Victor Perez closed out superbly to win the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship last week. Now we move onto the Dubai Desert Classic and as always, we’ve previewed the event and provided you with our suggested bets.

Dubai Desert Classic Tips


The Dubai Desert Classic was the inaugural tournament to be held in the Middle East, when it was first founded back in 1989. Since then there has been an explosion of golf in the Arabian Peninsula and it is currently one of six.

This event has traditionally featured a really strong field, due to the eye-watering sponsorship prize money on offer, with the current sponsor being Hero MotoCorp.

Just like the the Abu Dhabi HSBC last week, the Dubai Desert Classic is part of the elevated-event Rolex Series.

The tournament has been won multiple times by former champions, including Ernie Els (three times), Tiger Woods, Stephen Gallagher and Rory McIlroy (all twice).

Of those, only Gallagher (300/1) and McIlroy (10/3) line up here this week.

Other previous winners teeing it up here include Lucas Herbert (28/1), Rafa Cabrera-Bello (80/1), Miguel Angel Jiminez (400/1), Henrik Stenson (55/1) and Thomas Bjorn (400/1).

The defending champion Viktor Hovland has declined to take up his spot this week, as he seeks to manage his PGA Tour workload.

The total prize fund on offer this week is $9m, with a winners purse of $1.53m and 8,000 R2DR points.

The Course

The tournament is played at the Majlis Course at Emirates Golf Club and has been on all but two occasions since it’s inception.

Measuring 7,428 yards, this par 72 layout is heavily water laden, with hazards in play on almost half the holes.

Accurate driving is a must, due to hard to find fairways, lined with heavy rough, trees and sandy areas.

If you do manage to find the fairways, the greens are fast but large, meaning plenty of birdie opportunities.

The average winning score at the Emirates is around -17 for the last five years, with two of the last three running’s seeing lower scores of -9 for Lucas Herbert and -12 for Hovland, last year.

There is some rain and thunderstorms forecast for Thursday and Friday but the weekend should be clear and bright, if a little breezy.

The Field

The field is, of course, led by world number one and two time champion here, Rory McIlroy. His 2009 victory here was his first win on tour.

Next up, we have Tyrrell Hatton (10/1) and then the trio of Min Woo Lee, Shane Lowry and Tommy Fleetwood (all 16/1).

Last week’s winner Victor Perez is available at a tasty looking 28/1.

This week’s field is perhaps weaker than it usually would be, with the majority of American’s choosing to play the Farmers Insurance Open, to ensure their quote of PGA Tour events is met.

Latest Dubai Desert Classic Betfred Odds

Just like in California with Jon Rahm, Rory looks the obvious pick this week and is the clear class act on display. Again though, I am loathe to take him at 10/3 and am starting further down the chasing pack in the hunt for value.

2u Robert Macintyre – each way (1/5 8 places) – 20/1

Bob Macintyre is our first selection, coming hot on the heels of his T20th at the Abu Dhabi HSBC last week.

The 26-year-old picked up his 2nd DP World Tour title last year at the Italian Open and is in contention most weeks these days, with 10 Top 10’s in his 2022 season.

Macintyre missed the cut here last year but finished 3rd in 2021 and T8th in 2020, showing he knows his way round the course.

The Scot ranks 6th for SG: Off the tee which is a vital stat here.

2u Adrian Meronk – each way (1/5 8 places) – 25/1

Next, we have another player excelling in that same category in Adrian Meronk.

The Pole secured his 2nd DPWT win just last month at the Australian Open and is bang in form, as witnessed in his T10th in Abu Dhabi last week.

The 29-year -old ranks 9th for SG: Off the tee and 11th for driving accuracy, meaning he will find a lot of fairways here.

Meronk finished T4th here on debut last year and I think he can go a few places better.

1u Richard Mansell – each way (1/5 8 places) – 70/1

Englishman Richard Mansell was a revelation on tour last season, picking up five Top 10’s, in part due to his superb driving ability.

The 27-year-old ranked 12th for distance and 4th for SG: off the tee and continued in that vein at Abu Dhabi, finishing T50th.

Mansell hasn’t played here before, but this course should suit him to a tee.

1u Ashun Wu – each way (1/5 8 places) – 90/1

Last, but not least, we have China’s Ashun Wu.

The 37-year-old has an impressive record here with six of seven made cuts and a couple of back-to-back Top 10’s in 2020/21.

His game looked in good shape at Yas Links where he finished T20th with Bob Macintyre.

His driving accuracy was excellent last week, which will come in more than handy at the Majlis Course.

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