The 40th renewal of the Open de Espana gets going on Thursday, with Miguel Angel Jimenez an interesting 20/1 proposition for European Tour success.
This year’s tournament is sure to be particularly emotional, as it comes a year after the passing of Spanish legend Seve Ballesteros, who has more European Tour victories than anybody else in history.
His compatriot Jimenez will be fired up to emulate the inspirational Ballesteros in light of this, and the 48-year-old’s experience will stand him in good stead to handle the occasion.
Jimenez is searching for a 20th career European Tour triumph, after previously achieveing four victories on the Tour circuit on Spanish soil.
An Open de Espana (Spanish Open) accolade still eludes him however, though there would be no more fitting way for the veteran to land his 20th Tour win than at this week’s Real Club de Golf de Sevilla tournament.
His form at the course is impressive, with joint-fourth and joint-17th finishes the results in his last two Spanish Open outings at this venue.
Francesco Molinari is tournament favourite meanwhile, attributed a 14/1 price amidst a decent US Masters showing that saw him finished tied for 19th place.
The Italian has two previous European Tour victories to his name, and inclusion in Europe’s Ryder Cup squad of 2010 demonstrates the pedigree he will bring to this competition.
Elsewhere, at longer odds, Irishman Shane Lowry could represent a value chance at 50/1.
Lowry continues to impress in his pursuit of a second European Tour title, and his runner-up finish to Darren Clarke in Mallorca last year showed his penchant for performing in Spain.
Defending champion Thomas Aiken is afforded the same price as Lowry meanwhile, as the South African bids to rescue a disappointing season so far, though his retention chances look slim away from the Real Club de Golf El Prat that was so well suited to his game.