The DP World Tour’s swing of the UAE continues this week with the 18th edition of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. Fresh off the back of the 2023 Hero Cup, the likes of Shane Lowry, Tyrrell Hatton and Francesco Molinari will be competing at Yas Links, with an abundance of LIV golfers also in the field including Ian Poulter, Henrik Stenson and Patrick Reed. Keep scrolling for my 2023 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship betting tips, but first…
Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship
Venue: Yas Links Golf Club, UAE
Dates: Par 72; 7,425 yards
Course stats: Par 72; 7,050 yards
Course summary: Yas Links is situated on the popular Yas Island. Designed by Kyle Phillips, this links-style course brings a fusion of desert landscapes and tough playing conditions with the aim to test players to the maximum. With this being the inaugural event, it will be an interesting watch to see how the layout and the challenge fares against golf’s elite.
Defending champion: Thomas Pieters (-10)
Thursday: Sky Sports Golf from 3:30am and Sky Sports Main Event from 7am
Friday: Sky Sports Golf from 3:30am and Sky Sports Main Event from 7am
Saturday: Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Main Event from 5am
Sunday: Sky Sports Golf from 4:30am
2023 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship betting tips
The Banker: Min Woo Lee @ 28/1 with Bet365
I had a tough time at the top of the board this week, as I wanted one of the top four in the betting to separate themselves odds wise, but that wasn’t the case. Alex Noren came closest but flashbacks of some of his putting of late, particularly at the Dunhill Links was enough to put me off.
Instead, I will go for Min Woo Lee as my first selection, as the Australian ended 2022 with six-straight top-12 finishes, including back-to-back 3rd place finishes in Spain on the DP World Tour, and back-to-back 4th place finishes when he returned to Australia.
Lee was the 36-hole leader at Valderrama which is an incredibly tough examination, and while he didn’t get the win there, it was another sign that he is becoming more well-rounded as a pro.
Now he returns to a more links-style test which should suit his game, given his two wins on this Tour came in the Vic Open and the Scottish Open. He could only finish 35th here last year at Yas Links, but a final-round 67 was tied for second best round of the day, and if he can get off to a faster start, I am much more bullish about his chances this time around.
Lee was heading to America to play on the PGA this time last year, and that may well have been a distraction as it was his first time making that step up. Now a more well-rounded player, this two-time winner can carry on his hot form and perform on a links test once more.
The Each-Way Play: Adri Arnaus @ 70/1 with Bet365
Adri Arnaus got the monkey off his back last year, picking up a maiden victory back home in Spain, and now he returns to a part of the world he has been incredibly consistent in.
In his last 13 starts in the Middle East, Arnaus has six top-9 finishes, including most recently at the DP World Tour Championship. He was also 2nd at the Ras al Khaimah Classic going into the weekend but fell to 9th. Now experienced in contending, and indeed winning, I believe Arnaus will perform much better if he finds himself in a similar position in this event.
Last year, he finished 20th on this golf course, which was a strong showing given the conditions, and his final-round 65 was tied for the best of the day, which suggests he can score well here when the conditions suit and his form in there. It has been a while since he played, but that is the case for a lot of the field, and I expect the Spaniard to go well once again.
The Long Shot: Jazz Janewattananond @ 110/1 with Bet365
It feels like we have been talking about Jazz Janewattananond as a future winner, and potential star for a while now, and we have – but he is still just 27, and there is reason to believe he can win at this level multiple times yet, in his career.
Since 2017, Janewattananond has won 7 times on the Asian Tour, most recently back in November when he won the International Series Morocco, and it is that form, plus his most recent showings on this Tour that give me hope at triple digits.
When playing back-to-back events in Spain, Janewattananond finished 14th at Valderrama, where he was the first round leader, and he followed that up with a 6th place finish at the Mallorca Open. That is two strong results, and all he has done is play well since in Asia, with a win and a 6th place finish to his name, so I think he carries form into this event as well.
Jazz has a top 10 and another 31st place finish at the Kyle Phillips-designed Bernardus golf course, and he also has two wins on Paspalum Greens in Asia, so I am confident he will enjoy this test, whilst in this form.
- ALSO THIS WEEK: The American Express betting tips: Who will be victorious?
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