The 2021 European Tour season begins with a bang when the field assembles in the United Arab Emirates for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, one of four premiere Rolex Series events on the calendar. Elevated in status in 2019, the tournament has attracted the strongest field on Tour with an increased prize pool and Race to Dubai points. Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas are prohibitive favorites at the top of the odds board, but there is value in a number of players. Defending champion Lee Westwood is joined by former winners Tommy Fleetwood, Martin Kaymer and Shane Lowry with all featured in tournament matchups. Visit BookMaker.eu for a complete list of tournament matchup betting odds when you’re ready to place a wager.
Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship Matchup Odds at BookMaker.eu
Rasmus Hojgaard -122 vs. Joachim B. Hansen -108
Justin Thomas -214 vs. Tyrrell Hatton +168
Tom Lewis -116 vs. Dean Burmester -114
Rory McIlroy -200 vs. Matthew Fitzpatrick +158
Aaron Rai +108 vs. Andrew Johnston -138
Sean Crocker -115 vs. Jordan Smith -115
Lucas Herbert -123 vs. Laurie Canter -107
Danny Willett +109 vs. Joost Luiten -139
Henrik Stenson -103 vs. Thomas Detry -127
Romain Langasque -140 vs. Garrick Higgo +110
Thomas Pieters -125 vs. Ian Poulter -105
Robert MacIntyre -118 vs. Matt Wallace -112
Adrian Otaegui -129 vs. Jamie Donaldson -101
Martin Kaymer -102 vs. Justin Rose -128
Lee Westwood +105 vs. Robert MacIntyre -135
Renato Paratore -101 vs. Thorbjorn Olesen -129
Rory McIlroy -190 vs. Tyrrell Hatton +150
Callum Shinkwin -105 vs. Ryan Fox -125
Justin Thomas -226 vs. Matthew Fitzpatrick +176
Rafael Cabrera Bello -140 vs. Ross Fisher +110
Christiaan Bezuidenhout -141 vs. Victor Perez +111
Wilco Nienaber -111 vs. Antoine Rozner -119
Martin Kaymer -101 vs. Shane Lowry -129
Matthias Schwab -150 vs. Adri Arnaus +120
Rory McIlroy -113 vs. Justin Thomas -117
Sami Valimaki +101 vs. Mike Lorenzo-Vera -131
Tommy Fleetwood -196 vs. Victor Perez +155
Bernd Wiesberger -115 vs. Andy Sullivan -115
Tommy Fleetwood -167 vs. Christiaan Bezuidenhout +133
Tyrrell Hatton -121 vs. Matthew Fitzpatrick -109
Lee Westwood +103 vs. Matt Wallace -133
Justin Rose -116 vs. Shane Lowry -114
Joakim Lagergren -114 vs. Scott Jamieson -116
Paul Waring -114 vs. Brandon Stone -116
Need to Know
The Abu Dhabi Golf Club is the only host this tournament has known. It stretches to nearly 7,600-yards and is a typical flat desert layout with a reputation among the pros for being one of the best manicured on Tour. We usually don’t see many lakes in the desert but there are several that come into play on almost half the holes. And don’t forget about the bunkers because there is an abundance of them. The course plays to several different styles with its length, hazards and thick rough, but the player who manages the flat stick better will have an edge. The greens are fast but rewarding for those who can manage them.
Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship Matchup Picks
Lee Westwood +103 vs. Matt Wallace
For a guy who’s had a lot of success in this part of the world it was hard to pass on Westwood at plus odds. Opening last season with a 2-shot win here, the Englishman closed the campaign with a solo second at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai to claim the Race to Dubai title. Results have varied at ADGC with five of nine starts getting him inside the top-20, and he closed last year on a nice run going 12 for 12 with seven top-20s.
Christiaan Bezuidenhout +133 vs. Tommy Fleetwood
I’m always searching for value in my matchup picks and though I don’t always find it there are times like this. It’s not surprising that Bezuidenhout is at plus odds against one of the top players on Tour, but his price is too good to ignore. Bezuidenhout had the best year of his career in 2020 with a back-to-back wins in his native South Africa followed by a T14 at the DP World Tour Championship to close the campaign. The break may have stopped his momentum but Bezuidenhout has to be bursting with confidence heading into the opener.
Rory McIlroy -113 vs. Justin Thomas
McIlroy has dedicated most of his time over the past few years to the PGA Tour, but he always makes the effort to play in this event. And why not with the success he’s had. He debuted as a teenager in 2008 with a T11, which is his second-worst finish in 10 starts. He has seven podium finishes, including in his last four starts. The only thing he hasn’t done is win, which is why he probably keeps coming back.
Martin Kaymer -102 vs. Justin Rose
No one has more wins at this event than Kaymer, who posted his three victories over a four-year span from 2008-11. The one time he didn’t triumph in that stretch resulted in a T2, so you know he has a fondness for desert golf. Kaymer hasn’t won anywhere since 2014, but he had a career renaissance in 2020 moving him back into the world top-100. He had a few near misses along the way with three top-5s in his last seven ET starts, which has me betting on a carryover into 2021.
Wilco Nienaber -111 vs. Antoine Rozner
This might be a stretch but there are signs pointing to Nienaber having a successful debut at this tournament. First, he can hit the ball a long way, which is a plus given the length of ADGC. And he’s consistently accurate off the tee. Second, he’s had success in his few desert stops overcoming an opening 79 to finish T23 at 5-under at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai. He also closed last season on a nice run that included a solo second at the Joburg Open.
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