DP World Tour golf tips: Tommy Fleetwood looking to build on Hero Cup form

Tipstrr golf pundit Martin Colwell looks ahead to the HSBC Championship in Abu Dhabi and has picked out a few likely candidates looking to carry good recent form into the big desert tournament.

Last week's selection on the DP World Tour was successful, as Continental Europe dominated GB and Ireland to lead at the end of each of the three days, eventually winning the inaugural Hero Cup by 14.5 points to 10.5.

This week the tour gets back to its more familiar stroke play format in Abu Dhabi at the Yas Links golf club, which is a long par-72 course at 7,425 yards.

The HSBC Championship makes up the first part of a three-part Middle East swing- an elevated Rolex series event, with total prize money of $9M and returns to this venue for a second time after Thomas Pieters was victorious here last year.

Yas Links has exposed fairways, with fescue grass in plentiful rough along with many pot bunkers in very much a links-style layout. The course is based on paspalum grass and has a finishing hole that measures a massive 646 yards in length.

With large, accessible greens, anyone who can drive the ball three hundred yards or more should find the course manageable, especially not much wind is expected this week with temperatures in the low seventies. 

The key metrics this week seem to be greens in regulation, scrambling if you miss the green with your approach shot, with putting as crucial as ever, and a winning score of around ten under par is to be expected.

Tommy Fleetwood and Tyrrell Hatton are jousting for favouritism this week at around 11/1, with both players performing well last week, and each have been victorious in this part of the world before, although Hatton has talked about his dislike for this course, in the past, which perhaps gives Fleetwood the edge.

Hot on their tails in the betting is 14/1 Ryder Cup stalwart Shane Lowry, who was not at his best last week although it may have blown away a few cobwebs.

Swedish prospect Alex Noren (18/1) was not at his best last week and does struggle to convert good performances into wins, so appears to have little value betting wise.

Reigning champion Pieters is 20/1 and played reasonably well last week and did also win again in Europe in 2022 after claiming this title, beating Ryan Fox in a play-off with a monster length putt in sudden death.

The rest of the field is 25/1 or more, which brings in Robert Macintyre, who scored well for GB&I last weekend after working hard on his game over the winter, and he notably beat Rory McIlroy in a play-off during 2022.

Other golfers to consider this week include 28/1 shot Seamus Power, who enjoyed a degree of success on the USPGA Tour in 2022 and had a good run out last week in the Hero Cup.

Patrick Reed, a 'marmite' character and LIV ambassador, has managed to get into this event and is also around 25/1 in the betting and the lack of recent action suggests current form is difficult to assess.

And finally, the chances of Victor Perez must be considered, who won easily in his singles match last Sunday and won on tour in 2022. The 40/1 available appears decent enough for someone who is an excellent ball striker on his day and has enjoyed success before in the Saudi International.

The tournament gets underway in the early hours of Thursday UK time.

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