Jack Green's tips for the first event of the European Tour's desert swing include a player to win, an each-way shout and an outsider at a big price.
Back to win: Tommy Fleetwood
Fleetwood is one of just three players to have won this event twice, having triumphed in Abu Dhabi in both 2017 and 2018.
The Englishman went 22 months without a victory after that second win, but then won the Nedbank Golf Challenge in November 2019 and followed that up with a runner-up finish at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.
Fleetwood hasn’t played since then, but looks poised to make a strong start to 2020 given his previous success at this event.
Six of the last seven Rolex Series events have been won by a player who had already won one, so Fleetwood – who has two Rolex Series victories in his career to date – looks a great bet at the top of the market.
Each-way shout: Bernd Wiesberger
Wiesberger won three times on the European Tour last year, including two Rolex Series events – the Italian and Scottish Opens.
The Austrian closed the season in good form, with a T3 at the Nedbank Golf Challenge in his penultimate start, and now heads to a venue at which he’s had some success in the past.
Wiesberger finished fourth in Abu Dhabi in 2017 and has finished inside the top 15 in three of his last five starts at this event, so a T42 last year can be considered a blip.
The world No. 23 has the accuracy that’s required to do well at this course, having ranked 16th in greens in regulation percentage on the European Tour last season, so it’d be no surprise if he’s in contention once again on Sunday.
Outside shot: Pablo Larrazabal
Larrazabal closed out his 2019 season with a win at the Alfred Dunhill Championship and is a great outside option in his first start of 2020.
The Spaniard’s results last year were mixed, but one of his highlights of the season came in Abu Dhabi, where he finished T6.
That’s not his only good result at this venue. He won here in 2014 and finished T2 in 2017.
Few in this field can match Larrazabal’s record in the desert, so he is well worth a punt this week at what is a generous price.
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