Latest Scores & Betting Odds
Dustin Johnson -15
Justin Rose -13
Tony Finau -13
Calum Hill -12
Victor Perez -12
Rasmus Højgaard -11
Ryan Fox -11
Tyrrell Hatton -11
Thomas Pieters -10
George Coetzee -10
for the Saudi
Dustin Johnson 4/7
Tony Finau 9/1
Tyrrell Hatton 9/1
Victor Perez 10/1
Viktor Hovland 14/1
Andy Sullivan 18/1
Sergio Garcia 22/1
Martin Kaymer 40/1
Ryan Fox 45/1
George Coetzee 50/1
Bryson Dechambeau 60/1
Justin Rose 60/1
Soren Kjeldsen 66/1
Callum Hill 70/1
Laurie Canter 70/1
David Horsey 125/1
Ian Poulter 150/1
Bernd Wiesberger 150/1
Matthew Southgate 150/1
Kevin Na 150/1
Stephen Gallacher 200/1
Kurt Kitayama 200/1
Paul Casey 250/1
Robert MacIntyre 250/1
Shane Lowry 300/1
Thomas Pieters 300/1
Lee Westwood 300/1
Ashun Wu 500/1
Rasmus Højgaard 500/1
Fabrizio Zanotti 500/1
Chris Paisley 500/1
Wilco Nienaber 750/1
Tommy Fleetwood 750/1
Thomas Detry 1000/1
Steven Brown 1000/1
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The desert swing of the European Tour heads to Saudi Arabia and the Red Sea on its west coast, teeing up at the Royal Greens Golf and Country Club that has had a bit of a stop start history. Designer Dave Sampson started the project back in 2008 when sixteen of the holes where shaped but with the global recession hitting hard that year development was stopped.
Work recommenced in 2014 and the course and clubhouse with its fantastic panoramic view of the Red Sea finally opened for play at the end of 2017. I think we can expect low scoring this week with the course coming in at 6900-yard from the tips, but strategy will play a bit part with the numerous wadi features meander through the course.
The wadi’s are there to help alleviate storm drainage from the golf course and the residential neighbourhoods with each wadi running into one of four salt water lakes and have been aesthetically incorporated into the design of the course.
As you can image with the Red Sea and the juxtaposed position of lush grass against the stark desert the course offers some wonderful holes and stunning beauty none more so than the Par 3, 16th which runs along the shore of the Red Sea.
Other holes to look out for are the 470-yard 6th, which is the longest and toughest par four on the card, which doglegs left to the green and the 427-yard 15th another dogleg left hole that’s situated close to the beach. Both nines finish with a par 5 with water running down the left of the 18th and is a fitting finally to a stunning course.
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My tips to Win:
There is no doubt that Dustin Johnson 11/2 – with SportingBet – will be favourite here this week with his win in the inaugural event and then following that up with a runner-up finish here last year and it seems Dustin doesn’t have too much of a problem teeing it up after a long-haul flight. This will be Dustin’s second tournament of the year after finishing just outside the Top 10 at the Sentry Tournament of Champions
The last time Bryson Dechambeau 9/1 – with 888Sport – played in this event he teed it up the week before at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic which he hasn’t done this year, so it will be interesting to see if he can replicate Dustin’s resilience of stepping off a long-haul flight and competing in a different time zone without acclimatising. No doubt all eyes will be on Dechambeau with his power game and it will also be his second event of the year after a seventh-place finish also at the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
After a horrendous start in Dubai and looking like he may miss the cut Tyrrell Hatton 12/1 – with UniBet – came back with a second round 64, to not only make the cut but put himself back in contention at last weeks Omega Dubai Desert Classic. Although that challenge didn’t materialise, I think the newly crowned Abu Dhabi HSBC Champion will be in the thick of it again this week.
A couple of bad mistakes see Robert MacIntyre 33/1 – with BetFred – challenge collapse at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic at the weekend, but I am sure the Scot will take a lot of positives from the tournament and certainly from his playing partner and eventual winner Paul Casey on how to construct a final round under pressure. Robert missed the cut here last year, but in his current form I expect him to be challenging again this week.
I am going to stick with Christiaan Bezuidenhout 45/1 – with SportingBet – again this week, I did think the South African would have put in more of a challenge in Dubai at the weekend and although he did play under par golf that one low round just eluded him. But it shows how far he has come that he will be disappointed with his two Top 25 finishes from his two starts so far this year.
There has been a nice progression in Rasmus Højgaard 80/1 – with UniBet – last two starts finishing in the Top 25 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship and following that up with a Top 10 at the weekends Omega Dubai Desert Classic. Rasmus missed the cut in this event last year but I think it’s a different player that will be turning up this week after his two wins at the Afrasia Bank Mauritius Open and the ISPS Handa UK Championship.
Try Gavin Green 200/1 – with BetFred
As always good luck
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