Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship 2011

The European Tour is quick to gather its star members so early in the new year with the action returning to Abu Dhabi for the 6th time. With no early season form really to go on, the bookies have marked up the main contenders fairly low in the betting with defending champion, Martin Kaymer as low as 8/1 to score a 3rd success here. World Number 1, Lee Westwood will also be suited by the course, as too will McIlroy, Casey, Oosthuizen,Fisher,McDowell and Phil Mickelson. Regualr readers of this blog will know I rate Kaymer & Westwood as Europe's best 2 players, but I am finding it difficult to pick the winner this week as there is no form to go on...That should suggest that Gmac is in the one to side with but I am taking a chance this week on Paul Casey to score for the 3rd time here and beat Kaymer to that feat. The Englishman may want to prove something on European soil this year having been omitted from the Ryder Cup team and its clearly a course he likes. 15/1 (Boylesports) may be just a bit short normally with this calibre of field but for previous success here its worth a punt. I will take one of my own favourites, Ross Fisher, 40/1 (Boylesports) also, as I am expecting a big year from Ross this year. The fast greens this week will suit him, he just needs to add more good rounds in the same week. He has been prone to shooting low scores on Fridays only to "undo" that round with an average rd come Saturday. My 3rd pick is Oliver Wilson, not a great year last year but is quite capable of challenging any given week and had decent enough effort in South Africa two weeks ago. The odds of 125/1 just have to be taken, 2011 may just be his year he finally gets that elusive win and just like with Padraig Harrington with all the runner-up placings once that win comes, others will follow!

TIP 1 1 pt e/w P.Casey @ 15/1 (Boylesports): Twice winner here and may be motivated to perform well in Europe this year....Will be up for the rivalry with compatriots, Westwood & Poulter also which should inspire him.

TIP 2 1 pt e/w R.Fisher @ 40/1 (Boylesports): Excellent driver of the ball and when putter is hot he is unstoppable. Course will suit him.

TIP 3 1pt e/w O.Wilson @ 125/1 (Boylesports):2011 may just be his year he finally gets that elusive win and just like with Padraig Harrington with all the runner-up placings, once that win comes, others will follow!