Golf: European Tour Saudi International
Venue: Royal Greens Golf & Country Club, Saudi Arabia.
Dates: Thursday 30th – Sunday 2nd February 2020
The gulf swing of the European tour continues with some of the biggest names in the game arriving in Saudi Arabia for the Saudi International. The event is one of the newest on the tour having launched in 2019 and it was an instant success with many players returning in 2020. Dustin Johnson is the defending champion having shot 19 under par for the tournament to win the event by two shots from Haotong Li. The prize purse is a rather handsome $3.5 million and there are the usual plethora of big names lining up to get their share and their hands on the trophy come Sunday.
Big names from Europe and beyond will be hoping to get 2020 off to a flying start here in Saudi Arabia:
2019 champion and former world number one enjoyed the course in Saudi greatly last year and with a huge game well suited to conditions, he is the rightful favourite going into this one.
World number one Brooks Koepka is always there or there abouts in the big events and he will be keen to find some form having endured a quiet end to the 2019 season.
Former Masters champion Patrick Reed has had two top 10 finishes already this season and he looked in excellent form at the Farmers Insurance Open last time out.
Spaniard Sergio Garcia continues to churn out the results on both the European and PGA Tours and with 2 top 10 finishes from his last 3 starts, his form is heading in the right direction.
Chinese superstar Haotong Li has seen his stock rise over the past few seasons and he pushed Dustin Johnson all the way in this event last year – one to watch.
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:
Enigmatic Frenchman Victor Perez has enjoyed two top 20 finishes in his last two outings, and he plays streaky golf that could come good here this week.
Reliable Swede Henrik Stenson has enjoyed a great start to the 2020 season, epitomised by his win at the Hero World Golf Challenge and he could go well this week.
Mexican Abraham Ancer is turning into a very consistent performer on both the European and PGA Tours and he has 3 top 10 finishes in his last 4 starts.
Top 10 Finish
There are plenty of stellar names in contention to finish in the top 10 come Sunday in Saudi Arabia:
Defending Open champion Shane Lowry has struggled for form in recent weeks, but he looks a good fit for the conditions in Saudi Arabia this week.
Big hitting Belgian Thomas Pieters has already tasted Ryder Cup glory previously and he will be eager to be involved in 2020 and a top 10 finish here would help him greatly.
With a win already this season under his belt, Lee Westwood will be keen to kick on this season and make the European Ryder Cup squad in September.
BetXChange Best Bets:
Outright Winner: Dustin Johnson – 8.00
1st Round Leader: Victor Perez – 25.00