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The DP World Tour remains in the United Arab Emirates for another week as we preview the Ras Al Khaimah Championship. It has been a start to the year with frustratingly close calls every week. This week in Dubai, it was Adrian Meronk in 2nd and Joaquin Niemann in 4th. We cash a full place payout for us with both at +625. We also cash a Top 40 on Jayden Schaper at +180. Although frustrating, we can take solace in the fact we are consistently finding the value plays that are in contention. It only becomes a matter of time before one finds the Sunday we need to get the job done and collect in a big way.
Missing not just one but two 3ft5in putts on Day 1 costs us both FRL at 33/1 and also the win at 25/1Full places cashing #DubaiDesertClassic🥈Meronk 2.5pts +6254th Niemann 2.5 pts +625Keep finding those in the mix and they'll get across the line 👊#RolexSeries #DPWorldTour pic.twitter.com/G8uFFe5GU7— David Bieleski (@deepdivegolf) January 21, 2024
Missing not just one but two 3ft5in putts on Day 1 costs us both FRL at 33/1 and also the win at 25/1Full places cashing #DubaiDesertClassic🥈Meronk 2.5pts +6254th Niemann 2.5 pts +625Keep finding those in the mix and they'll get across the line 👊#RolexSeries #DPWorldTour pic.twitter.com/G8uFFe5GU7
This is where the equation of expected value comes into play. Whenever you place a wager, you will have a expected return from that bet over time. The aim is to place a bet at odds which are not an accurate reflection of the win equity that golfer actually possesses. Rory McIlroy deservedly claimed his 4th Dubai Desert Classic title this week. It is an event where I first scored for him as a 16 year old amateur, and where he secured his first tournament win just three years later. However, he would need to win the event more than 5 times as often as Meronk or Niemann to justify his very short odds. It is easy to fall into the trap of seeing a bet cash and thinking it was a good play.
It is key to make that important distinction, where you can actually place a bet that wins but over time it is a losing bet. Let’s dive into some research to help us find the value with our Ras Al Khaimah Championship preview.
Decided to wade into controversy today 🤣I thought I would go and have a look at the cards of those who supposedly tipped Rory McIlroy this week at the #DubaiDesertClassic. In all honesty, I wasn't surprised by what I found.4 of the 5 cards were accessible while the other… pic.twitter.com/YnEMPtuAq7— David Bieleski (@deepdivegolf) January 22, 2024
Decided to wade into controversy today 🤣I thought I would go and have a look at the cards of those who supposedly tipped Rory McIlroy this week at the #DubaiDesertClassic. In all honesty, I wasn't surprised by what I found.4 of the 5 cards were accessible while the other… pic.twitter.com/YnEMPtuAq7
The DP World Tour move just 90 minutes up the road to Ras Al Khaimah. This will be the 4th time Al Hamra Golf Club has hosted an event. Do note that one was titled the Ras Al Khaimah Classic instead of Championship, so make sure to take a course history preview here to get the full breadth of data for your analysis.. There also was the 2018 Ras Al Khaimah Challenge Tour Grand Final and the 2016 and 2017 Ras Al Khaimah Golf Challenge on the grade below the DP World Tour.
What has been clear thus far is that the strong drivers of the golf ball experience a distinct advantage. Nicolai Hojgaard won in 2022 and Ryan Fox lifted his first DP World Tour trophy here a week later. Jordan Smith won here on the Challenge Tour, with Meronk a runner-up at the same level also holding a 4th and 6th at DP World Tour grade. Victor Perez has finishes of 7-2-13 in three starts. All are also excellent approach players.
Winner Daniel Gavins last season was the anomaly. He gained +9.04 SG: Putting on the field in the best putting week of his career. That was also a particularly windy tournament, correlating to putting became a more decisive factor that year.
That all makes sense for a 7,410 yard par 72. Fairways are plenty wide. Greens are also above average size. With winning scores typically ranging in the -17 to -22 mark, taking care of the four par 5s is going to go a long way towards victory here. All those players named, outside Gavins, have finished in the top 10 of par 5 scoring in either 2022 or 2023.
As always in our weekly preview, we provide some golf courses where correlating form may prove influential at the Ras Al Khaimah Championship. In it’s short stint on the DP World Tour, Al Hamra Golf Club has already seen prior course form prove fairly “sticky”. This correlation will only fully reveal itself the more tournaments we have at this venue. But, the fact we have seen multiple longer odds players build up a decent record here already proves promising.
He surmised in our preview of the 2023 Andalucia Masters that Copa Sotogrande could be a good correlation to here. It was the first professional tournament at that golf course. Sadly, LIV Golf took over hosting tournaments at the iconic Valderrama. The links do seem well-founded. There has long been a link between Iberian Peninsula and the Middle East courses. This comes from a combination of climate, low scoring, positive driving, and generally being in windier coastal locations. Reading through the leaderboard, long drivers dominated. Meronk won and was followed by names like Schmid, Mansell, Hanna, De Jager, Ko, Olesen, Perez, Pavon, and Bachem to name just a few.
Other Iberian form can be found at former Portugal Masters course Dom Pedro. Likewise, Open de Espana host Club de Campo Villa de Madrid should be considered. Both preview to be driver paradise’s over the years and show good leaderboard correlation to the Ras Al Khaimah Championship.
Last week’s host, Emirates Golf Club, is far from the worst comp for our Ras Al Khaimah Championship preview. Players such as Meronk, Arnaus, and Fisher link the two nicely. This also provides a nice combination with a guide to recent incoming form.
As is the typical for the region, you will often find the mornings calm and winds to build in the afternoon. This is the same instance of on-shore breeze we so often see in the Iberian Peninsula and Middle East. This should particularly play a factor in first-round leader markets.
Whether a tournament long draw advantage develops is less likely. Currently, both Thursday and Friday the winds look similar. Winds are clam in the mornings and reaching 10-15 mph gusts in the afternoon. Sunday does look to see some increased winds. This could present some opportunity for in-play bets. Should the afternoon end up extremely windy, a golfer not too far back going off in more favourable conditions may be able to chase down the leaders before the winds arrive.
Our latest weather forecasts using premium models will be available in our premium Discord channel.
Thank you for reading my Ras Al Khaimah Championship preview and tournament analysis.If you would like access to my golf betting tips and player profiles for the Ras Al Khaimah Championship, you can find these here.
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David takes the business international, joining the team from New Zealand and having grown up in Dubai. It was when living in the Middle East where he first developed his love of golf whilst working at local DP World Tour events, getting inside the ropes with the world’s best, and being fortunate enough to be coached as a junior by elite instructor Justin Parsons. Despite having experience working in multiple other areas of the sports industry, golf remains his main passion. David relies heavily on data, agronomy, topography, and meteorology in providing his @DeepDiveGolf analysis and betting tips for both the PGA and DP World Tour events. View Dave's P&L Tracker »
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