After a couple of weeks off from giving all you European Tour Fantasy Race gamers the inside scoop on who is going to contend, we are back for the Castelló Masters with what is a very strong line-up for anybody looking to freshen up their team.
With Tom Lewis’s victory just this last week it is difficult not to think back to another young gun that burst onto the scene some 12 years ago now, one Sergio Garcia
. Not only did he pick up two European Tour wins back in 1999, but he also announced himself on the world stage by taking Tiger Woods all the way on Sunday at the US PGA Championship in Medinah, and the success that followed is something that the Tour’s newest champion Lewis would no doubt like to replicate.
Although it has been a quiet couple of seasons for Garcia, he has started to show some signs in 2011 that he is back in business. He has racked up four top tens in ten events, including a loss in a play-off at the BMW International Open to a fellow Spaniard who we will mention shortly, with two of those top tens coming at Major Championships. Couple this with the fact that he is tournament host this week, and has won here in the past (2008), and this could be the week that the one they once called ‘El Nino’ breezes back into the winners’ circle this Sunday.
Fellow home favourite this week, and conqueror of Garcia in Munich, is two-time Tour winner and fellow swashbuckler Pablo Larrazábal
. After bursting onto the scene in 2008 with his stunning Alstom Open de France victory, after having had to pre-qualify, this Barcelona native struggled for a couple of seasons to come to terms with his new status. However, 2011 has been a real resurgence for a player who on his day is as exciting as anyone to watch in world golf. Not only has he picked up his second Tour win at the BMW International Open, having beaten one of his heroes in the process, but he has also had five other top tens, and a further four top 20s. The highlight of these came when he lost in a five way play-off to eventual victor Thomas Björn at the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles. Since then he has been a little quiet, but a solid 11th last week in Portugal, and the fact he is on home soil could be just the thing he needs to add Spanish success to his ever increasing reputation on The European Tour.
Someone else who showed a resurgence of sorts last week in Portugal was the ever stylish and Gallic Grégory Havret
. It is over a year since he almost stole Major McDowell’s thunder at Pebble Beach, and since then it has certainly been a mixed bag for the Frenchman who has not won since the 2008 Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles. However, last week was his fourth top ten of 2011, aided by a flawless round of 64 on Sunday that saw him finish third and suggests that it might not be long until he finds himself in the winners’ enclosure once again. He also has some Spanish form, finishing fifth at the Open de España in May of this year, which is even more reason to throw this Frenchman in your team this week.
And if you want someone else to throw in on a bit of an educated whim, then we have just the man for you – Mr Johan Edfors
. When he’s on form all you need do is point him at the target and let him go but when it’s off it can be a little more, shall we say, flamboyant. He is clearly a proven winner, dominating the Challenge Tour in 2003 with two victories, and following that up with a triumvirate of triumphs on The European Tour in 2006 that saw him finish a lofty tenth on the money list. Since then however it has been a little more sedate, but 2011 has seen five top tens and some near Spanish success when he finished a stroke adrift of Paul Lawrie at the Open de Andalucía de Golf by Turkish Airlines. He also showed some glimpses of superb scoring last week, shooting three rounds in the 60s, and is therefore very much an exciting man to watch this week.
The final man on the list is Irish model of consistency Peter Lawrie
who once again in 2011 is putting together a very solid season. He may have only won once on The European Tour, and in Spain no less, but he has come close a number of other times with three seconds and two thirds since his Open de España triumph in 2008. He came closest to victory this season at the Volvo China Open, coming up four shots adrift of Nicolas Colsaerts in second place, but also finished well at his home Open in July finishing eighth. It is by no means a guarantee that Lawrie will contend this week, but it would certainly surprise nobody if he were to be picking up the trophy on Sunday night.
As always, if you don’t like the look of the above selections, then you can use our Form Guides
to make the decision that little bit easier for yourself.
Whichever way you choose, and whoever you listen to, log onto or sign up for My European Tour
and pick your European Tour Fantasy Race
team for this week’s Castelló Masters and you could still win one of our weekly or monthly prizes.