Betting tips: Who wins the Dubai Desert Classic?
The one to be on: Rafa Cabrera-Bello
Surely the Spaniard has got to pick up a W sooner rather than later?
The Ryder Cup hero contended yet again at the Qatar Masters – shooting a final round 68 to finish T6 – and was in the frame in Abu Dhabi before a poor weekend.
He’s 20/1, a price that bizarrely makes him second favourite at the Dubai Desert Classic with all the oddsmakers falling over themselves to pile in to Henrik Stenson.
That might just be big enough given his record at the Emirates GC.
Cabrera-Bello has only won twice on the European Tour but one of those was in Dubai in 2012.
He was tied-2nd last year, after another strong showing in Qatar, and that was part of an early season run of form that also saw him finish 3rd in the WGC Matchplay.
I wouldn’t put anyone off Stenson, whose Abu Dhabi top 10 was notable given it was his first event of the year.
But, at the prices, I’m favouring Cabrera-Bello to have another strong week.
The each-way back: Thorbjorn Olesen
Hasn’t flown out of the blocks in 2017 but a final round 68 in Qatar last week – after he’d messed up his tournament with a 76 in the third – was interesting.
The Turkish Airlines Open winner was tied 8th a year ago, helped by a second round 64. It is clear the Emirates course is too his liking.
With 5th and 3rd place showings in the Dubai Desert Classic also in the locker, 40/1 seems a little big considering such stellar course form.
Andy Sullivan’s limp 74 to finish last week was disappointing. But, having finished 4th and 2nd in Dubai in the past two years, odds of 33/1 may attract punters.
The dark horse: Chris Hanson
T26, 23 and 18 the last three weeks, the Yorkshireman has had a solid start to the European Tour season – occupying a top 30 spot in the Race to Dubai rankings.
There was much to like in his Qatar showing – rounds of 68, 69 and 68 only spoiled by a third round 73.
If he carries on in that kind of vein the 31-year-old will soon be pushing for a maiden victory.
Why not at the Dubai Desert Classic?
It’s his first time at Emirates, so it will be interesting to see how he gets on. There’s much to like about his price, though. He’s 150/1.
If you like players in form, Joakim Lagergren’s 125/1 may find some support after he lost the playoff in Qatar.