There are excellent golf tournaments on both the European Tour and the PGA tour this week and we’ve got free tips for both the Saudi International and the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Saudi International 2019 Preview & Tip
The European Tour has secured another lucrative new tournament this year in the shape of the Saudi International powered by SBIA, and the King Abdullah Economic City has been handing out appearance money by the bucketful to make sure the inaugural renewal hits the headlines. We’ve no idea how much world-number-one Justin Rose has been paid to turn up, but he’s also being joined by fellow top-5 players Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, and Bryson DeChambeau.
The tournament is being played on the Royal Greens Golf & Country Club and the par 70 layout is short by modern standards at just over 7,000 yards. Reports from the course suggest fairways are running fast, which should put an emphasis on accurate tee-shots, whilst the greens will run at between 11 and 11.5 on the stimpmeter. The course also features four lakes, whilst the wind can also be one of the course’s main defences.
Bryson DeChambeau makes the most appeal of the big-four, and “The Scientist” as he’s rapidly becoming known around the world could easily make it five wins from his last 10 tournaments this week. His seven-shot victory last week was clinical, but this course may test his driving more than last week’s. Of the other three big names, Justin Rose may struggle with swapping time zones, whilst we may not see the best of Johnson or Koepka until the majors this year.
All of that makes me want to take a punt on Juist Luiten this week, as I was really impressed with the way he was playing two weeks ago in Abu Dhabi, where he hit more greens in regulation than anyone else and ranked second for driving accuracy. A missed cut last week can be forgiven on account of him not feeling well and he should have the perfect skillset for this course.
Saudi International 2019 Golf Tip:
Juist Luiten (Each-Way) @ 41.00 Coral, PaddyPower, Boylesports
(all paying 7 places)
Waste Management Phoenix Open 2019 Preview & Tip
Players that prefer to play in front of quiet crowds will be giving this week’s Waste Management Phoenix Open a miss. Over 600,000 fans pitched up at the tournament last season and boy do they make some noise. They’re not exactly player-friendly either, with laughter and even boos often being the response to poor shots.
But some players simply revel in the iconic atmosphere of the TPC Scottsdale, a course that has hosted this unusual event Open since 1987. It’s a par 71 that measures 7,250 yards and generous fairways mean players can attack most holes.
The world number four Justin Thomas and number six John Rahm head the market this week and will be popular with the crowds. Rahm has shown the best tournament form of the two so far having finished 5/11/16 in three visits, whilst Thomas has gone 17/MC/MC/17. Rahm also arrives here in better current form.
However, if course and current form is a prerequisite this week, we need look no further than Hideki Matsuyama. The Japanese player has taken this event by storm since finishing fourth on debut in 2014, after which the course was modified by Tom Weiskoph. Since those changes, Matsuyama has finished second in 2015 and won in both 2016 and 2017, before withdrawing last year because of injury.
He wasn’t at his best for much of last season, but his third last week at Torrey Pines was a clear indication that he could be about to find his best form, and a return to a course where he’s dominated in the past gives him every chance of playing his best golf this week.
Waste Management Phoenix Open 2019 Tip:
Hideki Matsuyama (Each-Way) @ 13.00 SkyBet, PaddyPower
(Both paying 8 places)