The European Tour travels to the sun-soaked Canary Islands this week, as the Gran Canaria Lopesan Open returns to the schedule for the first time since 1995.
The tournament is the first of three to be played in quick succession on the Spanish archipelago off the coast of northwestern Africa, where local man Rafael Cabrera-Bello has been a popular choice in the markets.
However, our Gran Canaria Lopesan Open predictions have lined up two more interesting alternatives.
Gran Canaria Lopesan Open predictions and betting tips
Gran Canaria Lopesan Open course guide and where to watch
Course: Meloneras Golf, Gran Canaria, Spain
Where to watch: Live on Sky Sports Main Event and Golf from 2pm on Thursday
Gran Canaria Lopesan Open winner prediction: Kurt Kitayama at 25/1
The European Tour has moved to the Canary Islands for three new tournaments, starting with the Gran Canaria Lopesan Open at Meloneras Golf, and local man Rafael Cabrera-Bello has been a popular selection.
Cabrera-Bello, born in Gran Canaria and still owning an apartment in Las Palmas, knows the course better than most of the field, but has been struggling for form, and preference is for Kurt Kitayama and Antoine Rozner.
Kitayama has made a barnstorming start to this year, forcing his way back into the world’s top 100 with a series of solid performances, including 12th place in the Saudi International, ninth in the Qatar Masters and second in the Kenya Open.
Last week, the Californian closed with a 69 for 15th place in the Austrian Open, and the two-time European Tour champion has headed to Gran Canaria carrying plenty of confidence. Given that his maiden Tour triumph came on a breezy island in the Mauritius Open, there is every reason to believe Kitayama will take a shine to Meloneras Golf.
His second success was in the 2019 Oman Open, which is staged on a track with paspalum grass – the type used at Meloneras. Kitayama can do plenty of damage on the three driveable par-fours at Meloneras.
Gran Canaria Lopesan Open alternative prediction: Antoine Rozner at 16/1
The same can be said of Rozner, who is in the form of his life. The Frenchman won the Qatar Masters a month ago, then jetted off for his WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play debut, beating Bryson DeChambeau and Si Woo Kim.
Those scalps have added an extra layer of self-belief to an improving player who has a good record in Spain, where he won a Challenge Tour event in 2019. Rozner could easily make it three victories in eight European Tour starts by topping the leaderboard in Gran Canaria on Sunday.
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