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Francesco Molinari
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Playing the Tips

Expert Picks: Italian Open

by Dave Tindall
Updated On: October 8, 2019, 9:41 am ET

Each week, Dave Tindall and Matt Cooper will give their picks for the two main European Tour options – DraftKings and the official season-long 2019 Fantasy Race to Dubai game run by europeantour.com.

The latter is no-salary. Simply select a team of six golfers and nominate a captain whose points are doubled. Points are based on official Race to Dubai points earned by your players.

The DraftKings lineups will be entered into a large-entry Guaranteed Prize Pool. That means we need to take a risk or two, in order to separate ourselves from the field. 

The idea is to provide you a list of names to consider. We would not recommend copying these teams, golfer for golfer. Duplicate teams are no fun and don't help anyone.

Dave Tindall



Francesco Molinari ($10,900) – Simply the most reliable pick in the entire field to give a healthy return. Top 20 in 12 of the last 14 Italian Opens. Current form trending nicely.

Matt Wallace ($9,600) – Has a thing for Italian courses and this lengthy one should play into his hands. Fourth in this event in 2017 and could go even closer to victory here.

Christiaan Bezuidenhout ($8,500) – If you want a tree-lined specialist, how about the man who won at Valderrama and added third at Wentworth.

Guido Migliozzi ($7,500) – One of the surprise packages of the season (two wins) now gets a home game. Price looks a bargain.

Edoardo Molinari ($7,200) Unlike his brother, Edoardo owns a win at this week's course, Olgiata. Top 25 in Spain last week added to his sustained upturn in form.

Steven Brown ($6,200) – A very acceptable cheap option. Brown has made three of his last four cuts and was T12 here in a Challenge Tour event on his last visit.

Total salary: $49,900

On the cusp: Shane Lowry ($10,300), Danny Willett ($10,000), Andrea Pavan ($9,200), HaoTong Li ($8,300), Jordan Smith ($8,300), Francesco Laporta ($6,500)


2019 Fantasy Race to Dubai – European Tour

Last week: My spectacular ability to choose the wrong captain continues. The whole world picked Rahm; I went Garcia. A drop outside the top 3,000. Must do better.

Pos: 3,118th

Matt Wallace (captain): I'll give Wallace the poisoned chalice this week. Hopefully he can wear it with pride as he loves Italy. Has three Alps Tour wins in the country and T4 in this event when a much lesser player two years ago.

Francesco Molinari: Some players wilt in front of their home fans; others thrive. Two-time Italian Open winner Molinari is very much in the latter camp and his game is getting sharp again. 

Andrea Pavan: Not just from Italy, Pavan is a local Roman so knows this course very well. He'll head back there playing some superb form so the planets looked aligned.

Shane Lowry: Wearing the glow of being an Open champion rather nicely now and this looks a good track for him.

Paul Casey: Has a win and a T11 at tree-lined Wentworth on his last two starts and his long, straight driving should make his first start in Italy a successful one.

Justin Rose: None of the windy, cold weather of Scotland to blow him off course so expecting something similar to his tied eighth at Wentworth.


Matt Cooper



Shane Lowry ($10,300) – Olgiata, this week’s venue, is tree-lined and Lowry has a raft of top 20s at Wentworth, Woburn, Valderrama and Firestone among others.

Erik van Rooyen ($9,500) – Ian Poulter and Edoardo Molinari have both won at Olgiata and also Royal Golf Dar es Salam, a track Van Rooyen has come close to winning at twice.

Christiaan Bezuidenhout ($8,500) – He’s missed three cuts since the middle of May, all of them on linksland. In contrast, he’s been superb among the trees.

Justin Harding ($7,400) – Broke a run of three missed cuts with T7 last week in Madrid. If he’s back to the form of mid-2018 through early-2019 he’s great value.

Mikko Korhonen ($7,300) – Made eight cuts on the bounce and has course experience: T35 and T8.

Sebastian Soderberg ($6,900) – Another with course experience (T3 in 2015) and after winning in Crans he’s made three cuts: T70-T64-T34.

Total salary: $49,900

On the cusp: Francesco Molinari ($10,900), Danny Willett ($10,000), Matt Wallace ($9,600), Andrea Pavan ($9,200), Mike Lorenzo-Vera ($8,600), Matthias Schwab ($8,200)


2019 Fantasy Race to Dubai – European Tour

Last week: Jon Rahm’s imperious win was popular with me since he held the armband and another four T7 or better contributed to solid progress inside the top 300.

Position: 265th

Shane Lowry (captain): In addition to the fondness for tree-hugging, the Irishman looks set to finally rub the last of the rust off. Played well at Wentworth and the Dunhill Links after poor first rounds.

Francesco MolinariHe’s played four rounds in his last nine starts (admittedly sometimes it was part of the rules). But mostly? 13 top 25 finishes in 18 tournament starts, seven of them top tens.

Justin RoseEasy to think that he’s not performing that well, but seven top 30s in his last nine starts is solid and I want him on side should he excel.

Paul Casey11 of his last 12 starts have been top 30s and his most recent ET form is strong: a win in the European Open and T11 in the BMW PGA Championship.

Erik van Rooyen: Had a poor start at the Dunhill Links, but ended with a 64, much more like the form that saw him grab six consecutive top 20s before that week.

Christiaan BezuidenhoutTo flesh out my thoughts from above, he won at Valderrama, was third at Eichenried, third too at Wentworth. Good pointers for this week, I suspect.

Dave Tindall
Dave Tindall is former golf editor at Sky Sports.com in the UK and has been writing betting previews for the European Tour since 1997. He can be reached via e-mail on tindall_david@hotmail.com and on Twitter @davetindallgolf.