European Tour – Ras al Khaimah Classic
Venue: Al Hamra, RAK, UAE.
Dates: Thursday 10th – Sunday 13th February 2022
The first staging of the Ras al Khaimah Classic 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. Formally an event on the Challenge Tour, the Ras al Khaimah Classic is the second event staged at the Al Hamra Golf Course, following on from the RAK Championship last weekend. 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 next installment. The prize purse is a rather handsome $1.5 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 2022 off to a flying start here in the UAE:
Fresh off his superb win at this course last weekend, Nicolai Hojgaard is the front runner for the RAK Classic and if he carries on last weekend’s form, he could be tough to stop.
Englishman Jordan Smith is at the forefront of the next generation of young golfers and once he finds his rhythm, he is very difficult to stop – particularly as a winner of this event in its Challenge Tour days.
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 a fortnight ago.
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:
Chinese superstar Haotong Li has enjoyed tournament success in the UAE before and his third place finish at the RAK Championship last week should instil him with confidence here.
Former English Ryder Cup player Andy Sullivan is one of the cleanest ball strikers around and should he find his rhythm here, a top 10 finish looks comfortably within his reach.
Scott Jamieson was very quick out of the blocks at his last two events and although he ultimately fell off the pace, he could be in amongst it again in Ras al Khaimah this weekend.
Ras al Khaimah Classic betxchange.com Best Bets:
Outright Winner: Jordan Smith – 18/1
1st Round Leader: John Caitlin – 55/1