Starts: 20th January 2022
Course: Yas Links, Abu Dhabi
Par: 72 (36-36)
Length: 7,425 yards
2020 Champion: Tyrrell Hatton
Overall Profit/Loss: -2.5pts
Pre-Event Bets: +1pts
1.5pts Each Way Robert MacIntyre 40/1 @ William Hill (1/5 1-8)
0.5pts Each Way Rafa Cabrera Bello 100/1 @ Bet365 (1/4 1-5)
0.5pts Each Way Antoine Rozner 110/1 @ Bet365 (1/4 1-5)
0.5pts Each Way Alexander Bjork 110/1 @ Bet365 (1/4 1-5)
0.5pts Each Way Guido Migliozzi 125/1 @ Betfair (1/5 1-8)
0.5pts Each Way Marcus Helligkilde 200/1 @Betfair (1/5 1-8)
0.5pts Each Way Rafa Cabrera Bello to be FIRST ROUND LEADER 70/1 @ Coral (1/4 1-5)
0.5pts Each Way Antoine Rozner to be FIRST ROUND LEADER 70/1 @ Betfred (1/5 1-6)
0.5pts Each Way Alexander Bjork to be FIRST ROUND LEADER 70/1 @ Betfred (1/5 1-6)
1pt Win Only Justin Harding to be TOP South African 9/1 @ Coral
In-Play Bets: -3.5pts
21 January 2022 (-1.5pts)
0.75pts Each Way Jeff Winther 66/1 @ Skybet (1/5 1-4)
23 January 2022(-2pts)
0.5pts Each Way Marcus Kinhult 125/1 @ Bet365 (1/5 1-5)
0.5pts Each Way Sami Valimaki 300/1 @ Skybet (1/4 1-4)
Course Designer: Kyle Phillips
Fairways: Narrow, Flat, Bunkers in key landing spots
Rough: Thick if wayward
Water Hazards: Featured throughout
Par 5's: 2nd, 7th, 11th, 18th
Hosted Since: 2022
Premium on: Accuracy
Warm and sunny all four days. Wind picks up in the afternoon each day.
Thurs: Sunny. Max wind 16mph.
Fri: Sunny. Max wind 32mph.
Sat: Sunny. Max wind 17mph.
Sun: Sunny. Max wind 15mph.
Significant Info To Be Aware Of
- This is the first event of the 2022 European Tour season. You may see a lot of rust from players.
- This is the first time Yas Links has hosted this event.
- Continue to exercise caution in relation to Covid-19 related withdrawals.
Since 2015, the winning score has ranged from -16 to -22. However, we are at a new venue for 2022 so it's hard to say with any certainty what score will win this week.
Price of Winner
Varied from 8/1 to 150/1 in last 10 years. Seven of the last nine winners were 60/1 or bigger. Westwood went off at 90/1 in 2020. Again, a new venue may throw up a surprise. Players who live in the Middle East may have an advantage.
Kyle Philips also designed Bernardus Golf (Dutch Open 2021) and Kingsbarns (one of the courses used for the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship). He was also responsible for designing The Grove, home of the 2016 British Masters. We also have three Sicilian Open's played at Verdura Golf & Spa Resort to consider. Verdura was used in 2012, 2017 and 2018.
The last 9 winners of the Abu Dhabi Championship had a top 10 in their previous 4 starts. It is important to have some sort of momentum from the end of season events.
The winner of this event has been from UK or Ireland seven of the last ten years. Again, take this with a pinch of salt as we're at a different venue this year.
With this being a new course, we do not consider previous stats.
The 16th plays as the toughest hole on the scorecard.
The four par 5s (2nd, 7th, 11th and 18th) will offer the players birdie opportunities.
Fast or Slow Start
With no previous event form to analyse at Yas, we have no previous events to consider.
The last hole is a 640 yard par 5. It plays as the 5th hardest hole on the scorecard.
"I think the golf course is unbelievable shape. It's in great condition. The fairways are immaculate. The greens are perfect. Yeah, I mean, to start the year here in these condition is really, really nice. Honestly I didn't remember it that well from -- I only played it once or twice before. I think -- I think that a lot of the rough on the surround has grown in a little more. Visually there's some holes that they are a little intimidating off the tee, just because you see there's a little bit of trouble here and there. But once you get up there, there's plenty of room to hit it. And obviously it's a Kyle Phillips, so he designed Kingsbarns, like big, big, undulating greens. I didn't remember how big and how severe some of the greens were here. So especially when you're playing a tournament and having to try to find, okay, where are they going to putt four hole locations, there's plenty of options for them out there to do that." Rory McIlroy
"The wind obviously plays a massive part. So that's going to play very much like a links. Ball flight control, I think there are run-offs. I think you can putt from around the green, so I guess that's very links-style. So yeah, there's plenty of elements that are -- that are very linksy. It's a completely different -- I say it's a completely different test; it's a different test to what we've always had at the other golf course but at the same time, I think still, driving and ball-striking were always paramount at Abu Dhabi Golf Club and they are here, as well. As different as the course might look and feel, there's still a lot of things that you have to do right on a weekly basis." Tommy Fleetwood
"When you have greens like this and you have a lot of new slopes and you have to learn a golf course, I'm going to have to do my homework. Like I'm going to have to spend a little more time out there preparing and learning what to do because if I don't know where a slope is and I somehow hit it there and I'm a little surprised, that's going to be a problem for the entire week." Collin Morikawa
"Like it's obviously along the coast here, and it's going to be quite windy, links-style, but it's fairly, I don't know if you've been out on the course but it's fairly, you know, tricky around the greens, and so it's going to require a lot of good iron play. And decent with the short game if you miss the greens. It's a course that, you know, fully confident, I'm playing confident with my game and going into it I'd be really, really bullish about this week. But I've had two months without tournament, and I'm always a bit anxious on a week like this about how I'm going to be playing going into it.
The course here is in incredible condition. Probably one of the best-condition golf courses you'll see fairways and greens and around the greens. Obviously it's scruffy off the fairway because that's the style of golf it is. It's sand and long rough. Yeah, two completely different golf courses and two completely different tests. When you come to a new golf course, you don't know what the winning score is going to be so you actually don't even know what a about score is out there. It's a strange one. You feel like, is 5-under a good score or is 8-under a good score or are you happy to break par? You don't really know. Judging by the forecast, Friday here is going to be really, really windy. So obviously that's going be the day to baton down the hatches and try and shoot the best score you can and you have to kind of make it up on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday." Shane Lowry
"I mean, typically I've got a good -- or generally, had a good links record and stuff but if I'm honest, I kind of struggle when we come to different places where they are not generally designed on having or not meant to have links courses, so they never seem to, in my opinion, I don't think they look right. So you know, you can't enjoy every golf course you play. But that being said, you still have to go out there and hit the shots." Tyrrell Hatton
Players We Almost Backed
NOTE - These are players who we shortlisted for this event but ultimately didn't advise to subscribers. If you want to find out who we did tip, you can subscribe using the link below.
Min Woo Lee 35/1
A solid effort last week in Australia will mean he's less rusty than others int he field. However, his driving can be wayward and trouble awaits the most errant drives.
Joakim Lagergren 125/1
Joakim does his best work on Kyle Phillips courses and the initial 200/1 available on him was tempting. However, 125/1 was too short and he's likely in the wrong half of the draw,
2022 Abu Dhabi Championship In-Play Blog
22 January 2022, 2:40pm (UK time)
Scott Jamieson retained a one shot lead going into the final round of the Abu Dhabi Championship at Yas Links.
A win would represent a career best for the Scot. He won a rain shortened 36 hole event in 2012 but has struggled to convert winning opportunities that have presented themselves since.
He was third going into the final round of last year's Porsche European Open before a final round 75 dropped him down to 18th. It was a similar story in December 2018 at the Alfred Dunhill Championship when he last held a 54 hole lead. A final round 72 in that event saw him easily beaten by three strokes. It's hard to see how he won't feel the pressure tomorrow.
However, it should be said that he's played nicely so far this week. Inside the top 16 for both SG: Approach and SG: Off The Tee, he's managed his way around the course and bounced back when he has dropped shots. Two birdies in his last four holes today was a strong finish, with those holes playing predominantly into the wind.
Chasing Jamieson are two players who will be desperate to kick off 2022 with a win. Shane Lowry was the winner in Abu Dhabi in 2019 and he's now 13/5 favourite. The Irishman has a ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Golf Betting Club Pressure Performance Rating and in our eyes, he's very much the man to beat tomorrow.
Thomas Pieters (3/1) won at the back end of 2021 but it was far from a convincing final round. However, that win, his first in over two years, will no doubt have given him confidence and he too must be considered a threat tomorrow.
Weather for the final round should be similar to the 3rd round - sunny with a constant breeze of around 16mph.
Round 4 Bet
- No bet
It's likely Lowry wins but we're happy to leave the outright market alone and cheer on our pre-event selection Rafa Cabrera Bello.
We looked at Pablo Larrazabal (29/10) to beat Victor Perez and Erik Van Rooyen in their threeball given he leads the field in SG: Approach this week. However, it wasn't strong enough to put him up as a bet.
21 January 2022, 5:10pm (UK time)
|Morrison (thru 14 holes)||-6|
Scott Jamieson retained a one shot lead as extreme winds tested the players on day two of the Abu Dhabi Championship.
The Scot wobbled with a double bogey at his 10th hole but retained his composure impressively and finished with a birdie at his penultimate hole. Odds of 14/1 for him to win a 2nd European Tour title are not unreasonable but there are a number of strong contenders chasing him.
Viktor Hovland remains the 5/2 favourite and it's hard to build a case against him. He ranks 12th for SG: Off The Tee and 16th SG: Putting. Although we see him going close, we aren't ready to pull the trigger at 5/2.
Ian Poulter and Shane Lowry are both priced around 7/1 and both look a threat. Each would probably prefer the wind to blow over the weekend but it will be no surprise to see them challenging on Sunday afternoon. Both have to be respected but we're looking further down the leaderboard for value.
Darkness prevented round 2 from finishing and 39 players are still to complete their 2nd round.
The players will be relieved to know that the weather for tomorrow is set to be less testing. The wind is forecast to peak at 14mph and the sun will be shining.
We'll be at Yas Links for the 3rd round, have a look at our social media accounts for pictures and videos!
Round 3 Bet
- 0.75pts Each Way Jeff Winther 66/1 @ Skybet (1/5 1-4)
Jeff won his first European Tour title last year at the Mallorca Golf Open. He'd been knocking on the door of a win for a couple of years and a 3rd place finish at the Qatar Open in 2020 shows he is comfortable in this part of the world. He ranks 6th for SG: Approach so far this week and he's gaining strokes off the tee too. His odds appear are generous and we're happy to add him to the staking plan.
20 January 2022, 5:10pm (UK time)
|Five Players Tied||-6|
Scott Jamieson fired a morning 63 to take a one shot lead into the 2nd round at Yas Links.
The Scot finished 13th on his last start in 2021 and spoke in his post round interview about how he was "comfortable" with where his game was during the off season. We're not too keen on backing him ahead of a difficult day tomorrow but odds of 20/1 are available if you fancy he'll maintain his form over the next three days.
Viktor Hovland is the man chasing Jamieson and the Norwegian youngster is the bookies favourite at 2/1. Hovland spoke of his comfort at putting on Paspalum grass (three of his four wins have come on the surface) and his ability to read the greens. There's no doubt he's a cut above everyone else on this leaderboard and we could understand if people were keen to get him onside. However, 2/1 is just too short for us to consider taking at this stage of proceedings, even if he is the Prince of Paspalum.
Tyrrell Hatton (17/2) just edges Thomas Pieters (9/1) in the betting and both have to be respected. Hatton has a fine links record and is the defending champion at this event (albeit at a different venue). He seems to raise his game for the Rolex Series events and for all he may seem unenthusiastic when interviewed, he remains a threat to the leaders.
Whilst all the other players were glowing about Yas Links, Pieters stated in his post round interview that he preferred the previous course (Abu Dhabi Golf Club) to this week's venue. That isn't exactly encouraging and we're happy to swerve him for the time being.
Make sure you set your alarm nice and early tomorrow, with winds expected to blow around 30mph and gusts of up to 45mph, we should get some interesting viewing!
Round 2 Bets
- 0.5pts Each Way Marcus Kinhult 125/1 @ Bet365 (1/5 1-5)
Marcus won the British Masters in 2019 and has a fine record on links courses and in the Middle East. He has one hole left to play of his first round and will play in the morning wave tomorrow (the wind is expected to be a couple of mph less in the morning). Kinhult was inside the top 150 in the world until suffering a seizure last year and missing several months of play. He did end the season with a 24th place finish at the AVIV Dubai Championship and we're banking on him continuing his form over the next three days. He's a better player than the odds suggest.
- 0.5pts Each Way Sami Valimaki 300/1 @ Skybet (1/4 1-4)
With windy conditions forecast we are happy to side with Sami. The young Finn has shown himself to be a strong player in breezy conditions (see his Player Profile for more info) and with many players set to struggle, he could well find himself near the top of the leaderboard. A winner on Tour in 2020, he had a difficult 2021 but we think he can start 2022 strongly.