Doc’s Best Bets – Abu Dhabi

Donal 'Doc' Hughes

Pablo Larrazabal (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

Donal 'Doc' Hughes

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January 16-19, 2020
Abu Dhabi G.C., Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Par: 72 / Yardage: 7,583
Purse: $7 million with $1,139,894 to the winner
Defending Champion: Shane Lowry

Favourite Watch
Believe it or not, Patrick Cantlay is the bookies favourite at 10/1 on the back of a solo 4th at the reduced field Tournament Of Champions and a second at The Shriners. That looks a bit of a red herring for a debutant to me. If I was looking for a win only bet I’d look no further than reigning Open Champion Shane Lowry at 18/1. He’s also the defending champion here and warmed up with a solo 2nd at the Hong Kong Open (behind Wade Ormsby) last week.

Doc’s Top 5 Best Each Way Bets

Louis Oosthuizen 18/1

16/1 are low odds for a place bet but Louis is a live contender to take a win also and his consistency of late gives him the nod. His solo second last week at the SA Open included a hole-in-one when most needed to put pressure on Branden Grace. T6 at the Nedbank meant a decent South African swing, solo third too at the WGC HSBC and it all adds up to watch out for Louis who has four top-10’s from eight Abu Dhabi starts including a solo 3rd last year.

Matt Fitzpatrick 20/1

Matt didn’t play Abu Dhabi last season but finished T3 in 2018 and returns this year for his fifth appearance. 2019 was a season of pure frustration for the Englishman with three runner-up finishes and a string of agonising top-10’s at the end of the season when he could have, and arguably should have, won. New year, clean slate, I think he’ll do well this week.

Bob MacIntyre 35/1
Rookie of the Year in 2019 and Bob MacIntyre comes into 2020 with real hopes of a Ryder Cup spot and breaking into the world’s top 50 (currently 65th). The last of his three runner up finishes in 2019 was at the European Open after which he posted eight consecutive top-30 finishes including four more top-10s. T63 on his debut last year but the Scot has matured quickly since and is headed for big things in 2020.

Tom Lewis 45/1
Looking down the field for value I see Tom Lewis at 45/1 and he looks a great each way bet. This guy has oceans of talent and really seemed to have grown in stature over the past two seasons to the point that he’s now 53rd in the World Rankings from a low of 394th at the start of 2018. Finished 2019 with three European top-10’s from five starts including a T6 at the Tour Championship in Dubai. One to watch this week.

Joost Luiten 50/1
Any tipster worth his salt will tell you that those who top-5 in Abu Dhabi shower the greens in regulation and if there’s one man who you need for that job, it’s Joost Luiten. Solo third here last year and has three other top-6 finishes besides in the last eight years. Loves this course, his stats tee to green here over starts are the best in the field and if he gets his putts, Joost can definitely post a place finish.

Long Odds Glory Shot

Pablo Larrazabal 66/1
Winner again in South Africa at the Alfred Dunhill to end 2019 and former winner of this event in 2014. T6 here in 2019 and T2 in 2017 and I’ll be having a fiver each way on Pablo myself this week at those odds!

Paul Waring 70/1
T6 here to start his 2019, then T3 in Dubai and went on to have a super season including 8 consecutive top-30 finishes from the Czech Masters to end it. Now 73rd in the World and rising. One of my favourite players on Tour.

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