Sicilian success predicted for Fantasy Fourball

3/28/2012 1:01:21 PM
We expect big things from this week's fantasy foursome, but don't forget next week's Masters when picking your team  (EuropeanTour)
We expect big things from this week's fantasy foursome, but don't forget next week's Masters when picking your team (EuropeanTour)
With the season’s first Major looming, the Sicilian Open offers a number of The European Tour’s young up and comers, as well as some of the more established names, a chance to impress and we highlight those who should feature in your European Tour Fantasy Race team this week.

What must not be forgotten, though, is that with five changes available both this week and next, it is important to consider who will be playing in Augusta when choosing your team for this event.

However, for those looking to score you points in Sicily we have a few suggestions, and the first is Belgian Bomber Nicolas Colsaerts who is currently putting together another impressive season on The European Tour. Having had a breakout 2011, picking up his first victory at the Volvo China Open, the man known for his prodigious distance from the tee has already posted two top ten finishes. Colsaerts finished in fourth place at the Volvo Champions in January, narrowly missing out on an all-South African playoff eventually won by Branden Grace, before heading onto the Omega Dubai Desert Classic where he finished ninth. He also made his World Golf Championship debut at the Accenture World Match Play Championship where he finished in a tie for 35th – his worst finish this year. He is therefore clearly once again in a strong vein of form in 2012, and as one of the bigger names in the field, he is undoubtedly one of the men to beat this week.

Next up we think it is worth considering the man they call ‘El Toro’, Joel Sjöholm, who is quickly earning himself a reputation as both an impressive talent as well as a particularly snappy dresser. This refers to his recent predilection to wearing plus twos on the weekend, most notably en route to a ninth place finish at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, as well as last week in Morocco where it was only a disappointing Sunday that kept him from challenging for the title. He will also have good memories from his last trip to Siciliy where he finished fourth, and while this year sees the players head to a different venue, his return to the island should conjure up positive images and possibly even some more title challenging play.

José Manuel Lara will also be heading back to Sicily with happy memories after a third place finish in 2011, and this will complement the form he has shown so far this season with strong finishes at both the Avantha Masters, where he finished fourth, and last week at the Trophée Hassan II where he ended up falling into a tie for ninth after having been in contention right up until the last few holes on Sunday. The Spaniard has won twice on The European Tour, in Hong Kong in 2007 and Austria in 2010, and with that in mind it is about time he won again. He currently lies 42nd on The Race to Dubai, with his best finish being 30th in 2006, and a win here alongside a continuation of his form so far this year could see him better that come season’s end.

Finally we have another Spaniard, who has so far settled in to his first full season on The European Tour with great aplomb, Jorge Campillo. Having finished ninth last year on The Challenge Tour he earned his place this year, and so far he has impressed with four top 40 finishes in 2012. The most impressive of these came at the Avantha Masters in February when he finished second to Jbe’ Kruger with a stunning 66-67 on the weekend, culminating in a storybook chip in on the last for birdie and his best finish on The European Tour so far. Aside from that his performances have been solid and as such it would be no surprise if he were to step it up this week and pick up that first piece of silverware.

These are the stand out players we deem worthy of your teams this week, but if you fancy another couple of names, have a look at defending champ Raphael Jacquelin who will be looking to add to his three European Tour wins, as well as Italy’s Lorenzo Gagli, who after an impressive debut season in 2011 will be looking to get back on track after a slow start to the year.

Whoever you decide upon, don’t forget to take the Masters into account when making your selections, and once you’ve made up your mind sign into My European Tour and amend your team before the deadline on Wednesday.