By Lewis Pacelli
Due to this being our first week of the blog getting up and running, we will only put a couple of people up that we fancy to do well. In the coming weeks will do many more for all tournaments on both tours.
Abu Dhabi World Championship
The Abu Dhabi Championships welcome some of the biggest names in the game to the Abu Dhabi Golf Club this week. Paul Casey and Martin Kaymer have been dominant here over the past few years, winning 5 out of the last 6 times, with only Robert Rocks victory last season halting the remarkable trend. The fairways are going to be tighter this year with it being described as “narrower than average” but on the whole the course is relatively exposed. We do feel that it won’t be one of the “bombers” but someone with good accuracy that could challenge this week.
Paddy Power are also paying 6 places this week! Would be foolish not to get involved on that!
Justin Rose (16/1 Paddy Power)
Justin Rose begins his 2013 looking to improve on what was a solid season last year, as the Englishman starts to find his form that gave him the heavy burden of “next English major winner”.
His end to 2012 was very impressive – 2nd, T24, T6, T3, T5. He will want to transfer this form into the New Year and we feel this could be a very interesting place to start.
He has never played here before, but we are sure this will not hamper his challenge. The course has been “toughened up” and this could play into his hands and adding this tournament to his schedule would of come with consideration that he can contend. Accuracy will be more important here than usual and Rose is always consistent in this department. He was 3rd overall last season in accuracy from the tee and coupled together with 18th in driving distance, he has a lethal combination for this course. Whilst his GIR were 1st throughout the year, which means he rarely bottles a good tee shot. We really feel he could have a good year and this is a course that suits to start it all off.
Anders Hansen (50/1 Paddy Power)
Hansen has a very respectable track record at Abu Dhabi, especially considering he is not the biggest of hitters on the tour. 14th in 2012, 8th in 2010 and T18th in 2009 shows his pedigree on the course. In each of his last 19 competitive rounds at the Abu Dhabi Golf Hansen has been par or better. With the fairways being made much tighter this year, many of the big hitters who thrive on this course could fall foul leaving the door open for someone like Anders. Being 12th in Driving Accuracy on the European Tour in 2012 shows the smaller fairways will not be a problem for the Dane. At the back end of last year, Hansen hit some sort of form with a 7th, 10th and 21st in his last 3 tournaments, the latter being in Dubai.