Golf: Dubai Desert Classic
Venue: Majlis, Dubai, UAE.
Dates: Thursday 27th – Sunday 30th January 2022
The gulf swing of the European tour continues with some of the biggest names in the game arriving in Dubai for the Dubai Desert Classic. The event is one of the oldest on the tour having launched in 1989 and it has long been a success, with many players returning in 2022. Previous winners of the event include the likes of Paul Casey, Bryson DeChambeau and Sergio Garcia – testament to the prestige in which the event is held in. The prize purse is a rather handsome $8 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:
Despite having no real form to call upon currently, Rory McIlroy is still the man to beat on the European Tour and he last won this event back in 2015.
When it comes to consistency across the golfing world, very few can compete with two time major winner Collin Morikawa, and he will be out to register another big win here.
Norwegian starlet Viktor Hovlan continues to blaze a trail at the very top of the game and with a tournament win in the bag already this season, he could take some stopping here in Dubai.
Englishman Tyrrell Hatton has been having some struggles with his game in recent weeks, but he is very rarely out of the places in any European Tour event he plays.
As a previous winner of this event, Sergio Garcia cannot be discarded, and the Spaniard could be ready to push some of the younger names in the field all the way 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:
Fresh off his win in Abu Dhabi last week, Thomas Pieters should be full of confidence and the Belgian’s game should stand up well to the test of the conditions here.
Reliable Swede Henrik Stenson has enjoyed a tough start to the 2022 season, but he hits the ball as clean as anybody on the tour and he should be one to watch in an open field this week.
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 Majlis Course in Dubai:
2019 Open champion Shane Lowry has struggled for form in recent months, but he looks a good fit for the conditions in Dubai this week.
Defending champion Paul Casey has been relatively quiet by his standards in recent weeks and how he would love to be in the mix on Sunday afternoon, on a course that he has tasted success on before.
It has been a barren couple of years for European Ryder Cup star Tommy Fleetwood, but the European Tour is his bread and butter, and he could well flourish in Dubai this week.
Dubai Desert Classic betxchange.com Best Bets:
Outright Winner: Collin Morikawa – 9/1
1st Round Leader: Thomas Pieters – 28/1