The Open de Espana is the national open golf championship of Spain and was first contested back in 1912. Since the foundation of the European Tour in 1972, the Open de Espana has been an annual event on the calendar.
The 2015 Open de Espana will be hosted by the Real Club de Golf El Prat, having not been held at the venue since 2011. Former winners of this event include Seve Balesteros, Nick Faldo, Padriag Harrington, Bernhard Langer and Arnold Palmer.
The defending champion is none other than Spain’s Miguel Angel Jimenez. The legendary, cigar smoking Ryder Cup Winner, won the tournament on his 27th attempt, defeating both Richard Green and Thomas Pieters in a play-off. However, the 2015 field is much stronger than last year and Jimenez will be up against it, if he is to become the first player since Max Faulkner in 1953, to retain his title. With that in mind, even at a price of 50/1 with SkyBet, we wouldn’t recommend backing the Spaniard.
Following his play-off defeat at the Players Championship last week, Sergio Garcia comes in to the Open de Espana as heavy favourite. Considering his performance at Ponte Vedra Beach, there is little reason not to back the Spaniard at 5/1 with Bet365. Garcia won the event back in 2002.
Moving down the list of potential winners, the next name that jumps out is that of Thomas Aiken. The South Africa performed well last week, to finish fourth at the Mauritius Open, which was his fourth top ten finish of the year. Add in the fact that Aiken won this event in 2011, on what is probably going to be same course as this year’s tournament, and Aiken makes a tempting prospect at 28/1 with BetVictor.
Elsewhere, it’s difficult to pick out the name of a player who is clearly head and shoulders above the rest to challenge at this event. Victor Dubuisson is so difficult to predict, that backing him at 35/1 with SkyBet seems just too risky and Emiliano Grillo is just too short at 25/1 with the same firm.
Therefore, outside of Garcia and Aiken, we recommend taking a look at Alex Noren and Max Kieffer.
Noren started the year very well and is yet to miss a cut, meaning he is playing with the consistency to at least make the weekend. With that in mind and priced at 40/1 with PaddyPower, the Swede is worth a closer look.
Kieffer has previous finishes of second and fifth at the Open de Espana and is also yet to miss a cut this year. The German clearly has the ability to go close in this event and could so again in 2015. Kieffer is available at 110/1 with Bet365 and could present fantastic value this week.
Sergio Garcia 5/1 Bet365
Thomas Aitken 28/1 BetVictor
Alex Noren each-way 40/1 Paddy Power
Max Kieffer 110/1 Bet365