- Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka headline a strong Abu Dhabi field
- Tommy Fleetwood is the two-time defending champion
- We’ve narrowed down the golfers with the best chance of emerging victorious
Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka headline a deep field for the 2019 European Tour opener at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club from January 16th-19th that also features two-time defending champion Tommy Fleetwood.
This event kicks off the eight-event Rolex Series so the prize purse has been elevated from $3 million last year to a whopping $7 million this go around.
2019 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship Odds
|Golfer||Odds to Win 2019 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship at Bovada (01/15/19)|
|Rafael Cabrera Bello||+2800|
*Follow the link in the table to see all options
Dustin Johnson Better Positioned to Win than Koepka
Choosing between these two golfers is like being picky over a Rolls Royce and a Ferrari – they’re both incredible. Of these two, however, DJ has the better course history. Two top tens in the last two years, including a tie for second in 2017. Koepka has played just once, way back in 2014 where he missed the cut. You can’t go wrong with either pick, but Johnson is the safer selection.
This video was fun to make. How would you play it? https://t.co/sMIhAVgu86
— Dustin Johnson (@DJohnsonPGA) January 15, 2019
Thomas Pieters’ Last 5 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship Results
It’s either boom or bust for Thomas Pieters at this tournament the last five years – three top five finishes and two missed cuts. After racking up three victories and starring for the 2016 European Ryder Cup team he surprisingly hasn’t tasted individual victory since. Which Pieters’ will show up this week?
"Oh, deary me! I think that's patently obvious what he thought of that!" 😳
Thomas Pieters made no hiding of his displeasure during the second round of the BMW PGA Championship! 💪
— Sky Sports Golf (@SkySportsGolf) May 25, 2018
However, the long hitting Belgian teamed with Thomas Detry to win the World Cup of Golf in November and posted three straight top 18 finishes before that. At +2200 he deserves strong consideration.
🚨HOLE-IN-ONE 🚨@Thomas_Pieters 👏🏻👏🏻
The first ever ace on the 12th at Sheshan International. pic.twitter.com/6U6aV0bbdx
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) October 28, 2018
Last 5 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship Winners
There are just some events that have horses for courses and this one is no exception. Tommy Fleetwood has dominated the last two years, defeating DJ and Pablo Larrazabal by a stroke in 2017, and besting Ross Fisher by two last year. That makes up half of his European Tour win total.
Describe Tommy Fleetwood in 3 words…
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) September 29, 2018
There’s a reason the unflappable Englishmen is the third betting favorite this week. But it’s a tall order to three-peat as champion anywhere.
2019 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship Best Value Picks
- Martin Kaymer (+4500): Amazingly hasn’t won since his dominant eight stroke victory at the 2014 US Open, but has won this event three times (2008, 2010, 2011)
- Eddie Pepperell (+6600): Won twice last year, most recently in October. Four top tens in his last seven events. Hasn’t been particularly strong here in the past, but neither was Fleetwood before winning twice in a row.
- Andy Sullivan (+8000): Left out of the money just once in 26 events last season, resulting in eight top tens. Won three times in 2015, so capable of torrid play.