EUROPEAN TOUR: Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship
The 7,500 yards long, par 72 Abu Dhabi Golf Club has hosted this event for a number of years so course form is well established. Length and accuracy from the tee are useful here but the key stat appears to be greens in regulation. Curiously both favourites and rank outsiders have won here in recent times.
OUTRIGHT: Tyrrell Hatton 0.5 pts win and place 28/1 (1/5 odds 6 places)
Hatton caught fire at the end of the 2017 season winning twice back-to-back in the Alfred Dunhill Links and the Italian Open in October. He followed that up with some solid play culminating in a top ten finish in the DP World Championships in Dubai. His desert form is very solid including this event where his recent record reads 10T in 14, 6T in 15 and 13T in 17, that despite a final round collapse shooting 75!! With that bank of solid course form behind him he looks fair value at these odds.
OUTRIGHT: Ben An 0.5 pts win and place 66/1 (1/5 odds 6 places)
Although his form at the tail end of 2017 was poor An’s course form of 12T in 15, 5T in 16 and 13T in 17 makes his a very live contender here especially as he had a chance to knock off some rust last week when he competed in the Eurasia Cup. On a course that suits his game to a tee we can take a chance on him at value odds.
PGA TOUR: CareerBuilder Challenge
The Pete Dye designed TPC stadium course is the host course again this year with two rounds played there including the final round.. The key characteristics of previous winners here are accurate iron play and good putting as scoring is always very low.
OUTRIGHT: Webb Simpson 0.5 pts win and place 25/1 (1/5 odds 6 places)
Following players on a strong run of form tends to pay dividends at this time of year so Simpson, with three top twenty place finishes in his last four outings, fits the bill well. Having won the US Open in California he has strong positive mental associations with this State and his course form is fair with a best recent performance of tied seventh in 2015. The anchoring ban had hits his putting performance adversely but he appears to have found a way around that now and he putted well last week in Hawaii.
OUTRIGHT: James Hahn 1 pt win and place 55/1 (1/4 odds 5 places)
As with Simpson, Hahn’s best performance here came in 2015 when he finished tied twentieth despite a poor third round of 73. His final round of 62 last week in Hawaii really caught the eye and, with his wedge play and putting firing on all cylinders, he looks like a real value play at these odds.
OUTRIGHT: Chris Kirk 0.5 pts win and place 60/1 (1/4 odds 5 places)
Our value tip last week, Kirk performed strongly until his driving and putting deserted him in the final round dropping him narrowly outside the top five places. He has a good record on Pete Dye designed courses including TPC Sawgrass, venue of The Players. Furthermore his record on desert courses is none too shabby including this event last year when he finished tied twenty first despite a poor closing round of 74. A good week with the putter should see him contend again this week.