Abu Dhabi Championship: Fowler big price to retain
Frank Monkhouse | 20 January 2017
We pick through the field with value in mind
Golf punters turn their attentions to the Abu Dhabi Golf Club in, you guessed it, UAE as the European Tour cranks the heat up a notch with the desert swing, from Thursday through to Sunday.
The competition has already many headlines this week, with the withdrawal of one of the sport’s leading names in Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy due to a rib injury. That is a blow for fans, and regular backers of the four-time major winner, but opens the betting up and we look to pick out one at a nice price…..
Johnson and Stenson battle for supremacy
With McIlroy watching from the sidelines, Dustin Johnson and Henrik Stenson go into the week at the head of the betting, with Coral giving 6/1 on both men at the time of writing. Although fulling deserving of the jolly tag, question marks remain over the pair and I think it best to avoid them and try to pick out a selection at a bigger price. There’s little joy to be had in backing a 6/1 poke over the course of four days play.
Let’s go champ
The man who will carry our stake money, with value at the forefront of my thinking, is defending champ Rickie Fowler, who goes at a surprising 12/1 with Coral. Now, there are reasons for that double-figure offer, mainly the fact that he hasn’t been too active of late, but the 28-year-old American has shown his ability to handle this challenge in the past. He carded a winning score of 16 under-par last year, which would have been enough to win three of the previous four outings before that.
Fresh and ready to go, if Fowler arrives here in high spirits and genuinely looking to defend his title, then I make him more than capable. He’ll know all too well from last year’s winning effort that a cautious approach will suit best, with accurate work done on the bunker-laden fairways more important than bombing off the tee.
Excellent each-way terms
We will need a couple of little things to fall into place to see Fowler home in front, but that seems to have been reflected in Coral’s generous offer of 12/1. What’s better is each-way players have been more than looked after, with an incredible seven places paid out at 1/5 the odds, leaving competitors trailing. That’s a safety net you just may want to take advantage of.