Rookie strength means Continental Europe to win Seve Trophy
Continental Europe may have lost the last five renewals of the Seve Trophy, but they are rightly favourites to win the team event this year and their rookies can inspire them to victory.
Despite Sergio Garcia and Martin Kaymer among the big-name casualties, Jean Van de Velde has managed to assemble what on paper looks like the stronger team.
Led by the in-form Thomas Bjorn, who has triumphed in his last two events, and Ryder Cup veteran Miguel Angel Jimenez, the Continental Europe team has impressive leadership.
However, it could be how their rookies perform which could prove the key area to decide the whereabouts of the Seve Trophy.
Both teams have four rookies apiece, but Van de Velde can call upon the precocious talents of Matteo Manassero, while Alex Noren, Pablo Larrazabal and Nicolas Colsaerts bring a wealth of European Tour experience and some victories.
This cannot be said of the Great Britain & Ireland, who will be relying on the relatively unknown quartet outside golf circles of Mark Foster, Jamie Donaldson, David Horsey and Scott Jamieson to make bold showings.
Great Britain & Ireland will also be without Luke Donald, Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell, meaning that there will be extra pressure on Lee Westwood if Paul McGinley’s team are to extend their dominance in the Seve Trophy in recent years.
It is 8/11 in the golf odds that Continental Europe win the Seve Trophy, with Great Britain & Ireland 11/10.
Other markets include who will finish as the top points scorer for the overall event and which player will accrue the most points for each respective team.
If Continental Europe are to win then there is a strong likelihood that one of their team members will score the most points at the Golf de Saint-Nom-la-Breteche venue in Paris.
With Bjorn in such good form, he looks a big price in this market at 16/1, with Manassero 12/1 as he bids to lay down a marker as to why is should be in the European team for the 2012 Ryder Cup against the US at the Medinah Country Club in Illinois.