Sam Eaton brings us his predictions for First Round Leader at this week's European Tour event, the Dubai Desert Classic.
- Sam Eaton bagged a 28/1 second last week on the European Tour.
- All of Sam's tips are based on statistics and models built on the course requirements and he's picked out four selections for the Dubai Desert Classic.
We had to settle for a 28/1 second last week on the European Tour as Rory McIlroy frustratingly beat Tyrrell Hatton on day one. However, we go again with another blockbuster field in Dubai.
This course isn’t too dissimilar to last week, and the skills needed to win at this course open up a lot of players in this field. Driving Distance, Greens In Regulation and Putting stats are all key areas to focus on, however, less skilled putters have got hot here before.
The course plays relatively straight forward unless the wind picks up, which isn’t forecasted on the opening day. There is bit forecasted on Sunday, so keep that in mind with placing outright bets.
Unfortunately Tyrrell Hatton isn’t available at 28/1 like last week…
Dubai Desert Classic - First Round Leader
Sergio Garcia at 40/1 (5 places)
Sergio Garcia doesn’t fit into the good putter category which I previously mentioned was needed for this course. However, he’s got great recent history at this event, winning and coming T3 in the last four starts. On both occasions where he tasted success, he was way down the field in terms of putting statistics, however, he made shots up off the tee and by hitting a lot of greens in regulation.
Garcia’s form is starting to comeback, which is largely driven from his game off the tee. His tee to green stats and off the tee stats in his last 10 PGA Tour events have been incredible.
With the course history and trending stats, the 40/1 for Garcia is too hard to resist.
Sergio Garcia 1pt e/w 40/1 (5 places)
Antoine Rozner at 70/1 (6 places)
Antoine Rozner will be among the top twenty in most fields on the European Tour for driving distance, and he was 11th on the Tour in terms of Greens in Regulation last season.
The Frenchman is climbing up the world rankings pretty rapidly, he’s been very consistent since September, and has registered eight top 30 finishes in that period which includes a win in Dubai.
Rozner’s not the most prolific first rounder pace setter, but did place on two occasions in 2020.
Antoine Rozner 1pt e/w 70/1 (6 places)
Thomas Detry at 60/1 (6 places)
For anyone who has followed me over the last year or so will know I have a love/hate affair with Thomas Detry. He’s no stranger to making a very hot start on the European Tour, but is prone to undoing all the good work on the last nine holes.
Detry’s another one who has plenty of power off the tee, and was 16th on the European Tour for Greens in Regulation last season.
Thomas Detry 1pt e/w 60/1 (6 places)
Paul Casey at 33/1 (6 places)
Paul Casey’s games obvious for anyone who follows golf, the Englishman was 14th on the PGA Tour for greens in regulation last season, and was 15th in terms of shots gained off the tee.
Casey has historically been a pretty poor putter, but has actually narrowly gained on the field with the flat stick in the last ten PGA Tour events. He comes into the competition in pretty good form following a good showing at The American Express.
He’s not played this event for a while, but has only finished outside the top 20 on one occasion in the six events he’s played.
Paul Casey 1pt e/w 33/1 (6 places)