit a bit of a brick wall in the last couple of years following the resurgence of 2018-2020 that saw him reach the world’s top 50 for the first time in his career.
Following two baron years, first on the PGA Tour in 2021 and then on the Korn Ferry Tour this year, where letters have far outweighed numbers in his form figures, Lewis has plummeted down the world rankings to now sit at #632.
Though since returning to Europe six starts ago in the Czech Masters, Lewis started to turn his form around. He finished 13th there, a performance largely engineered by the putter; then finishing 71st in the European Masters next time out but responded well in his two subsequent events, finishing 12th in the Made In Himmerland and 16th in the Italian Open, looking in buoyant mood during that Italy performance, commenting on how he felt his game was going in the right direction.
His form has dropped off in recent starts though I’m willing to forgive, he still struck the ball well when 50th in France, undone by his short-game and is easily forgiven a missed cut in the Dunhill Links. Though his missed cut two weeks ago in the Open de Espana was more discouraging, I’m confident he can bounce back here.
Over this run, every area of his game has fired, particularly standing out was his field-leading approach performance in Italy and his equally impressive field-leading putting performance in Denmark. Two of the areas I’ve placed extra importance in this week.
If able to put both of those performances together he can get the better of this test and as a two-time winner in Portugal, has some significant previous on Mediterranean resort courses.
It’s only two years ago that Lewis was finishing runner-up in the WGC - St Jude Invitational and breaking into that top 50 in the world; he’s shown in recent weeks that his game is there and I’m hoping he can put it all together this week.
Qualifying for the DP World Tour after finishing 4th in the Road to Mallorca last year – the Challenge Tour’s equivalent to the Race to Dubai – Frenchman, Julien Brun looked one of the more interesting graduates stepping up to the main tour this year.
He’s been largely consistent, picking up six top 20s and missing just seven cuts in twenty-four starts, which means his tour card is looking secure for next year; though ultimately just the one top 10, when finishing 8th in the British Masters looks an underwhelming return for a player who won twice on the Challenge Tour last year.
There’s still time to add to that with two regular events remaining and the possibility of earning his way into those season ending events in South Africa and Dubai; possessing both a high quality approach and putting game, this looks like an ideal opportunity for him to do so.
Brun ranks 8th this season on the DPWT in GIR, 20th in putting and 23rd in approach, also a solid scrambler, ranking 57th.
We’ve seen this level of performance over his last six starts, particularly with the putter, where Brun has missed just one cut – coming last time out at Valderrama, as a player who can be a little inconsistent off the tee not a huge surprise – but where he’s recorded two of his better finishes this year, when 13th in the Open de France and 16th in the European Masters.
During this time he’s gained strokes with the putter on every start bar Valderrama and after a couple of underwhelming performances with his irons he’s returned to form over recent starts.
Brun finished 13th in Ras Al Khaimah earlier this year on a comparable setup and has tasted victory in Spain before, when winning the Emporda Challenge on the Challenge Tour last year; if able to keep his irons and putter firing, he should find himself making plenty of birdies this week and can improve on that previous season’s best.
Four events in Spain this year and all four have been won by Spanish players; there’s really no nation which revels in winning when their home flag is flying more than the Spanish and I’m taking Nacho Elvira to be the leading light in that regard this week.
Despite picking up his maiden DPWT title last year in the Wales Open, Elvira has been more consistent this year and has hit the top 10 on three occasions: 6th in the MyGolfLife Open, 9th in the Soudal Open and 9th in the European Masters.
His form had been subpar lately though he showed some improvement last week in the Andalucia Masters, finishing an encouraging 21st, his best ever finish at Valderrama.
Elvira has been solid enough on the whole across all areas this season, yet it’s with the irons he’s produced the most quality, ranking 57th in approach, a stat which can be upgraded slightly when we consider he lost strokes in his opening eleven starts of the year, with most of his better performances coming over the last three months; and barring the odd off-week, it’s also encouraging to see the putter firing more often than not over recent weeks.
Multiple top 10s in Portugal, as well as an 8th place finish in the BMW International offer further hope Elvira can go well this week and he can feed off the positivity provided by the previous two Spanish winners to win his 2nd DPWT title, in Mallorca.
I’m going to finish with a couple of players who currently sit outside of that threshold for maintaining full playing rights on the DPWT next season, starting with Germany’s Marcel Siem.
After spending much of the previous three years between the DPWT and Challenge Tour, Siem regained his DPWT card thanks to a stellar run of golf through the summer of 2021; where he won the Le Vaudreuil Golf Challenge on the Challenge Tour, his first victory in seven years and followed that with an excellent 15th place finish in The Open; carrying this form over to multiple starts on the DPWT though ultimately regaining that tour card through finishing in the top 20 of the Race to Mallorca standings.
After a positive start to the season, where Siem finished 21st and 9th in the back-to-back events as Ras Al Khaimah, he struggled for much of the next four months. However there has been a positive upturn in form since the end of August, as the German looks to keep his card.
Since finishing 16th in the European Masters, Siem has missed just one cut in his next six starts and is playing some really strong golf tee-to-green. He’s gained strokes in every start with his ball-striking, bar the missed cut in the Italian Open and he’s also looked good around the greens; unfortunately, whilst his results have been solid - coming into this finishing 20th and 37th in the last two weeks – the putter has been holding him back and stopping him achieving the type of lofty finish his T2G game has deserved. Something he’ll need to put right this week.
And I am confident he can do just that; he showed last year the bottle he still possesses, as regaining your tour card in your 40s is never an easy thing to do; with the rest of his game looking easier than it has done all year, a merely solid week on the greens can see him achieve the type of finish needed to propel himself up those R2D rankings.
Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond threatened to go well in the Open de Espana when we were on a couple of weeks ago, though ultimately finished a disappointing 60th. He then showed last week at Valderrama when finishing 14th that the thinking he was close to a big week was the correct one; I’m taking him to go even better than that here and go some way to securing his place on tour next season.
I mentioned Jazz had been bubbling for a few weeks in my Open de Espana preview; a 9th in the Cazoo Open at the beginning of August was his best finish of the year on the DPWT and just four starts ago he finished 13th in the Open de France, before that equally impressive 14th last week.
The putter is hit and miss, but the form is there, as shown by his results in Spain, France and Wales, all largely engineered by a strong week on the greens; but it’s his approach play that was the most eye-catching last week, as Jazz recorded his best strokes-gained numbers of the season, ranking 17th in the field at Valderrama, with his first round performance his best iron display since the first round of the Olympics last year.
A repeat of that level of putting and approach play should see him make plenty of birdies on this more scorable setup, with solid top 20s in Mallorca last year and at Ras Al Khaimah this year offering further promise.
As a former top 40 golfer and with seven wins worldwide, Janewattananond is simply too good to be languishing in this position, in serious danger of losing his tour card and I expect him to continue his recent form and put that right this week.