Best bets for Pebble Beach, Ras al Khaimah and Saudi International

Dustin Johnson Tour Championship.jpg

Get the best bets for this week’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am 2022, Ras Al Khaimah Championship and Saudi International from Steve Rawlings, Dave Tindall and the rest of our golf experts…

The PGA Tour visits iconic Pebble Beach for the AT&T and Steve Rawlings is back with his detailed preview…

Steve says: “It doesn’t make an awful lot of difference where your drives finish up but where your second shot lands tends to be key. The average Greens In Regulation ranking for the last 15 winners is 5.2 and 13 of the last 15 winners have ranked inside the top-nine for greens hit…

“Hr now I’m going with just one selection – the 2017 winner, Jordan Spieth. He’s been poor so far this year – finishing only 21st in the Sentry Tournament of Champions and missing the cut at the Farmers last week – but his record here is extremely good and he’s even contended at Pebble when deep in the midst of his slump.

“Being a father for the first time will have understandably hindered his start to the year but I suspect we’ll see a much-improved effort this week and I thought 27.026/1 was fair given his event form figures read 22-4-7-21-1-20-45-9-3.”

Steve’s bet: Back Jordan Spieth @ 27.026/1

Dave Tindall has three-each way tips for the action in California starting with a certain Englishman…

Dave says: “The Englishman hasn’t played this event too often but his two starts show tied sixth on debut in 2016 and tied 39th the following year when slipping away.

“But he does have another recent very positive experience having finished tied third in the 2019 US Open played at Pebble. Rose was first-round leader and solo second after 36 and 54 holes so he was a presence all week.

“Rose had got to Monterey early that week and said he had the course pretty much to himself for the Friday, Saturday and Sunday before tournament week.

“Also in Rose’s favour is an overall record of excellence on the West Coast Swing which includes a win at the 2019 Farmers Insurance Open, a tournament where he finished tied sixth last Saturday.”

Dave’s bet: Back Justin Rose each-way @ 23.022/1

Andy Swales provides the course info, player form stats and picks his ones to watch at Pebble Beach…

Andy says: “With a field of 156 professionals, and the same number of amateurs, every pro-am team will play one round at each course between Thursday and Saturday.

“The leading 60 professionals, and top 25 pro-am teams, will return to Pebble Beach on Sunday for the grand finale.

“This event rarely produces a champion from outside of the United States. Since 1966, only three non-US golfers have triumphed in the AT&T Pro-Am…

“Jason Day usually plays well at the California coastal venues of Torrey Pines and Pebble Beach. The Aussie stood on the Torrey podium on Sunday.”

Andy’s Player to Watch: Back Jason Day @ 28.027/1

The DP World Tour hops from Dubai to Ras al Khaimah for a brand-new event and our man’s taking it easy before the off…

Steve says: “The three winning scores here have ranged between 15-under-par and 20-under so it’s clearly not a tough test and with little wind in the forecast until Sunday we can expect to see another birdie-fest.

“A hot putter is highly likely to determine the outcome but it’s never easy to predict who’s going to putt well from one week to the next so it’s a tough tournament to get a hold of. Anyone who’s performed nicely in the desert over the last few weeks is worthy of consideration and if they’ve putted nicely that’s a big fillip…

“I’m going to take a small chance on the 20-year-old Hojgaard twins, who have drifted to above 40.0 this morning.

“Both Rasmus and Nicolai have shown an aptitude to low scoring events and both are capable of bursting into life after a slow start to the year. Nicolai has missed both cuts so far but the reigning Italian Open champ ended 2021 with a second in Portugal and a fourth in the DP World Tour Championship and Rasmus, who’s started 2022 with 20th in Abu Dhabi and a 47th in Dubai, is just too prolific to ignore with three DP World Tour titles to his name already.”

Steve’s bet: Back Rasmus Hojgaard @ 42.041/1
Nicolai Hojgaard @ 44.043/1

Matt Cooper has three selections for the Ras al Khaimah Championship with the Betfair Sportsbook paying seven places…

Matt says: “Romain Langasque (pictured above), who made his winning breakthrough at this level 18 months ago, has started the year in neat fashion with T12th at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship and T18th last week in the Dubai Desert Classic.

“His record everywhere in the UAE is also very solid: 12 starts, 11 top 40s, six top 20s. In this weakened field, and on a course he’s thrived on, he makes great appeal.

“That last point is a clincher because there’s an echo of how he loved Karen Country Club in the Kenya Open on the Challenge Tour, and maintained the form when the event moved up to the main tour.”

Matt’s bet: Back Romain Langasque each-way @ 23.022/1

Who’s got the game to hit the desert running on Thursday? Dave Tindall has three tips for first round leader at Ras Al Khaimah …

Dave says: “Alexander Bjork played here in 2016, finishing tied 32nd, and in more recent starts in the UAE we’ve seen him finish tied 20th in Abu Dhabi a fortnight ago and runner-up in November’s DP World Tour Championship.

“He opened both events with 68s to finish fifth and 12th respectively after round one.

“Bjork sat second after 18 holes three times in 2021: the Scottish Open, the Tenerife Open and the European Open. He opened with 63s in the first two so can certainly go low early.

“The 45/1 shot heads out at 12:30pm from the 1st tee.”

Dave’s bet: Back Alexander Bjork at 46.045/1

Andy Swales provides the form stats, course info and six players to watch in Ras al Khaimah…

Andy says: “The field at Al Hamra is considerably weaker than those which teed-off at Yas Links and Emirates these past couple of weeks.

“Not a single top 50 golfer in sight, compared to more than 10 at both recent events staged in the UAE. This is because the total prize fund has been reduced by 75%, following the lucrative Rolex Series tournaments in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

“Richard Bland, the world No 53, will celebrate his 49th birthday this week. He came mighty close to winning in Dubai on Sunday when he lost in a play-off.

“Joachim B Hansen will be making his third appearance at Al Hamra, having competed here in Challenge Tour events in 2017 and 2018. The 31-year-old Dane was a winner in Dubai on the DP World Tour last November.”

Andy’s Player to Watch: Back Joachim B Hansen @ 44.043/1

The Saudi International has attracted a stellar field with the defending champion, Dustin Johnson, the man they all have to beat. Read Steve’s detailed preview…

Dustin Johnson Tour Championship.jpg

Steve says: “With course form figures reading 1-2-1, Dustin Johnson is the very obvious favourite but he hasn’t won since he took this title 12 months ago so he’s a couple of points bigger than he was before the off last year.

“DJ took more than three months off after finishing 45th in the CJ Cup in October after a slow start (opened with a 74), so his 25th last week in the Farmers Insurance Open in his first start of the year, where he fell from 14th and four back after three rounds, was a reasonable performance – especially given his rather poor record at Torrey Pines.

“Given his impressive historical strike rate and his course form, at odds of around 8/1, he’s a perfectly fair price…

“I’m happy to have a small bet on DJ at 9.08/1. It’s only a matter of time before he wins again and this is as likely a place as any.”

Steve’s bet: Back Dustin Johnson @ 9.08/1

Author: Ellen Garcia