The best field of the week can be found on the Asian Tour as LIV Golf’s defectors, as well as well as a smattering of PGA and DP World Tour stars, head to the kingdom. Scroll down for my Saudi International betting tips, but first…
Saudi International preview
Venue: Royal Greens Golf & Country Club, King Abdullah Economic City, Saudi Arabia
Date: February 2-5, 2023
Course stats: Par 70; 7,010 yards
Course summary: This short, strategic coastal track is not dissimilar in many ways to the other desert courses we have seen on the European Tour’s Middle East swing. The sea breeze and large, sandy waste areas are the main defence, protecting the fairly generous Paspalum fairways and huge undulating greens. Some dogleg holes and numerous lakes will require some shot shaping from the players, while scrambling has been an important measure for success in recent years.
Purse: $5 million
Defending champion: Harold Varner III (-13)
Last year’s Saudi International was screened on Freesports, but that channel’s schedule doesn’t have it listed this time around. We will update this page if anything changes.
2023 Saudi International betting tips
A couple of each-way tips from me for this week’s Saudi International, starting with…
The First Each-Way Play: Richard Bland @ 50/1 with Bet365
Richard Bland has managed to keep up his strong form across all tours, which is admirable given his advancing years. He was one player that was almost forgiven for making the jump to the LIV Tour, given his age, and the fact he was seen to be cashing in on a purple patch.
Bland however has been proving his ability repeatedly, finishing 8th and 10th in his two starts on the DP World Tour in 2023, and 8th at the Nedbank Challenge late in 2022. He was the 36-hole leader at the Nedbank before the Christmas break, and he found himself in the same position this past weekend, at the Dubai Desert Classic.
He hasn’t made a cut in this event yet, but he opened with a round of 69 to start in his sole appearance here, he just couldn’t keep it going, hitting a 74 to miss the cut.
Now though, Bland can take advantage of this rich vein of form and mix it with the world’s best at this week’s Saudi International.
Dustin Johnson and Cameron Smith are likely to battle it out for the title here, but you don’t need me to convince you to bet those single-digit golfers. Instead take these two picks to challenge the big guns this week
The Other Each-Way Play: Henrik Stenson @ 55/1 with Bet365
Henrik Stenson has signed off the past two events on the DP World Tour in strong fashion, and if he keeps up his current ball striking levels, he could play certainly contend in the Saudi International this week.
His record at this course looks poor on paper, but further investigation into his 2020 effort shows that he was 3rd after round one, 8th after round two, and 10th going into Sunday, before falling away on Sunday to finish 44th.
12th and 4th the past two weeks in SG Approach and 24th and 6th in SG Tee to Green the past two weeks, the Swede is in great form and can win on the Asian Tour, among a lot of his LIV Tour peers.
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