Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship Betting Tips & Predictions – Thursday 16th January 2020

It’s relatively rare that the European Tour boasts a stronger field than the PGA Tour but that’s the case this week. Whilst there’s a pro-am event in California, many of the world’s best players are paying a visit to the UAE for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Shane Lowry is very much in that group of the world’s best golfers. Last year’s Open champion got 2019 underway with a win in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship and having finished runner up in the Hong Kong Open last week, he is well placed to defend his title.

Top Tips

Shane Lowry @ 20/1

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

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Course Info

The visiting American players in the field for this week’s event should enjoy what they find at Abu Dhabi Golf Club. This is a long championship golf course with a distinctly American feel to it. Players need a certain amount of power, quality ball striking and a solid week on the greens in order to contend here.

The huge amount of rain that’s fallen locally will have an impact on the way Abu Dhabi Golf Club plays. A damp course will limit the distance the ball rolls on the fairways which always makes distance off the tee more important and accuracy less so. It also plays into the hands of the best shot makers as the greens will be more receptive so approach shots should, in theory, end up closer to the hole. Hitting a high percentage of greens in regulation has always been important in Abu Dhabi and could be even more so this time around.

CourseLocationLengthPrize Money
Abu Dhabi Golf Club Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates 7,583 Yards $7,000,000

Recent Winners

The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship is a tournament on the up. It seems to increase in stature with every passing year with a combination of a healthy prize fund, a world class golf course and some large appearance fees for the biggest names in the game making for an excellent event. With all due respect to the players who competed in the earlier editions of this event (Martin Kaymer and Paul Casey are both multiple winners) the list of recent winners gets more impressive all the time.

Tommy Fleetwood is one of the very best players in European golf. He’s proven his suitability to this course with two wins whilst Shane Lowry won in Abu Dhabi just months before winning his first major championship. Rickie Fowler became the first superstar visiting from America to win in 2016 but the very first edition was actually won by another American, Chris DiMarco.

YearWinnerTo ParWinning Margin
2019 Shane Lowry -18 1 Stroke
2018 Tommy Fleetwood -22 2 Strokes
2017 Tommy Fleetwood -17 1 Stroke
2016 Rickie Fowler -16 1 Stroke
2015 Gary Stal -19 1 Stroke

Analysis: Controlled Power a Must

The effects of the inclement weather in Abu Dhabi should make power more important but this is not a golf course where you can simply grip it a rip it. The event organisers always try to keep the big hitters honest by overseeding the rough and leaving it long enough so that those who miss the fairways will be punished.

We are, therefore, looking for a golfer with plenty power but one who can control that by hitting the fairways. Those who hit the short grass have a much better chance of finding the greens and it is that which has proved to be such a vital statistic over the years in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Lowry a Good Price to Defend

As we’ve seen already, multiple champions are by no means rare in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. That is good news for fans of Irish golf as Shane Lowry heads to the Middle East to defend his title.

Victory in this tournament 12 months ago was the start of an excellent season for Lowry. He’s been a world class performer for some years now but every golfer feels as though they reach a different level when they get over the line in a major.

Lowry’s ability to cope with the elements and a very challenging course saw him get the job done in the Open. That ability to control his ball where necessary and be aggressive when the opportunity presents itself will stand him in very good stead in Abu Dhabi. The fact that he got competitive golf under his belt last week with a second place finish at the Hong Kong Open is another major positive for the Irishman who is very well priced at 20/1 with Ladbrokes.

Wiesberger Ready to Kick On

When Bernd Wiesberger turned up to Abu Dhabi Golf Club last year he did so with limited expectations for a man who had already claimed two top 10 finishes in this event. That’s because he was still working his way back from a wrist injury which forced him to have an extended absence from the game.

He was right to be cautious about his prospects. A 42nd placed finish was actually a good result in the context of what was to follow. It took him some months to work his way back to full fitness and his best golf, but when he did, the Austrian really took advantage. His three wins in 2019 - at the Made In Denmark, Scottish Open and Italian Open - took Wiesberger from 378th in the world to 21st in just over six months. He’s playing better than ever and will return to Abu Dhabi confident about his chances of winning at 40/1 with Betfred.

Final Verdict: Shane Lowry to Win

Shane Lowry is as well placed as any previous winner of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship to defend his title. He played excellent golf last week so will have an advantage over many of his competitors and should find the conditions of the course suit his game. Lowry looks the best value bet to win the tournament at 20/1 with Ladbrokes whilst Bernd Wiesberger is tempting for an each way bet at 40/1 with Betfred.

About

The Abu Dhabi Championship is often seen as the start of the season for some players who have opted not to the likes of Hong Kong, South Africa and Australia. Either way, it's still regarded as one of the more prestigious events, even though it's only been running since 2006.

What's unique about the event is that it's not one that is co-sanctioned with the Asian Tour and instead holds it roots simply with the European Tour as one of few that they sanction outright in Asia.

The current host is that of the Abu Dhabi Golf Club, which is in the United Arab Emirates. The course itself is one of the longest on tour, measuring over 7,600 yards in total. But, whilst length is usually favoured a mix of winner shave occurred since 2007 that include the likes of Pablo Larrazabal, Robert Rock and Tommy Fleetwood, who certainly aren't considered to be longer hitters on tour. It's also one of the few events that a number of American players from the PGA Tour like to come across and play, mainly because it coincides with some less than popular events across the pond.

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