Okay, let me get the self-congratulatory pat on the back out of the way for last week. A great win from Brandt Snedeker in the US, and a second place for Rafa Cabrera-Bello in Qatar giving us a tasty 55 points profit on the week, and a spectacular January overall!
This week, we’re taking in the Dubai Desert Classic on the European Tour, and the Waste Management on the PGA Tour, and both look well-worth having a decent crack at.
Dubai Desert Classic
This is a tournament that revolves around market-leader and last year’s winner Rory McIlroy, who is capable of blowing away this field at a course he likes, but is only 5/2 to do so. Considering he’s won the title twice in seven attempts those odds are fair enough, but the fact he’s never defended a title means he’s not a bet in my books.
Instead, I’m happy to side with a couple of each-way fancies who will be trying hard to make Europe’s Ryder Cup Team, and have plenty of recent good form in the event. I’m also recommending a top-10 bet, and a first-round leader bet.
1 point each-way Andy Sullivan @ 33/1 (Various Bookmakers) ¼ odds 5 places
Sullivan delivered on his early promises with three wins last season, and he pushed Rory closest at the Race to Dubai at the end of the season. He’s also got form in this as he finished 4th last year.
1 point each-way Thorbjorn Olesen @ 33/1 (Various Bookmakers) ¼ odds 5 places
The Dane is up to 63 in the world, and needs another big push to get himself into the Masters, whilst a Ryder Cup spot is definitely on his agenda. Finished 5th and 3rd here recently, and was joint second last week.
2 points Robert Rock Top-10 @ 6/1 (BetVictor)
Robert Rock has had a solid Desert Swing so far in finishing 26th in Abu Dhabi and 20th in Qatar, but he usually reserves his best performances for here where he’s finished 7/5/9 the last 3 years. An each-way bet at 66/1 was tempting, but he would have landed a top-10 bet in all of the last 3 years, and is 6/1 to do so again.
1 point each-way Nicolas Colsaerts First Round Leader @ 70/1 (Betfred, Stan James) ¼ odds 5 places
The big-hitting Belgian has been 2nd and 4th after round-one here the last two years, and has also led the field after round-one twice in his last 10 tournaments – making 70/1 for him to be first-round leader too tempting to resist.
Waste Management Phoenix Open
The strong winds at Torrey Pines last week means I’m avoiding anyone who played there, as it must have been a tiring weekend, and I’d much sooner side with a couple of players who look to have targeted this event.
2 points each-way Bubba Watson @ 12/1 (Stan James) ¼ odds 6 places
The case for Bubba is an obvious one as the course is tailor-made for him, and he’s proved that by finishing 5/15/2/2 the last 4 years. He really should have won the tournament by now, and it’s definitely one he wants to check off his list.
1 point each-way Webb Simpson @ 50/1 (Bet365, Betfred) ¼ odds 5 places
Simpson’s form of 13th and 17th in his last two starts suggests he’s about to hit the leaderboard soon, and he’s finished 8/8/10 in the past few years here. He got a Captain’s Pick for the 2014 Ryder Cup but, at 75th in the world rankings, he knows he’s going to have to pull his finger out if he’s to make the team this year, and he looks motivated to do so.