Omega Dubai Desert Classic 2022 Preview

By Greg Stewart


Defending champion: Paul Casey

Venue: Emirates Golf Club, Dubai, UAE

Date: January 27-30, 2022

Course stats: Par 72; 7,353 yards

Course summary: Another exposed desert course with tree-lined Bermuda fairways and quick Bermuda greens. Players will need to negotiate the expected windy conditions and the numerous dogleg holes. There is also water hazards in play on 10 of the 18 holes. The rough here is often perilous, so finding the fairways and greens will be an important factor for success.

Purse: $8 million

With total prize money of $8 million and a winner’s purse of $1.33 million up for grabs, the field of 132 top golfers will all be competing around the par 72, Emirates championship Golf Club in Dubai with a focus on gaining not only money but a massive 8000 Race-To- Dubai championship points.

Defending Champion, Paul Casey after winning in 2020 with four shots to spare over the field, will have his work cut out to retain the title with the likes of Collin Morikawa and Rory McIlroy in Pursuit. Rafael Cabrera-Bello who tied for second in last week’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, will be on the hunt for the win that slipped out of his fingers on Sunday.

Belgium’s Thomas Pieters, winner at the Abu Dhabi HSBC last week and Victor Hovland who was also in the chase on Sunday are also in the field and will be challenging for top honours in this Classy and Classic Desert clash.

The contenders:

  • Paul Casey: It’s always a hard task to defend any title but if anyone can then it’s Casey who has done it before when he defended his Valspar Championship title in 2018 & 2019. In his last five tournaments he has three top-10 finishes, came 5th at the WGC FedEx St Jude Invitational and 7th at the US Open. Odds for Casey to win are at 19:1 for a win and 5:1 for a top-5 finish on SunBet
  • Rafael Cabrera-Bello can blow hot & cold but the Spaniard has has a win and an T-2nd place in his last 5 starts and showed plenty potential last week. He is at 51:1 for a win and 10:1 for a top-5 finish on SunBet
  • Victor Hovland who has shown consistent form is my best pick for a Top-5 finish and at 10:1 for a win and 3:1 for a top-5 finish on SunBet it is a good value each-way bet on SunBet
  • Sergio Garcia returns to the WP world Tour after a break and might be tournament rusty but the Spaniard is a keen competitor and placed 16 last time here and is a fair top-5 bet at 5:1 on SunBet
  • Shane Lowry had a decent tournament last week in Abu Dhabi, despite a disappointing final round to finish T12. Lowry ranked 3rd in tees-to-green in 2021, and 10th in 2020, and also ranked 1st for greens-in-regulation in the 2021 season, hitting 75% on average. Lowry has had two top-12 finishes in his last three attempts here, and could be in contention again this week. He is at 19:1 for a win and 5:1 for a top-5 finish on SunBet
  • Top South African player to consider: Eric Van Rooyen at 29:1 for a win and 6:1 for a top-5 finish on SunBet