The 2007 champion is my first reserve, after an admirable performance at Gleneagles. His superb double-birdie finish would have earned many more plaudits if Edoardo hadn’t bettered it minutes later. Nevertheless,
that once again proved Rumford is a player that really knows how to win.
Rhys remains well below the stellar levels seen earlier in the year, and I suspect he’d prefer more of a putting contest than this.
Another first-time winner-in-waiting, Wood returned to his best withthird at the Irish Open before missing the cut on his USPGA debut.
Darren has plenty of Crans previous, registering four top-sixes from
seven tries. He’s failed to build on that excellent Scottish Open performance, though.
I really felt the sky was the limit for Noren when he won this last year, but 2010 has been a miserable campaign so far.
In this memorable week for Italian golf, this magnificent teenage prospect has the chance to show us things can get even better. He can’t be entirely ruled out either, considering he made the top-25 last year as an amateur, and was second on his penultimate Challenge Tour start.
Canizares would have made the shortlist on the basis of his earlier form, plus 11th place two years ago at Crans. However, he was deeply disappointing last time out at the Czech Open, especially with a closing 82.
Another outstanding teenage prospect, Noh looks well up to winning a second Euro Tour title after highly respectable debuts in the US Open and USPGA.
Soren was runner-up here in 2001, but has never made a top-20 at Crans otherwise. Considering this has been a distinctly below-par season, its hard to see that record improving.
Even if this column didn’t directly profit from the recent successes of Martin Kaymer and Edoardo Molinari, they were taken as vindication of my strategy to persist with up-and-coming emerging stars, despite the inevitable frustrations. Willett remains very much in that category, even if he has probably cost this column money to date. I’m not really convinced Crans will be his ideal layout, but 23rd last year was a fair debut.
2010 STATS: -47pts
LONG-TERM ALREADY ADVISED
5pts MARTIN KAYMER TO WIN THE RACE TO DUBAI @ 9/1