Golf: European Tour Abu Dhabi Golf Championship
Venue: Abu Dhabi Golf Club, UAE.
Dates: Thursday 16th – Sunday 20th January 2020
One of the biggest events on the European Tour calendar gets underway in Abu Dhabi on Thursday with an incredible line-up due to descend on the incredible Abu Dhabi golf course once more. The event has grown in stature dramatically since its inception back in 2006 and with over $7 million on offer in the prize purse, there will be plenty to play for in the Emirates sunshine. Despite the event only going into it’s 14th year on the tour, there are plenty of big names that have tasted glory in Abu Dhabi with the likes of Shane Lowry, Tommy Fleetwood and Paul Casey all having picked up the trophy previously, the status of the event speaks for itself.
Big names from Europe and beyond will be hoping to get 2020 off to a flying start here in Abu Dhabi:-
2017 & 2018 champion Tommy Fleetwood tends to play his best golf here at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club and he will be relishing the chance to get going again in a Ryder Cup year.
World number one Brooks Kopepka is a welcome addition to the field here in Abu Dhabi and if he plays anywhere near his best golf, he looks an obvious contender this week.
South African Louis Oosthuizen is a consistent performer across all levels and he will be hoping for another stellar season on the European Tour and he finished second at the South African Open last week.
Defending champion Shane Lowry used this event as a springboard to incredible things in 2019, going on to win the Open Championship and he will be hoping to go well again in 2020.
American Bryson DeChambeau has a unique playing style that has endeared him to many within the game and he will be looking to kick on in 2020 and he could be one to watch here.
1st Round Leader
Producing the goods over 72 holes is often the most difficult thing for any golfer to do therefore here are our first round leader picks:-
American Patrick Cantlay very rarely forays onto the European Tour and his presence in this event suggests he means business and he could get off to a flyer here in the Abu Dhabi sunshine.
South African Branden Grace shot an incredible 62 to win the South African Open by three shots on Sunday and if he replicates that form here in Abu Dhabi, he will be difficult to beat.
Belgian Thomas Detry is still looking for his first European Tour victory but 2019 was an excellent year for him and he looks well placed to develop in 2020.
Top Ten Finish
With so many quality players assembled here at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club, getting into the winning enclosure could be tough but there are plenty of candidates to finish in the top 10 come Sunday:-
Englishman Matthew Fitzpatrick continued to develop his reputation in 2019 and with Ryder Cup points on offer here, he will be keen to feature heavily come Sunday afternoon.
2019 was a year of redemption for Danny Willett with tournament wins and improved performances and he too will see this season as a chance to kick on with plenty of Ryder Cup spots up for grabs.
‘The Postman’ has become one of the go-to men for Europe in Ryder Cups over the past few seasons and he will be hoping to make a flying start to the 2020 season here in favourable conditions in Abu Dhabi.
BetXChange Best Bets:
Outright Winner: Brooks Koepka – 12.00
1st Round Leader: Branden Grace – 28.00