The European Tour heads to Italy this weekend, with Francesco Molinari battling to retain his title. He became the first Italian to win his home open twice, but there’s a packed field looking to prevent him from taking a third victory. With the Race to Dubai coming to a close, just who will walk away with a victory this weekend?
The Italian Open is raising in stature once again, and there’s a potentially great battle for this title coming up. While Molinari is the defending champion, he’s not favourite to walk away with the title on Sunday. On top of that, he’s also not in the kind of form necessary to mark himself out as a contender this weekend. It’s likely that we’ll see a different name leading the way at the close, but just who is in the frame to top the leader board this weekend?
Another win for Rahm?
The bookmakers have marked out Jon Rahm as one to watch here, with the Spaniard priced at 7/1 with Betfair. He picked up July’s player of the month award after success at the Irish Open, while the following month he hit a career high of fifth place in the world rankings. He may not yet have a track record at major events to back him up, but the Spaniard has managed to claim victories on each side of the Atlantic. He claimed the Farmers Insurance Open on the PGA Tour earlier this year, before his win in Ireland over the summer. Not only did he win both, but each victory came by a comfortable margin, showing his class overall.
It’s hard to oppose Rahm here, especially as he’s been building up to this competition with some solid finishes. He’s recorded four straight top 10 finishes, three of which saw him in the top five. He claimed those results on the PGA Tour as well, which should mark him out as a contender for this weekend. There are few on the European Tour who will be in the right kind of shape to match the favourite, and he’s surely going to at least contend here. We can see Rahm taking well to the conditions in Milan, so we’re backing him at 7/1 with Betfair as our main tip for the Italian Open.
Can an outsider contend?
If you’re looking for a bigger price ahead of this tournament, we think Irishman Paul Dunne is worth considering. He is priced at 33/1 with Coral going in to Milan this weekend. He edged out Rory McIlroy to take the British Masters title earlier this month, having lost a play-off for his first European Tour title in April.
Dunne may have lifted his first title this season, but he’s recorded a few other top 10 finishes. That makes us think he could be in the frame here, and he does seem a tad overpriced given that he’s coming off such a big win. We’re going with Dunne as our each-way bet ahead of this weekend.