Golf: Ras al Khaimah Championship
Venue: Al Hamra, RAK, UAE.
Dates: Thursday 3rd – Sunday 6th February 2022
The inaugural Ras al Khaimah Championship gets underway in the United Arab Emirates, with some of the biggest names on the European Tour chasing some early season silverware in the gulf swing. New tournaments are consistently popping up on both the PGA and European Tours and the event at the Al Hamra Golf Course in RAK has attracted a stellar field for its first edition. European Ryder Cup player Bernd Wiesberger heads up the list of big names in action, with Englishman Jordan Smith and Scot Bob MacIntyre also sure to pull in the crowds. The prize purse is a rather handsome $2 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 2022 off to a flying start here in the UAE:
Austrian Bernd Wiesberger hasn’t been able to find his best form in recent months but strikes an incredible ball and he should relish starting out as tournament favourite here.
Englishman Jordan Smith is at the forefront of the next generation of young golfers and once he find his rhythm, he is very difficult to stop – particularly in conditions that suit like in the UAE.
Big Scotsman Robert MacIntyre is one of the up and coming stars of the European game and he could do with a tournament win to underline his clear potential at this level.
Belgian Thomas Detry is another man well suited to conditions here in Ras al Khaimah and in a relatively open field, he looks rather overpriced this weekend.
Englishman Richard Bland famously took over a decade to secure his first European Tour win and he arrives in Ras al Khaimah fresh off the back of a second placed finish at the Dubai Desert Classic.
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 John Caitlin has found a real niche for himself on the European Tour over the past couple of seasons and his penchant for a fast start makes him a serious candidate from the off here.
Having been able to put his off course troubles behind him in recent weeks, Dane Thorbjorn Olesen should be raring to go here in Ras al Khaimah and could sneak under the radar somewhat.
Top 10 Finish
There are plenty of stellar names in contention to finish in the top 10 come Sunday afternoon in the sun at the Al Hamra Golf Course in Ras al Khaimah:
New Zealander Ryan Fox is another golfer that has made his mark on the continent, and he should very much enjoy the fast paced conditions here in Ras al Khaimah.
Chinese superstar Haotong Li has enjoyed tournament success in the UAE before and should he start finding form with both his iron and putting game, he could be very tough to stop.
Scott Jamieson was very quick out of the blocks at the Dubai Desert Classic last weekend and although he ultimately fell off the pace, he could be in amongst it again in Ras al Khaimah this weekend.
Ras al Khaimah Championship betxchange.com Best Bets:
Outright Winner: Bernd Wiesberger – 12/1
1st Round Leader: John Caitlin – 55/1