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Commercial Content | 18+ | T&C's Apply

Dubai Desert Classic 2018 Betting Preview

RECOMMENDED BETSMARKETODDSBOOKMAKERS
Matthew Fitzpatrick (ew)Tournament Winner20/1Coral
Dylan Frittelli (ew)Tournament Winner55/1Bet365
Stephen Gallacher (ew)Tournament Winner90/1Unibet

All odds quoted are subject to change

Venue

Built in and around the sand dunes at the Emirates Golf Club, the 7,328-yard Majlis course is regarded as a tough but fair test and has always attracted a host of star names to Dubai. The fairways are fairly generous, but errant tee shots will find deep grass on the fringes and then sandy desert scrub. A host of bunkers, occasional water hazards and slick greens add to the challenge. Tiger Woods, Ernie Els, Rory McIlroy, Danny Willett and Henrik Stenson are among the former champions here, while Sergio Garcia lifted the trophy last year. Like McIlroy, Stephen Gallacher is a two-time champion here and the Scot has finished in the top three in four of the last six editions, while he was ninth last year.

Favourites

McIlroy returned to action after a three-month break in Abu Dhabi and he looked refreshed as he finished third behind Tommy Fleetwood and Ross Fisher. Playing competitive golf again will have done him the power of good and should give him the impetus to climb back into the world’s top 10. The Northern Irishman is the firm favourite for a third victory here, at best odds of 5/1 with Betfred and Stan James. Defending champion Garcia won for the second time in five starts in Singapore at the weekend and he is second in the betting at 9/1 with Betfred, with Stenson at 12/1 with the same firm after finishing with a flourish in Abu Dhabi on Sunday. Fleetwood is up to 12th in the rankings after his repeat victory in Abu Dhabi and he’s at 12/1 with Coral and Stan James, with the rest of the field at 20/1 and beyond.

Tips

MATTHEW FITZPATRICK demonstrated his outstanding talent with the putter on his way to a share of third place in Abu Dhabi, maintaining the fine run of form which began with his victory at the Omega European Masters in September. The young Englishman has finished 15th or better on nine of his last 10 starts, tying for 19th in Hong Kong in November in the other. He was fifth here last year and is a 20/1 shot with 7 places at Coral.

DYLAN FRITTELLI continues to climb the rankings and his share of 19th place in Abu Dhabi took him to a career-high of 51st in the world. The 27-year-old from Johannesburg has finished in the top 20 on seven of his last nine starts, a sequence which includes a victory in Mauritius and a runners-up spot in Turkey. He’s been a popular choice in the early betting but you can get decent each-way odds of 55/1 at Bet365 with 5 places, or 50/1 at Coral with 7 places.

Some players seem to come alive at certain venues and the aforementioned STEPHEN GALLACHER is one of those, with his trips to Dubai producing his best results in five of the last six seasons, including those victories in 2013 and 2014. He’s only been out of the top 10 here once in his last seven visits and his form coming into this tournament always seems to be irrelevant. He can’t be ignored at the best odds of 90/1 and 6 places with Unibet.

RECOMMENDED BETSMARKETODDSBOOKMAKERS
Matthew Fitzpatrick (ew)Tournament Winner20/1Coral
Dylan Frittelli (ew)Tournament Winner55/1Bet365
Stephen Gallacher (ew)Tournament Winner90/1Unibet

All odds quoted are subject to change