Venue: Al Mouj Golf, Muscat, Oman
Date: February 28-March 3, 2019
Course stats: Par 72, 7,365 yards
Course summary: The Al Mouj course was a feature of the Challenge Tour before its debut in the big leagues last year. It’s renowned for large and heavily contoured greens and water is plentiful – coming into play on 10 holes. Wind is a big defence on a links-style layout that runs along the Gulf of Oman shoreline.
Purse: $1.75 million
Defending champion: Joost Luiten (-16)
Weather forecast: Expect the sundials to get to 30 degrees as the tournament gets under way. The wind will be around 10-15 miles per hour on the opening day.
Thursday: Sky Sports Golf and Main Event, 6.30am; Sky Sports Golf and Main Event, 10am
Friday: Sky Sports Golf and Main Event, 6.30am; Sky Sports Golf and Main Event, 10am
Saturday: Sky Sports Golf and Main Event, 8am
Sunday: Sky Sports Golf and Main Event, 8am
Oman Open betting tips: each-way selections
Challenge Tour player Clement Sordet won at Al Mouj in 2017 so knows what it takes to mount a successful campaign on this layout.
Thirty-seventh last year, he arrives in Oman on the back of two decent weeks in Australia. A top 10 at the Vic Open was followed by a solid display in the Super 6s.
The chance to put in another good week – and grab some more European Tour starts – makes me optimistic that prices of 60/1 on the multiple second tour winner could prove a decent shout.
Paul Waring defied some huge prices with the oddsmakers to land big each-way money when recording solid top 7s at both the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship and Dubai Desert Classic. Now he returns to the Middle East and is still 50/1.
After two weeks where he picked up the best part of 350,000 euros, and vaulted up the Race to Dubai standings, he naturally dipped at the Saudi International when finishing tied 54th.
But he’s had three weeks to take stock and I reckon he could have a part to play in a field that is not of the standard he has faced in recent weeks.
He hung around the fringes of the top 50 here 12 months ago but says he likes the course so, given his achievements this year, it feels reasonable to give him another chance.
If those selections have whetted your appetite, find out who Steve thinks is in contention to lift the trophy by turning the page…