The European Tour heads to Turin this week for the BWM Italian Open, contested for the fourth consecutive year at Royal Park Golf & Country Club.
The Robert Trent Jones Snr design has been described by Matteo Manassero as a ‘typical Italian layout’, featuring strategically placed bunkers, tricky greens and abundant water, which comes into play on seven holes.
The par-72, 7,282-yard layout isn’t the longest on the roster, and will be more suited to proficient putters who hit a lot of greens in regulation.
The weather in Italy has been sweltering of late, but thunder storms are forecast for Thursday. If this prediction comes true, the course will soften and should yield plenty of birdies.
Low scores are traditionally commonplace at Royal Park, with the winning totals from the last three years standing at 21, 16 and 17-under-par respectively.
Robert Rock won his maiden European Tour title at this event in 2012 but hasn’t recorded a top 10 since February, and a strong field has assembled this week to challenge for his crown.
Thorbjorn Olesen, at 16/1 with Ladbrokes, is an obvious bet this week. He finished in a tie for second here last year, opening with a 65 and playing his first six holes in sux-under-par on Sunday en route to a course-record 62. He missed the cut last week, but has three top-15 finishes in his last five tournaments.
Anders Hansen, at 25/1 with Ladbrokes, has snuck into this tournament under the radar. He has played some very good golf of late, leading the French Open after two rounds and narrowly missing out on a top ten at the Scottish Open. He finished eighth last week in Holland and ninth the week before in Switzerland, and is exactly the type of player that could succeed at Royal Park.
Pablo Larrazabal is an excellent price this week at 33/1 with Ladbrokes. His game is in excellent shape, and if he can just find a good week with the putter, a win won’t be far away. He finished in a tie for second last week in Holland – despite being four-over-par after 12 holes – and has an excellent record at Royal Park, where he came 11th last year and third in 2010. His last victory also came at a BMW-sponsored event.
Graeme Storm is worth a flutter this week at 80/1 with Ladbrokes. He led after three rounds last week at the KLM Open and finished in a tie for seventh in this event in 2010. What’s more, he will be confident and relaxed after last week’s fifth-place finish secured his tour card for 2013.
Gary Boyd, at 125/1 with Ladbrokes, would be foolish to ignore. He has two second-place finishes at Royal Park, most notably last year, where he shot four rounds in the 60s to pick up his biggest European Tour cheque. He has also been Tweeting recently about how well he is hitting the ball and how much he enjoys this event.
BMW Italian Open advised bets:
3pts outright on Thorbjorn Olesen at 16/1 with Ladbrokes
2pts each way on Anders Hansen at 25/1 with Ladbrokes
3pts each way on Pablo Larrazabal at 33/1 with Ladbrokes
1pt each way on Graeme Storm at 80/1 with Ladbrokes
1pt each way on Gary Boyd at 125/1 with Ladbrokes