The European Tour’s Race to Dubai continues this week with the Canary Islands Championship. The inaugural event is the final of three staged in the Canary Islands Swing and the second consecutive week at Costa Adeje, but who will be crowned champion, and who should you have in your Fantasy team?
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Our expert picks will be brought to you every week by Sky Sports Presenter Kit Alexander and former Ladies European Tour player, coach and presenter Sophie Walker. The duo also co-host their own weekly Fantasy Golf Youtube Channel.
Sam Horsfield was asked who is the best ball striker on tour, he named this man. The stats support this claim, Crocker is 12th in SG approach and 9th in SG tee to green.
Since joining the Tour in 2018 the Zimbabwean has improved his Race to Dubai position annually. This year Sean has made 6/7 cuts and just needs his putting to click. Last week things started to change on the greens and he placed 18th. With a greater understanding of the course and conditions I think he can break into the top ten around Costa Adeje GC
The Scotsman surprisingly missed the cut here last week but I can’t see lightning striking twice. Hill has recorded 3 top 5’s in 6 events this year. His stroke average is 68.42 (7th on tour) which is the best in the field. Costa Adeje has six par 3’s which makes Hill’s ranking of 3rd in par-3 scoring this season a significant stat to look at. The 26 year old has won three times on the Challenge Tour, his best finish on the European Tour was 4th in a star studded Saudi Arabia field. Calum’s caddy Phil Morbey (Wobbly) worked for Ian Woosnam during his Masters win, he has also worked alongside Ross Fisher, Matt Wallace and Thorbjorn Olesen.
Winner of last year's Oman Open, the Finn clearly knows how to play in the wind. He hasn’t played much this year but did finish 22nd at this venue last week. Valimaki closed with a 66 which was his best score of the tournament. Research suggests hitting fairways is important to allow for control into the greens around Costa Adeje GC. He averages 60% of fairways and gains on the field in putting. The 2020 Rookie of the year will be looking to kick start his 2021 season this week in Tenerife.
The Finn is getting ever closer to his maiden European Tour win, having recorded two runners-up finishes, two thirds and a fourth since the summer of 2019. The most recent of those was a tied-third at Costa Adeje last week. He’s 12th on Tour in par 3 scoring, 16th in par 5 scoring and 13th in ‘strokes gained - putting’. That sounds like a recipe for success.
The 31-year-old brought this venue to its knees with his -25 total for a first win in four years last week. I would expect him to pick up where he left off, especially against a slightly weaker field. We know his average driving distance of 317.93 yards can conquer the par 5s and he also average just 2.90 on the par 3s – 2nd on Tour.
Following a fourth in Austria, a record-setting win in Gran Canaria and a tied-8th last week, there’s no reason not to stick with the South African. He fits the same statistical profile I’m favouring this week – 10th in par 3 scoring, 4th in par 5 scoring and 3rd in ‘strokes gained - putting’ this season.