World number one Rahm is 3/1 to claim the Open de Andalucia this week at Valderrama this week, but he will have been disappointed with his 17th place at the Open de Espana last week when he went off at another short price.
Rahm was unable to get his putter going in the final three rounds in Madrid and, although he finished second in this tournament two years ago when he finished six shots behind South African Christiaan Bezuidenhout, it is not a course that plays to his strengths.
Accurate players who can play precisely in what are expected to be windy conditions are likely to triumph this week and there could be more value further down the market.
Rahm’s Ryder Cup team-mate Matthew Fitzpatrick is available at 12/1 despite the fact he missed the cut in his only appearance here two years ago, while Bernd Wiesberger, who was 31st last year when American John Catlin won, is 18/1.
Bland Can Grind His Way to Victory
One player who looks to have an excellent chance this week is 48-year-old Richard Bland, whose game has been reborn in the last few months.
He won his first European Tour event at the British Masters in May but he has proved his doubters wrong since and should put up another fine show in Sotogrande.
Bland has been relentless among the chasing pack on leaderboards, finishing third in Denmark, fourth in Ireland, 15th in Scotland, third in the Cazoo Classic, fifth in Italy, fourth at the Dunhill Links and ninth in Madrid last week, where he showed his game is in excellent fettle by positing weekend rounds of 64 and 68.
He has risen to 78th in the world rankings and could further boost that standing this weekend at 30/1.
First Win Not Far Away for Schwab
Matthias Schwab has twice finished second on the European Tour at the Turkish Airlines Open and the European Open and this test of accuracy should be right up his street.
The Austrian has been hovering on the edges for much of the season and took a break from the European scene to try his luck on the Korn Ferry Tour in America, where he finished a creditable eighth in the tour finals.
That Stateside experience plainly boosted his confidence because he followed that with a decent 12th at the European Tour’s flagship event, the PGA Championship at Wentworth.
He could give punters a decent run for their money at 30/1.
Straight-Hitting Zanotti Can Flourish
Alejandro Canizares at 100/1 and Edouardo Molinari at 90/1 could make bold bids but Paraguay’s Fabrizio Zanotti should have all the tools in the bag to be a factor.
He has won twice on the European tour – his last triumph was in the Maybank Championship in February 2017, and his ability to hit the ball straight should prove a valuable asset on this week’s course.
Zanotti’s form is good with a 27th in Italy and 20th at Wentworth, and he closed with a 65 to finish 12th last week, so this could be the time it all comes together and he is worth supporting at 50/1.
*All odds correct at time of writing.