Commercial Bank Qatar Masters 2018 Betting Preview by SunBets
Joost Luiten made it six European Tour victories last week in Oman. An immense putting display saw him overcome a rejuvenated Chris Wood – the English Ryder Cupper’s first top 10 since September 2017.
This week the European Tour heads to football’s 2022 World Cup destination, Qatar. A significant drop in prize money and move away from its usual January slot in the calendar is the reasoning behind this week’s relatively weak field. Tour strength is of course dented further by the success of the likes of Tommy Fleetwood, Alex Noren and Tyrell Hatton, who are committing much more of their time over in America.
The par 72, 7,374 yard Doha Golf Course is designed by the same man behind the Abu Dhabi Golf Course and requires similar traits with ball striking and GIR key. One big difference from Abu Dhabi will be the rough which is far less penal in Qatar. Despite a lack of the ‘thick stuff’, water will be in play on six holes giving the guys something to think about on the tee.
The exposed course is also susceptible to high winds. Initial forecasts suggest wind will be around for the first three days with it getting stronger on Sunday, where thunderstorms are also likely. This will bring into play the links specialists.
Andy Sullivan 18/1
Although second favourite for the tournament, everything about Sullivan suggests he is ready to win again this week.
2017 was one to forget with various swing issues leaving him with only two top 10s in the season. This year however things are on the up – T-6 Dubai, T-17 Malaysia and T-16 last week suggest his game is in good shape.
He ranked fourth for the week in GIR and averaged nearly 300 yards off the tee in Oman. Sullivan is a vastly experienced links player and has a best of 9th here back in 2013 in what was a far stronger field.
Andy Sullivan to win the Qatar Masters
Nicolas Colsaerts 50/1
The Belgian’s game has been simmering for some time and it’s the Middle East that seems to be a region that brings the best out in his game – a T-4 at the DP World Championship in 2016 being a particular highlight.
Colsaerts has not missed the cut on this track in his last four starts finishing 9th, 13th, 27th and 28th. Very impressive considering the field strengths in previous years.
His distance will be key this week as well as links experience. A standout career performance was his T-7 at the 2012 Open Championship.
Nicolas Colsaerts to win the Qatar Masters
Pablo Larrazabal 50/1
Pablo is a joy to behold when his iron play is on point and is one of our personal favourites on the European roster. When his ball striking from the fairway is at its best, he’s hard to stop.
Three weeks ago in Malaysia he finished T-3 and ranked 1st for the week in GIR. He also got it done on the greens ranking 13th in putts per GIR. Although slightly less inspiring in Oman his game still seemed to be functioning well, finishing T-44 on his first time at the course.
Pablo Larrazabal to win the Qatar Masters
Max Kieffer 66/1
Without doubt links golf and tough tracks bring the best out of the German. Two of his top four finishes on the European Tour have come on links tracks including a T-8 at Royal County Down for the Irish Open in 2015.
Kieffer’s ball striking has been the best on Tour over the past three tournaments with him ranking 1st GIR last week and 5th GIR in Malaysia. The putter will need to get hot but a great outside bet.
Max Kieffer to win the Qatar Masters
Julien Guerrier 66/1
The 33-year-old journeyman Frenchman recorded his best ever European Tour finish last week with a T-3 in Oman. It was an impressive display for the 2017 Challenge Tour graduate, who won twice on the second tier last year.
He ranked 14th GIR, 9th driving distance and 17th putts per GIR last week and he will be looking to continue that sort of consistency in Qatar. His two victories in 2017 should give him invaluable experience if contending over the weekend.
Julien Guerrier to win the Qatar Masters