Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship - Golf Betting Preview
Can Tommy Fleetwood make it a hat-trick of titles at the 2019 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship or can twice runner-up Henrik Stenson finally claim the crown having competed in every one of the 14 editions of this most prestigious of golf tournaments?
Those are just two of the questions to ponder as golf fans peruse the betting markets ahead of the tournament tee-off on the 16th January. World No 1 Brooks Koepka is amongst the top picks as is former US Open champion Dustin Johnson. The European Tour returns as the Rolex Series Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship gets the 2019 golf calendar underway, so what can we expect? Get golf betting odds for all 2019 events with Bet UK's sports betting. You can also get golf betting tips for all major golf events at Bet UK's sports betting blog.
The National Course at Emirates Golf Club lies in the capital Abu Dhabi and has been home to the championships which began in 2006. The course consists of lush fairways, undulating greens and there are more than 90 challenging bunkers laid out to test the world’s best.
The National Course plays at par-72 and covers 7,334 yards. Most consider the layout to be a tough but fair challenge with generous greens offering to tempt those playing a tactical attacking game. There are inland saltwater lagoons and a sprinkling of palm trees and strategically placed vegetation to catch any wayward shots from the tee.
The par-3 12th is perhaps the most visually pleasing hole on the course. A rock wall protects the green which lies ahead of a lake which must be cunningly negotiated. But it is the 18th which will provide a stunning finale to each round with the beautiful clubhouse lying in wait for those who are ready for a little refreshment at the 19th.
The Big Names
The finest golfers in the game are once again gathering in Abu Dhabi to compete for the £7,000,000 prize pot. Two of the world's top three are in action, with Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson both featuring. But, back-to-back winner Tommy Fleetwood will be the pick of many after his stellar 2018.
Crowd favourite Rory McIlroy sits this one out having been runner-up five times at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. The Northern Irishman has already set his stall out for 2019 though with a strong showing at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier in the month. McIlroy tied for fourth along with Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas.
Brooks Koepka finished one shot further back in Hawaii and is in the field in Abu Dhabi. One of golf’s hottest properties after winning half of the Majors last year, the 28-year-old ominously signed off 2018 by claiming he can only get better.
There are a plethora of other household names on show with Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter and Tyrrell Hatton amongst the 2018 Ryder Cup stars. Henrik Stenson has tended to play well in the Middle East and ranks the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship as one of his favourite tournaments on the Tour.
A Sign Of Things To Come?
January always gets the golfing calendar off to a fascinating start with all eyes on who might begin the year showing form they can carry into the big events later in the summer. But it’s worth noting that of the 24 Majors played since 2013, only two winners have claimed victory at a Tour tournament in the month of January.
And both of those victories were claimed by Justin Thomas who won the 2017 Tournament of Champions and the Sony Open before claiming the PGA Championship later in the year. Can the American once again get his calendar off to a great start by claiming the crown in the desert? He’s currently ranked fourth in the world behind Johnson, Koepka and Rose and he’ll have his eyes set firmly on breaking into the top three during 2019.
New Year, New Rising Stars?
Plenty will be keeping an eye on the young brigade at the tournament in a bid to identify who may emerge as ‘hot stuff’ for 2019.
Matt Wallace, Byeong Hun An and Alexander Bjork are the pick of the rising stars who have posted decent stats in recent events to indicate they will start the year bang on form to eye a solid finish in Abu Dhabi.
The winner will no doubt be the man who can make the most of the lush fairways with some booming drives and attack the greens with relish. The Abu Dhabi Championship has quickly established itself as the premier showpiece of the UAE’s golfing calendar and promises to deliver once again. The tournament is live on Sky Sports in the UK and runs from the 16th to the 19th January with extensive coverage.
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*All odds from Bet UK’s online sportsbook correct at the time of writing.
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