Wales betting guide
Stats and best bets for this week's Euro Tour event - the ISPS Handa Wales Open at Celtic Manor
By Mark Kendall - Twitter: @SkySportsMK. Last Updated: August 27, 2013 3:39pm
Celtic Manor will once again play host to the Wales Open this week
The European Tour travels more than 400 miles south from Perth to Newport where the TwentyTen layout at Celtic Manor hosts the event for a sixth time.
This will be the first occasion since the Wales Open moved to the TwentyTen course, that the tournament is not being staged in June.
First contested in 2000, the Wales Open was held over the Wentwood Hills layout for five years before moving to Celtic Manor's Roman Road course for the next three.
This switch allowed the TwentyTen to be built with the 2010 Ryder Cup in mind.
The TwentyTen - first used for the Wales Open in 2008 - features nine completely new holes combined with nine from the original Wentwood Hills design.
Water hazards come into play on 10 holes, and wind is often a factor on this relatively flat course that sits in the Usk Valley.
SELECTED PLAYERS with GOOD to REASONABLE FORM over the TWENTYTEN Course
Player: '08 / '09 / '10 / '11 / '12
Thomas Bjorn: 21 / 43 / 9 / MC / 2
Gregory Bourdy: 21 / 10 / 39 / 2 / 14
Magnus A Carlsson: 21 / 31 / - / 8 / 18
Robert Coles: - / - / MC / 20 / 18
Rhys Davies: MC / 17 / 2 / 58 / MC
Simon Dyson: MC / 6 / 18 / 20 / -
Niclas Fasth: 67 / 2 / 9 / MC / 70
Gonzalo F'dez-Castano: 9 / - / 12 / - / 2
Ross Fisher: 10 / 31 / MC / MC / 6
Mark Foster: 28 / 21 / 69 / 45 / 18
Ricardo Gonzalez: 47 / MC / 31 / 4 / 62
Anders Hansen: - / - / MC / 2 / MC
Raphael Jacquelin: 3 / MC / 20 / MC / 18
Thongchai Jaidee: 39 / 26 / - / MC / Won
Miguel Angel Jimenez: Ret / 17 / 8 / MC / 57
Pablo Larrazabal: 15 / 26 / 56 / 4 / 28
Peter Lawrie: MC / 24 / 20 / - / 8
Richard McEvoy: - / - / 9 / 12 / 18
Paul McGinley: MC / 15 / MC / - / 6
Damien McGrane: MC / MC / 20 / 28 / 28
Francesco Molinari: 4 / MC / 56 / - / 46
Alex Noren: MC / - / 39 / Won / Wd
Robert Rock: - / 26 / 4 / MC / -
Jeev Milkha Singh: 10 / 6 / - / MC / MC
Joel Sjoholm: - / - / - / 8 / 8
Scott Strange: Won / 59 / MC / 50 / MC
Paul Waring: 39 / 10 / - / - / -
Romain Wattel: - / - / - / 15 / 8
Peter Whiteford: 47 / MC / 20 / 8 / MC
Chris Wood: - / 10 / 46 / - / 14
Fabrizio Zanotti: MC / 10 / MC / 15 / 28
SELECTED PLAYERS with POOR to MEDIOCRE FORM over the TWENTYTEN Course
(No Top-40 Finishes from three or more starts)
Player: '08 / '09 / '10 / '11 / '12
Rafael Cabrera-Bello: 70 / MC / MC / 41 / -
Michael Campbell: - / MC / MC / MC / MC
Alejandro Canizares: MC / MC / - / MC / MC
SSP Chowrasia: MC / - / - / MC / MC
Robert-Jan Derksen: MC / - / MC / - / Ret
Stephen Dodd: MC / 49 / Wd / Wd / -
Jamie Elson: - / - / MC / MC / 57
Tano Goya: - / - / MC / MC / MC
Gregory Havret: MC / MC / MC / Wd / 65
Peter Hedblom: MC / 59 / 63 / - / MC
Michael Jonzon: - / MC / MC / 45 / MC
Shiv Kapur: MC / 59 / - / MC / -
James Morrison: - / - / MC / MC / 57
John Parry: - / - / MC / MC / MC
Oliver Wilson: MC / - / 66 / MC / 48
TOP-20 Finishers at CELTIC MANOR in 2012 (Not Already Listed Above)
Joost Luiten: (T-2nd)
Carlos Del Moral: (T-11th)
David Drysdale: (T-11th)
Thorbjorn Olesen: (T-18th)
Brett Rumford: (T-18th)
LOWEST 15 STROKE AVERAGES over the TWENTYTEN Course
(Tour History - 2008/12)
69.25: Gonzalo F'dez-Castano (12)
70.10: Gregory Bourdy (20)
70.33: Thomas Bjorn (18)
70.38: Magnus A Carlsson (16)
70.42: Richard McEvoy (12)
70.55: Pablo Larrazabal (20)
70.63: Raphael Jacquelin (16)
70.64: Simon Dyson (14)
70.64: Peter Lawrie (14)
70.67: Jeev Milkha Singh (12)
70.80: Robert Rock (10)
70.83: Paul McGinley (12)
70.88: Ross Fisher (16)
70.90: Soren Hansen (10)
70.92: Chris Wood (12)
Min. No. of Rounds = 10
LOWEST ROUNDS over CELTIC MANOR's TWENTYTEN Course
62: Rhys Davies (2010)
63: Scott Strange (2008)
63: Stephen Gallacher (2010)
63: Graeme McDowell (2010)
63: Marc Warren (2010)
64: Eight times
Note: Scott Strange and Graeme McDowell have each posted two rounds of 64 or lower over the TwentyTen layout.
Celtic Manor (TwentyTen): Par 71; 7,352 yards
Winning Totals (Last Three Years):
2012: 278 (Thongchai Jaidee)
2011: 275 (Alexander Noren)
2010: 269 (Graeme McDowell)
With the FedEx Cup play-offs again attracting the cream of golf's elite-level performers this week, the ISPS Handa Wales Open boasts only two of the world's top-50 players.
Obviously in a field lacking star quality, you can make arguments for both those men, Francesco Molinari (22-1) and Thorbjorn Olesen (25-1), to feature in the shake-up at Celtic Manor.
Molinari will have good memories of the lay-out having finished fourth in the 2008 renewal and also been part of Europe's victorious 2010 Ryder Cup side at the venue.
Meanwhile, Olesen - tied for ninth at Gleneagles last week - looks to be coming back in to form after a rather lean summer by his high standards and finished in T18 in Wales last year on just his second appearance in the event.
But we'll overlook their claims and instead plump for another man towards to the top of the betting market, Spain's Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano.
A proven European Tour winner with six titles to his name, the Spaniard has been plying his trade on America's PGA Tour this season but is now back on this side of the Atlantic following the start of the FedEx Cup play-off series (Gonzo could not compete given he is not a full PGA Tour member).
He has put in some impressive performances Stateside this season and has three top-10 finishes to his credit, most notably his T10 at the US Open at Merion.
After a couple of weeks off following the USPGA spent back on Spanish soil celebrating his son's birthday and practising at Valderrama, Fernandez-Castano should head to Wales fresh and certainly has a liking for Celtic Manor.
He has played the event three times in the last five years finishing ninth (2008), 12th (2010) and then as joint runner-up last year.
With those stats it is little surprise he has the best stroke average of any player at the tournament over the past five years, averaging a very impressive 69.25 for his 12 rounds over the 7,350-yard lay-out.
Hopefully the time spent at Valderrama ensures that he returns to competitive action feeling sharp and if that is the case then the classy 32-year-old looks to have every chance of contending.
Next up we'll side with an emerging talent who arrives bang in form after an eye-catching display at Gleneagles last weekend.
Argentina's Emiliano Grillo is not 21 until next month, but looks to have an exciting future in the game. Although slight in stature, the South American has a nice mixture of power and finesse, while the fact he ranks fourth in GIR on the Tour tells you everything you need to know about his accuracy.
Grillo's main weakness has been with the flat-stick but, following his sixth-placed finish in Scotland last week (which could have been even better were it not for an untimely double-bogey late in his final round), he should be full of confidence.
He was 35th at Celtic Manor last year on debut after falling away rather in the final round and if his putter gets hot this week the progressive youngster looks value to get in the mix again.
The last selection is another outsider but, with strong course form and a recent upturn in form, Sweden's Joel Sjoholm looks an interesting prospect this week.
After four top-10s last season (including a T4 at the Alfred Dunhill Links) the powerful 28-year-old looked to be firmly on the upgrade, but has found the going pretty tough this time around.
Languishing down at 136th on the Race to Dubai, Sjoholm has plenty to play for in the weeks ahead but looks to have rediscovered some form recently.
After five consecutive missed cuts, he finished 24th in Russia and then a respectable 35th last time out at Gleneagles (with each of his four rounds under-par).
Maybe nothing to write home about, but his Celtic Manor form certainly is with Sjoholm having finished T8 on both of his two starts at the TwentyTen track.
If he can maintain his recent consistency and get a few putts to drop the Chile-born Scandinavian could give us a good run for our money.
2pts e.w. Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano at 22/1 (1/4 1,2,3,4,5)
1pt e.w. Emiliano Grillo at 80/1 (1/4 1,2,3,4,5)
1pt e.w. Joel Sjoholm at 100/1 (1/4 1,2,3,4,5)