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Spanish preview

A preview and some key stats for this week's European Tour event - the Spanish Open at El Saler

By Keith Jackson.   Last Updated: 17/04/13 6:09pm

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El Saler is situated by the coast

El Saler is situated by the coast

Sky Bet

Valencia on Spain's east coast hosts the Tour's first European-based event of the 2013 calendar.

The location is El Saler, on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, which will be staging the tournament for the first time in 12 years.

Opened in 1968, and designed by famed Spanish architect Javier Arana, El Saler is no stranger to the Tour having first staged the national Open back in 1984 when Bernhard Langer closed with a 10-under-par 62 to win by three strokes.

SELECTED PLAYERS with GOOD to REASONABLE FORM in MAINLAND SPAIN

Last 10 European Tour Strokeplay Events

Player: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10

Thomas Aiken: 21 / 23 / 18 / - / Won / 5 / 5 / MC / - / 46
Thomas Bjorn: - / 38 / 5 / - / - / - / - / 15 / - / -
Gregory Bourdy: - / 23 / - / 51 / 15 / - / MC / MC / 11 / 21
Rafael Cabrera-Bello: MC / 13 / MC / 11 / 11 / - / 41 / 19 / 47 / 27
Alejandro Canizares: MC / 13 / 21 / MC / MC / 18 / 54 / 7 / 47 / 2
Eduardo De La Riva: - / - / - / - / 32 / 3 / - / - / 3 / MC
Robert-Jan Derksen: 10 / 30 / 14 / 63 / 15 / 30 / MC / 43 / MC / 44
Bradley Dredge: 60 / 59 / MC / MC / 24 / 18 / MC / MC / 20 / 62
David Drysdale: 71 / 30 / 26 / - / 50 / 30 / 41 / 28 / 60 / -
Simon Dyson: 10 / - / MC / MC / 5 / - / - / - / - / 12
Niclas Fasth: 16 / 65 / 40 / 32 / 15 / MC / 11 / MC / 33 / MC
Gonzalo F'dez-Castano: 52 / 7 / 26 / - / - / 6 / 2 / 12 / - / 53
Richard Finch: 16 / 19 / MC / 11 / 50 / - / MC / 45 / - / MC
Mark Foster: MC / 55 / - / 4 / 15 / - / 41 / 19 / 7 / MC
Sergio Garcia: MC / MC / 10 / - / - / - / Won / Won / - / -
Ignacio Garrido: 28 / 2 / 14 / MC / 46 / 51 / 35 / 41 / 26 / MC
Jean-Baptiste Gonnet: 21 / 8 / 18 / 23 / MC / MC / MC / - / 26 / MC
Richard Green: 47 / 30 / 21 / MC / - / - / 41 / MC / - / 12
Anders Hansen: - / 30 / - / - / 2 / - / - / - / - / 16
Gregory Havret: 10 / - / 21 / 40 / 5 / - / 11 / 6 / 33 / 12
Dave Horsey: - / 23 / - / 51 / 5 / - / 11 / MC / 42 / MC
David Howell: MC / MC / 26 / 11 / - / MC / MC / 19 / - / -
Raphael Jacquelin: 16 / MC / 7 / 4 / MC / - / MC / 15 / 5 / 65
Miguel Angel Jimenez: MC / - / 7 / MC / 46 / - / - / 2 / 7 / MC
Pablo Larrazabal: 52 / MC / 47 / 18 / 3 / - / MC / 38 / 20 / 2
Peter Lawrie: 6 / 3 / 47 / - / 22 / - / 27 / 15 / MC / 16
Shane Lowry: 41 / 66 / 18 / MC / 11 / - / MC / 4 / 7 / MC
Joost Luiten: 28 / 3 / 5 / 18 / - / - / 11 / MC / 42 / MC
Matteo Manassero: - / Won / - / - / 29 / 51 / 35 / 28 / 2 / 7
Gareth Maybin: - / 19 / 2 / MC / Ret / 59 / MC / MC / 33 / 7
Damien McGrane: 36 / 30 / 2 / MC / MC / 55 / 41 / MC / 20 / MC
Francesco Molinari: 3 / - / 35 / - / - / 6 / - / 10 / - / Won
Gary Orr: 28 / 13 / - / - / - / - / 27 / - / 52 / 27
Phillip Price: 52 / 19 / - / 63 / 5 / 30 / 54 / MC / 11 / 61
Julien Quesne: 16 / 41 / - / - / - / - / - / - / Won / MC
Robert Rock: 5 / - / 21 / 40 / 29 / - / - / 28 / 17 / 16
Marcel Siem: 77 / 19 / MC / 36 / MC / - / 7 / 38 / 17 / 12
Lee Slattery: - / - / - / MC / MC / Won / - / - / MC / 21
Graeme Storm: 21 / MC / MC / MC / - / 30 / 41 / 15 / 16 / 7
Romain Wattel: - / - / - / 63 / 5 / MC / 8 / 19 / MC / 27
Steve Webster: MC / 38 / 10 / MC / MC / 47 / 27 / 5 / MC / -
Danny Willett: - / - / - / MC / 24 / MC / 20 / 23 / MC / 32
Oliver Wilson: 9 / 23 / 33 / MC / MC / 18 / MC / 23 / 26 / -

Key to events: 1: '10 Madrid Masters (Real Sociedad); 2: '10 Castello Masters (Castellon); 3: '10 Andalucia Masters (Valderrama); 4: '11 Open de Andalucia (Parador de Malaga); 5: '11 Spanish Open (El Prat); 6: '11 Madrid Masters (El Encin); 7: '11 Castello Masters (Castellon); 8: '11 Andalucia Masters (Valderrama); 9: '12 Open de Andalucia (Aloha); 10: '12 Spanish Open (Real Club Sevilla)

SELECTED PLAYERS with POOR to MEDICORE FORM in MAINLAND SPAIN

Last 10 European Tour Strokeplay Events

Player: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10

Fredrik Andersson: MC / MC / - / MC / MC / - / MC / 43 / 33 / 40
Richard Bland: MC / 44 / - / MC / MC / MC / MC / MC / MC / 40
Michael Campbell: Ret / MC / - / MC / - / MC / - / - / MC / MC
Robert Coles: MC / MC / - / MC / 32 / - / 49 / - / MC / MC
Oliver Fisher: 52 / - / - / MC / MC / MC / MC / MC / 42 / Ret
Alastair Forsyth: 36 / 73 / MC / - / - / - / - / - / 47 / -
Jordi G Del Moral: - / - / - / - / 41 / - / - / - / MC / MC
Daniel Gaunt: - / - / - / MC / 55 / 55 / MC / - / - / -
Joakim Haeggman: - / - / - / MC / MC / - / - / - / - / MC
Keith Horne: - / - / - / MC / - / MC / 58 / MC / 42 / -
Mikko Korhonen: - / - / - / 40 / 46 / 47 / - / - / - / -
Sam Little: MC / MC / - / - / - / - / - / - / MC / MC
Mikael Lundberg: MC / 55 / 54 / - / - / - / - / - / MC / MC
Pablo Martin: - / MC / MC / 63 / MC / - / Ret / - / MC / MC
James Morrison: 68 / MC / MC / MC / 36 / - / MC / MC / MC / 32
Adrian Otaegui: - / - / - / - / - / - / MC / - / MC / 40
Mark Tullo: - / - / - / 57 / MC / 37 / MC / - / - / -
Simon Wakefield: - / - / - / MC / 59 / MC / - / - / - / -
Peter Whiteford: 41 / MC / - / MC / 41 / MC / Ret / MC / MC / MC

TOP-10 Finishers at MOST RECENT Strokeplay Tournament (Not Listed Above)

2012 Spanish Open at Real Club Sevilla

Soren Kjeldsen: (T-2nd)
Jorge Campillo: (T-5th)
Markus Brier: (T-7th)

LOWEST 15 STROKE AVERAGES in MAINLAND SPAIN

(Since Jan 1st, 2010 - covers last 12 tournaments)

Average (Rounds)

69.50: Sergio Garcia (16)
70.04: Francesco Molinari (28)
70.17: Joost Luiten (36)
70.39: Gary Orr (28)
70.44: Gonzalo F'dez-Castano (36)
70.50: Matteo Manassero (28)
70.55: Gregory Havret (38)
70.66: Gregory Bourdy (32)
70.74: Mark Foster (34)
70.90: Rafael Cabrera-Bello (40)
70.97: Steve Webster (34)
71.00: Stephen Dodd (32)
71.00: Raphael Jacquelin (36)
71.03: Lorenzo Gagli (30)
71.05: Alejandro Canizares (40)

Min. No. of Rounds = 16

LOWEST 15 AVERAGE TOURNAMENT POSITIONS in MAINLAND SPAIN

(Since Jan 1st 2008 - Strokeplay tournaments only)

Average (Events)

16.92: Francesco Molinari (13)
22.22: Sergio Garcia (9)
28.42: Joost Luiten (12)
30.13: Anders Hansen (8)
33.50: Gonzalo F'dez-Castano (18)
36.00: Soren Kjeldsen (13)
36.78: Edoardo Molinari (9)
37.00: Robert Rock (14)
37.16: Robert-Jan Derksen (19)
37.69: Gregory Bourdy (16)
38.81: Ignacio Garrido (21)
39.31: Miguel Angel Jimenez (16)
39.82: Peter Lawrie (17)
42.45: Simon Dyson (11)
42.85: Gary Orr (13)

Min. No. of Events = 8

El Saler: Par 72; 6,945 yards

Best bets

Sergio Garcia will be out to atone for his Masters disappointment this week but looks a favourite worth taking on.

Garcia shared the first-round lead at Augusta after a sparkling, opening 66, but he was 10 shots worse on Friday and added a 73 to be too far out of contention on the final day.

He did manage to close with a solid 70 to post another top-10 finish in a major, although the exertions of Masters week are likely to take their toll on Garcia, holder Francesco Molinari and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano.

Among those looking to take advantage of a restful week off will be Pablo Larrazabal, who has enjoyed an excellent month on the European Tour.

The 29-year-old has not finished lower than 17th in his last three starts, following up his tie for sixth in Malaysia with a fourth place at the Trophee Hassan II in Morroco.

Larrazabal, joint runner-up in his national open in Seville last year, looks a decent price at 20/1 with Sky Bet, while his compatriot Rafa Cabrera-Bello has been a model of consistency this season and should go well on home soil.

Cabrera-Bello has cashed in six of his seven starts, his missed cut in Agadir being his only finish outside the top 23, and he is likely to attract attention at 35/1.

Tommy Fleetwood (50/1) is building a solid all-round game that has made him a near-certain European Tour winner in waiting, while Ireland's Peter Lawrie is a proven performer in Spain and looks a big price.

Tips:

1pt e.w. Pablo Larrazabal at 20/1 (1/4 1,2,3,4,5)
1pt e.w. Rafa Cabrera-Bello at 35/1 (1/4 1,2,3,4,5)
1pt e.w. Tommy Fleetwood at 50/1 (1/4 1,2,3,4,5)
1pt e.w. Peter Lawrie at 66/1 (1/4 1,2,3,4,5)

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