The European Tour rolls on this week with the M2M Russian Open in, well, Russia unsurprisingly. It is far from the biggest or most glamourous tournament on the European Tour calendar as the tour goes through something of a dip before the season ending Race to Dubai finals get underway in earnest. Still, David Horsey will be looking to carry on with an impressive run of form and defend his title. This week is also the first event in which ranking points for the 2016 Ryder Cup Team are up for grabs although if too many of the players in the field make Darren Clarke’s team it is fair to say the USA would be ranked as huge favourites with many of Europe’s finest in the US for the Deutsche Bank Championship.
The venue for this week’s action is the Skolkovo Golf Club which is fairly close to the centre of Moscow. Jack Nicklaus designed the parkland course which is expected to play fairly easy for those players making the trip to compete. Expect a high number of birdies across the 7,025 yard par 71 track and even the odd eagle or two over the very reachable par fives. The combined yardage of the par fives is just 1,697 yards so the bigger hitters in the field should be taking advantage by giving themselves looks at eagle putts.
Although Horsey is the defending champion he will have to master a brand new course to hold onto his title. Horsey’s recent win at the Made in Denmark was impressive enough but he certainly gave the rest of the field enough chances to steal the win away from him. Given that it is a new course, it is difficult to ascertain exactly what to look for in terms of a winner so form looks to be as good a place to start as any. Horsey has the sort of recent form you would want about a player before parting with any money on them and he certainly has the quality to rise to the top of this field so Bet365’s 14/1 looks a fair enough price.
The only player to be priced shorter than Horsey in the outright market is Maximillian Kieffer. The German is currently ranked 46th on the Race to Dubai rankings which reflects the steady if unspectacular season that he has had. The 25-year-old is winless on the European Tour but he has become known for his consistency as he has yet to miss the cut in any of the 19 events he’s taken part in. Back in May Kieffer showed what he is capable of by breaking the course record at the very difficult Royal County Down and at 10/1 with Ladbrokes this could be the perfect place for his maiden win.
Edoardo Molinari can tell the rest of the field exactly what it’s like to be part of a Ryder Cup team. He was part of the winning 2010 European team and would dearly love to reach those sorts of heights once again. ‘Dodo’ has really struggled for form this season but the added incentive of Ryder Cup points could be just the thing to kick him into gear. He’s 50/1 with BetVictor which looks a big price in this company.