The DP World Tour starts a three-week stretch in Spain this week, with the Spanish Open at Club de Campo Villa de Madrid, and the spotlight will fall on former world number one Jon Rahm.
Home players have an awesome recent record contesting DP World Tour events on Spanish soil and Rahm will be topping many lists in the bid to extend that record.
Club de Campo Villa de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Thursday 6th October – Sunday 9th October, 2022
How to watch
Sky Sports Golf & bet365's Live Golf Tracker
Jon Rahm 9/4, Tommy Fleetwood 8/1, Adri Arnaus 18/1, Eddie Pepperell 28/1, Min Woo Lee 30/1, Rafa Cabrera Bello 30/1
Next week sees the Andalucia Masters at Valderrama, then the following week the Mallorca Open in Palma, but most Spaniards will consider the main attraction to be their national Open - which starts on Thursday in Madrid.
Jon Rahm is eager to match the record of his hero Seve Ballesteros, who won three Spanish Opens in his wonderful career. Rahm has already triumphed twice in this event, so is looking to complete the hat-trick on Sunday in front of the adoring Madrid masses.
Rahm is 9/4 in the conventional outright betting for the Spanish Open, while he can be backed at 12/5 in the enhanced win-only market. The star of the show is 17/2 for first-round leader, while he can be backed at 12/1 to win wire-to-wire (lead after every round and win).
Tommy Fleetwood is also teeing up in Madrid, making his course debut. Fleetwood, who tied for 22nd place in the Dunhill Links Championship last week, has not won a tournament since the 2019 Nedbank Challenge in South Africa. The Englishman is 8/1 to end his drought on Sunday.
Standard each-way terms of a quarter the odds, the first five places are available, along with the additional terms found in the Each Way Extra section, including a fifth the odds, the first eight places.
Club de Campo Villa de Madrid, Madrid, Spain, is a 7,112-yard, par-71, with three par-fives, 11 par-fours and four par-threes.
The Javier Arana designed layout has hosted 13 European Tour events in the modern era – the Spanish Open in 1990, 1991, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2019 and 2021, the Madrid Open from 2001-2005, and the Madrid Masters in 2008.
Raphael Jacquelin reached 23-under when winning the 2005 Madrid Open. The par-fives – the fourth, seventh and 14th – are straightforward birdie chances, while three short par-fours at the eighth, 15th and 18th are also there for the taking.
The 505-yard par-four first hole is the most challenging. The tree-lined, undulating track has small greens, but should get destroyed in perfect weather this week. Sunny and pleasant conditions, with hardly any breeze, are forecast for all four days.
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The last two DP World Tour events staged in Spain were won by a Spaniard - and the last three Spanish Opens were won by a Spaniard. That streak could easily continue with Jon Rahm completing a Spanish Open hat-trick.
Rahm, a 9/4 chance, can look forward to ideal scoring conditions in Madrid and he should serve up regular birdies to keep his army of fans happy. Rahm's strike-rate in regulation DP World Tour events is incredible, with six victories in 20 starts, and he has twice finished runner-up in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.
Rahm walks with an extra swagger when he drops from the PGA Tour to the DP World Tour - and this week's assignment seems particularly welcoming. He will expect to outclass the vast majority of the field over 72 holes.
Rahm closed with a 62 in the BMW PGA last time out, building on some bright form in the FedEx Cup playoffs. He won by five shots at this week's venue in 2019 and may be about to dominate again.
The main threat to Rahm this week could come from his compatriot and good friend Adri Arnaus, who can be backed at 18/1.
Arnaus was a dreadfully unlucky runner-up in last year's Spanish Open at this venue, losing a playoff to Rafael Cabrera Bello. The victor enjoyed some fortune with a free drop from some heavy rough next to a cart-path on the 18th hole - a decisive moment which swung the contest away from Arnaus.
The powerhouse has since got off the mark on the DP World Tour - winning the Catalunya Championship in May - and he will fancy his chances of giving Rahm a game this week.
Even if Rahm and Arnaus dominate the event, that still leaves plenty of place money up for grabs for each-way punters, and 80/1 chance Lucas Bjerregaard may be a worthwhile option.
Bjerregaard finished 12th in last year's Spanish Open at this venue and the giant Dane has shown glimpses of his best in the last three months.
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