Saudi International Golf Betting Tips
Robert Cobley is a maths graduate with years of experience in the sports betting industry. He has now teamed up with Bet UK to bring his golf betting tips to our readers. For the latest golf betting odds for the Saudi International Golf, make sure to head over to Bet UK’s online betting and live in-play betting markets.
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Rob Cobley’s World Tour Championship Betting Tips
Royal Greens Golf & Country Club - King Abdullah Economic City, Saudi Arabia - 7,010 Yards, Par 70
The European Tour continues the trend of major sporting events heading to this corner of the Gulf for the third staging of the Saudi International this week. Set on the Red Sea coast approximately two hours drive north from the city of Jeddah, this Dave Sampson designed desert track is one that is mostly at the mercy of the players, short, and defended only by the elements. There are twelve par 4s, averaging just 430 yards (against the 455+ Tour average). And four of those are under 380 yards long. There are few physical defences on a flat, treeless, short, desert golf course.
From the tee, the players drive into fairly generous paspalum fairways. Some of the holes have doglegs, but these mostly serve to help the longer hitters who can take on the corners and leave themselves just short iron or wedge approach shots to most greens. There is minimal rough, and the punishment for wayward drives is usually that the players will find themselves hitting their approach shots from the large, sandy, waste areas. The greens are large with minimal bunkering on the whole, although the waste areas do provide a minimal hazard to wayward shots. Four small lakes meet six of the putting surfaces, but they will punish only the loosest of approach shots.
Conditions in this part of the World, particularly on the coast, are guaranteed to be challenging, at least at times, and the Red Sea winds are all that protects Royal Greens from record winning scores. Long hitters have a significant advantage, and I will be looking for players with a history of performing well on desert courses. Key stats are strokes gained off the tee and a great wedge game. The forecast is not good, so expect the winning score to be nearer to 2019 than the 2020 outcome and (slightly) less favourable to bombers.
Last Five Winners
The Market Leaders
The Saudi International continues to attract some of the best fields of the year, as a host of big names arrive from both Dubai and California to compete for the riches on offer this week. Dustin Johnson (5/1), who made his only start of 2021 in Kapalua last month, heads the market having finished first and second in the previous two stagings of the event, and he will again not be put off by the challenging winds that are forecasted, particularly over the first couple of days. Dustin, as we know, hits the ball miles and with little to counter length in terms of hazards or thick rough, it will be a case of how fair his wedge play and putting are. They have improved so much over the last few years, and given his recent record including his runaway victory at Augusta in November, an in form Johnson will be tough to stop.
Bryson Dechambeau (8/1) missed this event last year through injury having finished sixth in the inaugural tournament in 2019. Dechambeau has a similar profile and game to Johnson, although he lacks consistency. Bryson finished a disappointing 34th at The Masters, and 7th at Kapalua in his only start since then. It's challenging to forecast how he might perform this week. Still, I am inclined not to take a punt on him with unfavourable conditions as there are too many variables to justify him as a reliable second favourite.
Tyrrell Hatton (12/1) has moved up to the dizzy heights of World number 4 has had a fantastically consistent 18 months, and his win two weeks ago in Abu Dhabi further strengthened that position. Hatton is another compatible player, although he lacks the other market favourites' length, which is still a disadvantage. He has not played the event before and arrives on the back of a rather sluggish 22nd place in Dubai. He has a chance, but he will want conditions to get somewhat treacherous to level the playing field enough to contend seriously. At this price, I'll be leaving him alone.
Patrick Reed (14/1) is a great supporter of the European Tour and arrives on the back of a fantastic win at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in California. With a form line of 56th, missed cut, I can't bring myself to support Reed despite his obvious form. His strength lies primarily in his short game, and that won't be sufficient this week on this long layout.
Rob's Golf Betting Tips
Headline Betting Tip
Sergio Garcia has signalled his intent for 2021 (possibly with the Ryder Cup in mind) by playing in three events already this season. He finished 6th last week, and 11th two weeks ago so his form has been good, and he arrives at this event where he finished 6th last year having been disqualified back in 2019 for an indiscretion in a bunker. Sergio's strength over the previous few weeks, and particularly in Dubai, was his long game. He led the field for total driving and was 8th for proximity on approach shots. His putting was fairly average, but with harsh conditions and a winning score not much below ten under par expected this week, that holds far less weight than it usually would.
Sergio is a player that should have gotten far more from his career, but it's not too late, and I see him having a big year. He is the stand out bet for me this week with 3 points e/w at 22/1.
Other Betting Tip
I have gone for an all Spanish lineup this week, completed by Adri Arnaus. I'm reluctant to back the US players and other PGA Tour pros coming over for just one week, the travel seems excessive, and the majority will be here mostly for a big payday which will come regardless of where they finish. That is not the case for Arnaus who continues his rapid improvement and would have finished far better than 9th last week but for a horror start to his round on Saturday. That was on the back of a 12th placed finish in Abu Dhabi, and Arnaus had a further two top 10s in his last three events of 2020.
As with most Spaniards, Adri is a fantastic wind player, and he will enjoy the more challenging conditions in play this week. The company is illustrious, but I feel both these players are on the cusp of a win, and the setup this week is perfect for each. I will be backing Arnaus with 2 points e/w at 55/1.
Following a rolling profit of 300 points for the 2019 & 2020 seasons, I am looking for a great 2021, and have some great bets lined up for events throughout the year on both the PGA and European Tours. Each week I will pick between two to four selections at each event, and suggest a suitable staking plan.
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