• Betting Bunker

Colsaerts to join McIlroy's charge

Josh Williams September 12, 2012
Nicolas Colsaerts was a captain's pick for the Ryder Cup © Getty Images
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Click here to bet on the KLM Open at bet365

While Rory McIlroy continues to fire a volley of warning shots on American soil, a handful of his European Ryder Cup team-mates are fine-tuning themselves in more understated fashion at this week's Italian Open.

Francesco Molinari, Nicolas Colsaerts and Martin Kaymer - who will tee it up at Medinah later this month - are all in the field and, unsurprisingly, head up the betting. Golf punters aren't spoiled for choice this week, with the PGA Tour taking a break - probably so they can dust off the hype machine ahead of the $10 million Tour Championship.

Kaymer played solidly last week at the KLM Open - finishing 21st, with two rounds in the 60s - without doing quite enough to silence his critics. It was a decent performance, but also one that extended his run without a top-ten: he has not managed one on the European Tour since April.

Williams' wager

  • Nicolas Colsaerts E/W - 12/1 at bet365

While it may seem a little harsh to pick holes in his game, it should be remembered that he is a former world No. 1 who is now ranked 32nd and, generally, finds himself floundering.

If he wants to find himself in a prominent role in the Ryder Cup, he will need to show skipper Jose Maria Olazabal this week that he can still deliver. This is his last tournament before the biennial battle with America commences.

For Kaymer at his best, the Royal Park course in Turin is a fine fit: it's a course that gives up birdies generously (winning score last year was Robert Rock's 21-under), so you need to hit your greens and convert chances more often than not. It's no good missing and then pulling off miraculous scrambles.

Nicolas Colsaerts stands out for me: an aggressive golfer who can place his iron shots, and who is performing well enough at the moment to give his putts a confident roll. He's in the top ten of the greens in regulation standings, smacks the ball over 300 yards on average, and was third at the tournament in 2010. Can't beat that. Good luck!

Please note that odds are correct at time of publication and are subject to change.

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Josh Williams is an assistant editor of ESPN.co.uk