European Tour Rocco Forte Sicilian Open Betting Preview

Monday, May 7, 2018 9:08 PM UTC

Monday, May. 7, 2018 9:08 PM UTC

Those Europeans golfers who didn’t qualify to take part in the PLAYERS Championship this week head to picturesque Sicily for the Rocco Forte Sicilian Open.

The southwest coast of Sicily is one of the more scenic locales in the world, and for European Tour golfers on the year-long Race to Dubai, it is the site of this week's Rocco Forte Sicilian Open.

Only a year old at the exclusive Verdura Resort, the Sicilian Open once again draws a stellar lineup this weekend -- with reigning champion Alvaro Quirós (who goes off at +2800 at Intertops), European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjørn and World Cup of Golf winner Thorbjørn Olesen among the biggest names teeing it up.

For Bjørn and Olesen, this week marks a tremendous opportunity to add to Denmark's haul of European Tour wins. The 47-year-old Bjørn (a relative longshot at +12500 at Intertops) alone has 15 European Tour titles among his stellar resume, and the 28-year-old Olesen (+1600 at Intertops) earned the first of his four European Tour titles in the 2012 Sicilian Open at Verdura Resort.

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Sicily you are stunning. Awesome venue this week @Verdura_Resort for the #rfsicilianopen on the @EuropeanTour. Has to be one of the most picturesque places we visit all year! Course is in immaculate condition as well! #europeantour #sicily #italy #paradise #callaway #UAgolf

— Matthew Nixon (@mattnixon_golf) May 7, 2018

But those three aren't the only three to keep an eye on in Sicily this weekend. Bettors might also find 2016 European Ryder Cup member Andy Sullivan (the current favorite at +1200) and Eddie Pepperell (+2500), who clinched his first European Tour title at February’s Commercial Bank Qatar Masters, suitable picks.

The homestanding Italians will be at full force in the field, too -- highlighted by Matteo Manassero (+5000), Nino Bertasio (+7500) and Edoardo Molinari (+8000). Manassero, who has won four European Tour titles on his resume, became the youngest winner in European Tour history after earning the 2010 Castello Masters at just 17 years old.

Bertasio is ranked inside the top 65 of this season’s Race to Dubai after becoming an established member of the European Tour in the last three years. Molinari remains a hugely popular figure in Italian golf after a memorable career – which included representing Europe alongside his brother Francesco (who is competing in the PLAYERS Championship) at the 2010 Ryder Cup.

Quirós, meanwhile, will be searching for his eighth European Tour victory and second straight at Verdura. Quirós overcame South African Zander Lombard in a playoff last year to lift the trophy in Sicily, and he is hoping for a repeat of that success when he returns for this year’s tournament. Quiros led by as many as seven in the final round last year before collapsing a bit.

Verdura will offer players a composite course of the best of their 18-hole East and West Courses -- bringing the total layout to 7,217 yards and playing to a par of 71.

Designed by Kyle Phillips, Verdura this week will feature one of the most dramatic closing stretches in world tournament golf, with the final six holes running along the coast and set against the Mediterranean Sea.

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