Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship Predictions, Betting Odds & Top Picks
- This is the opening tournament of the European Tour’s 2021 Race to Dubai
- Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy head the field for an event started in 2006
- Abu Dhabi Golf Club in the United Arab Emirates hosts again
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Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship Odds
|Rory McIlroy||+600 |
|Justin Thomas||+650 |
|Tyrrell Hatton||+1200 |
|Tommy Fleetwood||+1400 |
|Matthew Fitzpatrick||+1400 |
|Justin Rose||+2800 |
|Martin Kaymer||+2800 |
|Victor Perez||+3300 |
|Christiaan Bezuidenhout||+3300 |
|Shane Lowry||+3300 |
|Lee Westwood||+3300 |
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Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship Picks and Predictions
Victor Perez was runner-up in this event last year and the Frenchman is an each-way bet at +3300 with bet365 (1/4 1-2-3-4-5).
Paul Waring looks to be on the right side of a weather-biased draw and has the course form to take down Renato Paratore at -110 with DraftKings Sportsbook.
England’s Ross Fisher has banked four top 20s in his last six starts at this tournament; he can land another at +350 with DraftKings Sportsbook.
Victor Perez each-way (1/4 1-2-3-4-5) +3300 at bet365
Paul Waring to beat Renato Paratore in a 72-hole match -110 at DraftKings Sportsbook
Ross Fisher to land a top 20 +350 at DraftKings Sportsbook
Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship
|Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship Information|
|What||Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship|
|Where||Abu Dhabi GC, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates|
|When||Thursday, January 21 – Sunday, January 24|
|How to Watch||Thursday 12.00am-3.30am, 6.00am-8.00am ET (Golf Channel), Friday 2.00am-8.00am (Golf Channel), Saturday 3.00am-8.00am (Golf Channel), Sunday 2.00am-8.00am (Golf Channel). All 4 days on Sky Sports|
Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship Profile
Some world-class names are on show as the European Tour kicks back into gear with the first event of the 2021 Race to Dubai season. Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas both head to the Middle East and it’s no surprise to see such a stellar field. As is tradition, the European Tour’s opener is a big one: a Rolex series event with an $8million dollar purse on offer.
This tournament first appeared on the calendar in 2006 when American Chris DiMarco took the title. Ricky Fowler is the only other player from the United States to have lifted the silverware. The last four have gone to some of Europe’s best-known names. Tommy Fleetwood won back-to-back titles in 2017-2018, Shane Lowry took victory in 2019 and Lee Westwood came flying out of the blocks to win 12 months ago.
Abu Dhabi GC is a par 72 measuring 7,583 yards. Like many of the top desert courses, it boasts four par 5s and that includes a 562-yard closer where the tournament can be won and lost.
Get used to the Middle East timings. This is the first of five events in that part of the globe between January and March. The schedule continues with next week’s Omega Dubai Desert Classic and then heads to the Saudi International.
Following a break for the WGC event at The Concession in Florida, the European Tour resumes with the Oman Open and the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters.
One final note: this week’s event also restarts the European Points List for players hoping to qualify for this year’s Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.
Perez Can Challenge Again
Victor Perez made his debut in this event two years and showed in a second-round six-under 66 that he could flourish at Abu Dhabi GC. And he proved that in spectacular fashion 12 months ago when bursting through the field on the weekend (68-63) to finish second to Lee Westwood.
Perez returns as the World No.34 after continuing his climb in an impressive 2020.
Notably, he did his best work in the final few months. The Frenchman was runner-up in the European Tour’s flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth. And he signed off for the season with a solo seventh at the nearby DP World Tour Championship.
That result means he’s connected a quartet of top 20s in the United Arab Emirates, adding to the early promise he showed in desert conditions when finishing second at the Challenge Tour Grand Final in 2018. With the wind in the forecast this week, Perez’s ability to play when it blows is another plus. Good links players often thrive in Abu Dhabi and he’s honed his game in such conditions after moving to Scotland to live with his girlfriend.
That definitely played a part in him winning the 2019 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
Perez is starting to thrive in the big events and is worth an each-way bet (1/4 1-2-3-4-5) at +3300 with bet365.
Waring To Outscore Paratore
There looks to be a definite weather bias over the first 36 holes with the forecast suggesting early-late is the best side of the draw. So, an obvious strategy in match-ups is to take on a Thursday afternoon starter with a Thursday morning starter.
The match between Paul Waring and Renato Paratore at DraftKings Sportsbook gives us such an opportunity. Waring pegs it up at 08:00 local while Paratore goes off at 11:45 when the wind is starting to really pick up.
In truth, England’s Waring would have been the pick anyway. He’s finished T12 and T6 here the last two years and has five top 25s in his last six starts in the UAE.
Paratore made the early headlines in this event last year when posting the R1 lead but fell away after that and hasn’t managed a top 20 on this track. His somewhat patchy record in the UAE shows six missed cuts in his last 13 starts and just two top 20s in 15 appearances overall. Waring also holds the edge on recent form having ended last season with three top 25s in his final four events.
Add in that weather advantage and the Englishman has to be backed to beat the Italian and win their match-up over 72 holes. He’s -110 to do so.
Fisher To Land In Top 20
As with the above picks of Perez and Waring, it makes sense to go with a morning starter for our top 20 picks.
One who stands out is Ross Fisher, the Englishman playing in the third group out from Tee No.1 at 07:20 local. With the chance to play most of his round before the wind really kicks in, Fisher has a great opportunity to get on the leaderboard. He’s been a big player at this tournament in recent editions with a run of 9-35-19-2-54-6 the last six years.
Twelve months ago he posted 66-67 on the weekend to jump from 35th to 6th and that represented a fourth top 20 in his last six appearances. That’s the requirement this week and odds of +350 at DraftKings Sportsbook make plenty of appeal.
Fisher was T20 in a stellar field at October’s BMW PGA Championship and last month he again showed up strongly in the desert with T7 in the nearby Golf in Dubai Championship.
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Dave Tindall is former golf editor at SkySports.com and Golf365.com and has been writing betting previews for the PGA Tour and European Tour since 1997. He has also written for a range of betting companies, including William Hill and Betfair, as well as being a regular columnist for Rotoworld, The Guardian, Sporting Life and Planet Sport. His other area of speciality is football while he's also covered cricket and tennis.
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