All eyes this week are on the European Tour’s Abu Dhabi Championship with the world’s biggest names on show.
Despite the tournament in the Middle East hogging the headlines. The PGA Tour can still boast a very good field for the CareerBuilder Challenge in California.
We run through both tournaments for you including facts, odds and picks from our own golfing expert Cliff Jackson and Betfair.
ABU DHABI HSBC CHAMPIONSHIP
- It is played at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club in the United Arab Emirates
- First staged in 2006
- Current champion is Tommy Fleetwood
FIELD: A brilliant field in Abu Dhabi – but you there are two headline acts in the shape of world number one Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy, making his first appearance of the year. Tommy Fleetwood – who was so brilliant in 2017 – is the defending champion and will look to kick-off this season in similar fashion.
ODDS provided by Betfair: Dustin Johnson 5/1 Justin Rose 8/1 Rory McIlroy 8/1 Branden Grace 18/1 Henrik Stenson 18/1 Tommy Fleetwood 18/1 Paul Casey 20/1 Tyrrell Hatton 22/1 Martin Kaymer 25/1 Matt Kuchar 30/1 Bernd Wiesberger 33/1 Rafa Cabrera Bello 33/1 Matthew Fitzpatrick 35/1 Thomas Pieters 35/1 Kiradech Aphibarnrat 45/1 Byeong Hun An 55/1 Ross Fisher 55/1 Bryson DeChambeau 60/1 Thorbjorn Olesen 60/1 George Coetzee 66/1
— Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship (@ADGolfChamps) January 17, 2018
- Staged at the PGA West Stadium Course, La Quinta Country Club
- First staged in 1960
- Current champion is Hudson Swafford
FIELD: Hudson Swafford was a shock winner last year and he is not without a chance, but Spaniard Jon Rahm’s particpation very much catches the eye, but there are some big names with the likes of Patrick Reed, Kevin Kisner and Phil Mickelson teeing it up.
ODDS provided by Betfair: Jon Rahm 9/1 Brian Harman 14/1 Patrick Reed 18/1 Kevin Kisner 20/1 Phil Mickelson 20/1 Webb Simpson 20/1 Jason Dufner 25/1 Zach Johnson 25/1 Brendan Steele 28/1 Charles Howell III 30/1 Patton Kizzire 30/1 Brandt Snedeker 33/1 Bud Cauley 35/1 Chesson Hadley 35/1 Chez Reavie 40/1 Hudson Swafford 40/1 Kevin Chappell 40/1 Austin Cook 45/1 Bill Haas 45/1 Peter Uihlein 45/1 Adam Hadwin 50/1 Bubba Watson 50/1
— CB Challenge (@cbgolfchallenge) January 14, 2018
The pro’s point of view…
Our resident golf expert is Cliff Jackson. Cliff is a leading youth coach and PGA professional at the famed Seaton Carew Links – one of the oldest courses in the world.
The Abu Dhabi Championship is a great tournament, I think it will be hard for Rory to hit the ground running but the same can’t be said for Dustin Johnson given his last win – he is the man to beat. Tommy Fleetwood loves it round here, and he will certainly be getting my backing this weekend over there.
In America, Jon Rahm and Patrick Reed are easy picks but looking further down the field I think Jimmy Walker could be in for a good few days.
The Bookie says…
We caught up with Betfair’s Joe Dyer to get their views on this week’s action
For a rare week the European Tour clearly has the upper hands in terms of quality with nine of the world’s top 20 lining up in Abu Dhabi.
That includes world no.1 Dustin Johnson who understandably heads up the betting on the Betfair Sportsbook at 5/1, followed by 8/1 pair of Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy. It’s a competitive field and you can back Branden Grace, Henrik Stenson and Tommy Fleetwood at 18/1. Paul Casey is 20/1, Tyrell Hatton is 22/1 and Martin Kaymer the last man under 30s at 25/1.
With so much quality in attendance, and so many of the field in possession of hot course form, a case can be made for plenty this week. It’s a good thing then that the Betfair Sportsbook is paying down to seven places on each-way bets.
While there’s every chance DJ will steamroller the field, if picking from the top of the field I would be drawn to Tommy Fleetwood. The world no.17 ended last year in phenomenal form and was unbeaten at last week’s EurAsia Cup.
Long shots have landed at this tournament pretty regularly and it could pay to take a chance on a few at longer odds – Byeong Hun An plays desert golf very well, has a top five to his name in Abu Dhabi and can be backed at 55/1; Pablo Larrazabal has won this and finished runner-up but is 100/1 this week after ending last season in indifferent form. Even a place for either would be a decent return on your investment.
A European Ryder Cup hopeful is favourite to win this week’s PGA Tour event, Jon Rahm available to back at 9/1 to win the CareerBuilder Challenge. This pro-am, staged over three courses in California, is an absolute birdiefest and you will need a red-hot putter to contend.