While we are technically on the European Tour, the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship is one of the few golf tournaments that attracts a strong field from both sides of the Atlantic so it is the logical destination for this week’s preview.
First held in 2006, the 2017 version saw Tommy Fleetwood take an early win at the start of a productive year and while the Englishman is back, our previous runner-up heads the betting odds this time.
Dustin Johnson finished in a tie for second here last year along with Pablo Larrazabal. The pair were one shot behind Fleetwood but after Johnson’s emphatic opening win in the Sentry Tournament of Champions, the World number one is our 5/1 favorite this week.
Behind DJ, the top rated USA sportsbooks have the British pairing of Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy locked at the same price of 8/1. The two enjoyed very different campaigns in 2017 with Rose just missing out on the Race to Dubai and the US Masters while Rory had a dismal 12 months.
It’s going to be a fascinating year for McIlroy who claims that health issues will not derail a positive return but we are not going to be backing him just yet, despite a good record in this event that has seen him claim no fewer than four runners up slots
Behind the top three a gap opens up before we find 2016 Open Champion Henrik Stenson at the head of the chasing pack and then, very close behind is our first former winner of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.
In fact, England’s Paul Casey is a double winner of this event and while his last victory came in 2009, it is rare for him to deliver anything other than a single figure finish. So he is worth noting for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship Top 10 betting markets.
At a similar 20/1 mid-range price is reigning champion Fleetwood who carries around the same odds to retain the Race to Dubai in 2018. That may surprise some punters but it reflects a late drop in form that almost allowed Justin Rose to take the accolade as Europe’s best golfer.
Further back is Tyrrell Hatton who was in contention for victory here last year before a poor finish dropped the Englishman down to 13th. Hatton has this potential to blow up but after recording back to back wins, starting with a successful defence of the Alfred Dunhill in October, we are expecting big things from him in 2018.
Other strong players from the European Tour in 2017 appear in the 25/1 to 33/1 section and they include Matthew Fitzpatrick, Branden Grace and Martin Kaymer. Kaymer won this event three times in four years and although he hasn’t been as competitive since that run came to an end in 2011, any multiple winners are worth considering for the latest renewal.
With last week’s winner of the Sony Open, Patton Kizzire, coming home as a real long shot, it proves how lucrative golf betting can be at times. Picking a winner from the rank outsiders is tough however but there are some players that could convert in Abu Dhabi.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat (45/1) isn’t priced quite as high as Kizzire was but the Thai golfer found his best form at the end of 2017 while Ross Fisher is another consistent player in all parts of the world. Meanwhile, Pablo Larrazabal was the joint runner-up last year and with the Spaniard winning this event in 2014, he is a very distant option that cannot be ruled out.
Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship Course, Betting Trends, Predictions & Picks
We are back at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club this week and a course that has hosted this event since its inception. It is a lengthy par 72 at 7,600 yards but like most venues around the globe, power hitting shouldn’t be a factor among this current crop of golfers.
So what are we looking for when considering our Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship predictions this week? As Tommy Fleetwood, and many others before him have shown, the key stat on this course is Greens in Regulation. Fleetwood was first for GIR twelve months ago and this should be pivotal for the 2018 renewal.
With that in mind, while it’s tempting to stay with the favorite after his opening win on Tour, there is little value in Dustin Johnson’s 5/1 betting odds so we are looking for Justin Rose to carry the momentum that saw late, back-to-back wins in Europe.
Meanwhile, two old favorites, Paul Casey and Tyrrell Hatton are the picks for the Top Ten market this week. These are our Abu Dhabi golf predictions & picks: