Weekly Golf Preview – Abu Dhabi Championship | Desert Classic

See below as we run through the tournaments for you including facts, odds and picks from our own golfing professional Cliff Jackson and Unibet.


  • Abu Dhabi Golf Club, United Arab Emirates
  • First staged in 2006
  • Current champion is Tommy Fleetwood

OVERVIEW: The Abu Dhabi is now a Rolex event which means it is recognised as one of the premier events on the European golf calendar. Traditionally it produces one of the strongest fields of the year.

Defending champion Tommy Fleetwood is the big name as far as Europe is concerned, but he is not alone – with American stars Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka also teeing it up to make up a brilliant field.


QUOTES: Brooks Koepka, who could go to World number one this week, admits that this is one of few non PGA events, due to the travelling.

“It’s obviously very tough, especially with the (PGA Tour) schedule now, being so compact. I don’t feel like I can play my best all year long coming over (to play the European Tour) and going back to the PGA Tour and flip-flopping on both,” said Koepka.

“I learned that my first year. It’s a lot of travel, a lot of hours. I don’t know a sport where there’s more hours travelling time zones. You end up getting lost a little bit, don’t really know where you are at times. It’s very difficult.”



  • PGA West Stadium Course, PGA West Course, La Quinta Country Club
  • First staged in 1960
  • Current champion is Jon Rahm

OVERVIEW: The Desert Classic has always been a very different PGA event, formerly staged over five days and four courses, it is now over the traditional four days but played over three courses.

Despite a strong European event on offer in Abu Dhabi, the Desert Classic always brings in a strong field and this year is no different. Two of Europe’s finest Justin Rose and defending champion Jon Rahm are the leading lights on show in California.


QUOTES: Jon Rahm, who is looking for back-to-back wins is more than happy to be back at the Desert Classic.

“I’ve always wanted to be a global player,” said Rahm. “So I just feel like when I play the PGA Tour and then I go to Europe, it’s kind of like a fresh start because it’s a little different golf courses, different people, different type of golf in general. It’s like hitting the reset button to the mind on the golf game.”

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.

These are two great looking events. The Abu Dhabi looks a wonderful event, and I have little doubt that Tommy Fleetwood will figure prominently and I can also see Ian Poulter having a say.

In California, both the big Europeans Justin Rose and Jon Rahm will be hard to be beat, but I like the look of Luke List.

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