January 15th, 2019

Abu Dhabi Golf Championship Preview:

 

By Angus Macartney

 

The impressive trio: Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Tommy Fleetwood headline the field here in Dubai for the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship.

Fleetwood arrives as past champion and the two Americans both have huge pedigree as former world No.1s. Although they could take some beating this week, I believe we have found some value further down the betting.

 

Louis Oosthuizen 18/1 EW

 

If you are looking for a fast starter in January then Louis is your man. I was impressed to find out that the Springbok has won his first event of the calendar year on four occasions. This means that he uses the off season well and is meticulous in his preparation to start his season off as well as possible.

It is a big year for Louis with the President’s Cup to play and he will look to find form before an event that is very important to him.

Accuracy off the tee this week is essential. Fairways are generally quite tight and well bunkered so there is a premium on accuracy off the tee. Oosthuizen has proven consistently to have one of the most reliable swings on tour.

Stats wise, a key trend in past winners was their bogey avoidance. Fleetwood last year for example, had just two over the four days. We can conclude that a disciplined strategy and quality ball striking are key components to a successful week in Abu Dhabi – Louis definitely fits the bill.

I have real belief in the South African’s chances, if he can make his fair share of putts, he will be a very hard man to beat.

 

Thomas Pieters 20/1 EW

 

I can’t say I am the biggest fan of Thomas Pieters, he has such ability and hasn’t been able to convert his talent into consistent results.

However, with the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship in question, Pieters has found a venue he clearly loves and has had consistent results at. The Dane has finished in the top 5 on three of his last four outings. This obviously makes him very hard to ignore given his record.

In addition, he did put together an impression run towards the end of 2018 – has Thomas finally found the recipe for consistent success? He posted top 20s in China, Turkey and Dubai as well as dominating the World Cup with teammate Detry.

If he continues with this form he will be a big threat to the field over the weekend at a course which clearly suits his game.

 

Rafael Cabrera Bello 28/1 EW

 

The Spaniard certainly fits the description of player I expect to do damage this week. His game has been designed on consistency and minimising errors.

Critics suggest he should have won more, I do agree with these criticisms. However, he is a past champion of the Dubai Desert so he has found memories of travelling, playing well and winning in these parts.

He has made the cut in all but one of his visits here and he should give us some each way value with a charge over the weekend.

 

For all your golf bets this week check out Toals.com