The European Tour’s swing through the Arabian Peninsula continues this week in Saudi Arabia with the third playing of the Saudi International at the Royal Greens Golf and Country Club. The stellar cast is loaded at the top with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson headlining the field as the prohibitive favorite. Fellow PGA Tour regulars Bryson DeChambeau, Tony Finau and last week’s Farmers Insurance Open winner Patrick Reed are also in attendance. They will have to contend with the best players on the Euro Tour, including Tyrrell Hatton and Tommy Fleetwood. The mix of Tour players creates some intriguing matchups, some of them we’ll analyze below. Visit BookMaker.eu for a complete list of tournament matchup betting odds and to place your wager.
Saudi International Matchup Odds at BookMaker.eu
Mike Lorenzo Vera +104 vs. Dean Burmester -134
Sergio Garcia -135 vs. Abraham Ancer +105
Dustin Johnson -172 vs. Patrick Reed +137
Shane Lowry -140 vs. Andy Sullivan +110
Tony Finau -133 vs. Viktor Hovland +103
Thomas Pieters -109 vs. Bernd Wiesberger -121
Kalle Samooja +113 vs. Kurt Kitayama -143
Dustin Johnson -149 vs. Bryson Dechambeau +119
Robert MacIntyre -145 vs. Matt Wallace +115
Laurie Canter -112 vs. Ian Poulter -118
Thomas Detry -136 vs. Rasmus Hojgaard +106
Kevin Na -120 vs. Victor Perez -110
Phil Mickelson -117 vs. David Lipsky -113
Danny Willett +117 vs. Antoine Rozner -147
Ross Fisher +106 vs. George Coetzee -136
Justin Rose -135 vs. Matthias Schwab +105
Takumi Kanaya -145 vs. Alexander Levy +115
Brandon Stone -137 vs. Jason Scrivener +107
Romain Langasque -108 vs. Joost Luiten -122
Christiaan Bezuidenhout -134 vs. Matt Wallace +104
Lee Westwood -108 vs. Martin Kaymer -122
Viktor Hovland -142 vs. Tommy Fleetwood +112
Tyrrell Hatton -110 vs. Patrick Reed -120
Paul Casey -103 vs. Sergio Garcia -127
Bryson Dechambeau -146 vs. Tyrrell Hatton +116
Tony Finau -160 vs. Tommy Fleetwood +127
Bryson Dechambeau -130 vs. Patrick Reed +100
Dustin Johnson -180 vs. Tyrrell Hatton +143
Need to Know
After a slight delay the Royal Greens Golf & Country Club finally opened in April 2018 and will serve as host for the third straight year. Some reconfiguring on several holes reduced par to 70 and it measures at 7,010 yards, making it one of the shorter tracks on Tour. There are only two par-5s and the greens on both are reachable in two, making those holes important for scoring. Lakes come into play on a few holes and there are large bunkers in place that can be hazardous. There is a stretch that runs along the coast of the Red Sea, which provides a natural wind hazard. Designers worked in a gently rolling effect, but the layout is typical of Middle Eastern courses.
Saudi International Matchup Picks
Abraham Ancer +105 vs. Sergio Garcia
Ancer’s overall game gives me plenty of confidence to back him in this matchup. He’s cut his teeth on the PGA Tour with a T5 at The American Express his second top-5 this season. He also has three other top-20s and has played the weekend in eight of his nine starts. Ancer also has experience on this layout carding a 7-under last year to finish in a tie for sixth, which makes me feel even better about the pick.
Bernd Wiesberger -121 vs. Thomas Pieters
I’ve backed Wiesberger a number of times and he’s paid out more times than not. The price is a little steep considering he’s missed the cut both times he played in this tournament, but he’s been consistent of late and has done well in other events in this part of the world. He hasn’t missed a cut since last year’s edition and he’s coming off a T6 last week in Dubai. I’m counting on him exorcising his Saudi demons and getting me a win in this matchup.
Tommy Fleetwood +112 vs. Viktor Hovland
Hovland is one of the hot-shot youngsters in the game, but I can’t overlook Fleetwood’s continued excellence especially at this price. He’s always performed well in the Middle East and that trend continued with a T7 in Abu Dhabi followed by a T17 last week in Dubai. His knowledge of the area and five straight top-20 finishes make Fleetwood my pick in this matchup.
Christiaan Bezuidenhout -134 vs. Matt Wallace
When a T22 is your worst finish in six starts you must be doing something right. And until Bezuidenhout cools off I’ll continue to ride him. He followed up back-to-back wins in his native South Africa with a T12 in Abu Dhabi and a T22 in Dubai, showing me he’s still at the top of his game. He produced a T21 here last year and continues to show strong ball-striking skills and an excellent overall game.
Thomas Detry -136 vs. Rasmus Hojgaard
Another player with long odds but worth the investment is Detry, who made up for an awful showing in Abu Dhabi to earn a top-10 in Dubai. That MC two weeks ago came out of nowhere since Detry had been performing at a good rate that included a top-5 in Cyprus. He overcame an opening 73 at last year’s event to score 10-under over the final 54 holes grabbing a share of sixth. He likes the layout and I like his chances.
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