Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship Betting Tips – 18th January 2018

Publish: 18.10.2018

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2018 on the European Tour began in high quality fashion last week at the BMW SA Open. Englishman, Chris Paisley, claimed his maiden title on tour in South African but rather than going overboard with the celebrations, he jumped on a plane bound for the Middle East.

That’s because Paisely is competing alongside many of the best players in the world at this week’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

The first of the European Tour’s Desert Swing events, the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship is always a star studded affair.

The stars competing at Abu Dhabi Golf Club this week include Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose and world number one, Dustin Johnson. Throw in a selection of other big names, up and coming players and European Tour stalwarts and you’ve got the recipe for another dramatic renewal of this highly respected tournament.

Form in the Desert a Must When Picking a Winner

With so many potential winners in the field, it’s going to take a fair amount of narrowing down to find our betting tips.

On first glance, Abu Dhabi Golf Club looks a real brute at 7,583 yards from the competition tees. As you’d expect, many powerful players have played well at the course in years gone by but it’s far from just a bombers’ paradise.

The greenkeepers like to grow the rough up for the tournament which puts a premium on hitting the fairways. Similarly, hitting a high percentage of greens in regulation is an absolute must as scrambling for par is difficult and the putting surfaces are pure so plenty of birdie putts will drop.

The most important thing to look for when picking a winner though, is previous good form in the desert.

Abu Dhabi GC is an exposed course. When the wind whips up (as it is forecast to do this weekend) it’s a much tougher test and only those who have proven themselves when battling against the desert winds should be taken seriously.

Rory Can Kick Off a Big Year in Style

2017 was a mixed year for Rory McIlroy. His wedding capped a great year personally but things were much tougher on the golf course.

McIlroy picked up a rib injury in his first event of the year and felt the effects all the way through. That injury and a loss of form made it a winless year for the former world number one but things should be much better in 2018.

After an extended break to get fit, McIlroy cannot wait to make up for lost time. He’ll surely return to the winner’s circle and will, once again, be a big player for Europe in the Ryder Cup.

Abu Dhabi is the perfect place for McIlroy to start. He’s finished as the runner-up in this event four times before so it both provides him with good memories and a challenge that he’s yet to crack.

He’ll have to play very well to stop the bookies’ favourite, Dustin Johnson, but a fit McIlroy is a match for any player in the world so back him to win at 8/1 with Betway.

Two Tempting Each-Way Options

Like McIlroy, Kiradech Aphibarnrat arrives in Abu Dhabi fresh and raring to go.

The Thai star is one of the hardest working men in golf in terms of the number of events he plays and although results continued to be strong towards the end of 2017, a break to recharge the batteries can only help.

Aphibarnrat has plenty of desert golf experience and finished fourth in Abu Dhabi last year. He can match that result at least this time around at 50/1 with Betfred.

Ross Fisher is another very tempting each-way option.

The Englishman played some of the best golf of his career last year without actually winning a tournament. Buoyed by his performances in last week’s EurAsia Cup, Fisher will be desperate to get back to winning ways to boost his chances of playing in the Ryder Cup.

He’s got the game to cope with Abu Dhabi GC and should be competitive at 55/1 with Paddy Power.

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