The European Tour’s Race to Dubai continues this week with the Gran Canaria Lopesan Open. The inaugural event, which is hosted by Rafa Cabrera Bello, is set up to be an exciting test, but who will be crowned champion, and who should you have in your Fantasy team?
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He maybe English but Sam grew up in Florida so will be used to the weather and grass in Gran Canaria. He recently came back to competition in Kenya where he posted two top 10’s. And the 15th place in Austria last week shows the comeback from shoulder injury is complete. His rehab only allowed him to practice short game which proved beneficial as he ranks 1st in putting this year while his long game has always been strong so I feel the only way is up for this two time European Tour winner
Rafa Cabrera Bello
The local hero is returning to host the Gran Cranaria Open. As you’d expect he knows the course well. In fact the tee’s which the men will play from this week were built especially for Cabrera Bello to practice on during his time at home. They are called “Rafa” tee’s. This season he has recorded a top 5 in Abu Dhabi but not hit the heights on the PGA tour. The world number 112 has struggled tee to green this year but has improved his short game. He is gaining on his putting and sand saves. With a player who is known for his ball striking I can’t think of a better place to return to his comfort zones.
The two-time winner is always dangerous in this kind of field. Migliozzi relishes the limelight and seems to produce his best golf when in contention. He ran close in Qatar with a closing round of 65 to finish 2nd. Guido ranks highly tee to green which will suit Meloneras Golf. The course is protected by the wind and the rough isn’t as penalising as it could be.
The world number 68 has proved his quality with two wins in his first 29 starts on the European Tour – most recently at the Qatar Masters. He’s also backed up the big performances with excellent consistency, recording an additional eight top-25s and no missed cuts in his last 14 events.
The 26-year-old ranks fourth on the European Tour in stroke average at 68.61 from 18 rounds. Those figures have propelled him to three top-8s in his last four starts and 22nd in the Race to Dubai. He’s an excellent putter – 13th in ‘strokes gained - putting’ – and he keeps bogeys off his card.
The American has been a regular and reliable member of my fantasy team this season, with five top-20s in his last six starts, including a runner-up finish at the Magical Kenya Open. His two European Tour wins came at the Mauritius Open and Oman Open – two seaside venues that I think compare favourably to Meloneras.