The 2022 European Tour season gets things started this week with one of its biggest tournaments of the year, the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.
Despite the fact that this event takes place overseas, anyone interested in golf betting on the PGA Tour may also find themselves enjoying the European action this season, as bettors can wager on these big late-night/early-morning events thanks to the wide range of markets offered at online sportsbooks in a growing number of states.
Below, we’ll preview the new host, Yas Links, and hand out a few picks for who can come out on top to start the new European Tour season as we make our Abu Dhabi HSBC championship predictions.
2022 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship Betting Preview
We’ll see 14 of the top 60 in the world tee it up at Yas Links this year, a new host for the Abu Dhabi event. Rory McIlroy, Collin Morikawa, and Viktor Hovland will headline the field as household names among fans of the PGA Tour. Last year, Tyrrell Hatton outlasted McIlroy and Tommy Fleetwood to take home this title.
Yas Links will be quite a change for longtime Abu Dhabi participants. This is as true of a links test as you’ll find outside of the United Kingdom, as it appears it features all of the usual traits of seaside links tracks. This will bring more styles of play out and open things up a bit from the usual favorites, but playing at more than 7,400 yards, you’ll still prefer power if you want birdies this week. I’m focusing on ball striking and SG: Around the Green.
One more note is the winds are forecasted to be as high as 35 mph this week. I’m looking strongly at great wind players to handle that.
2022 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship Picks & Predictions
Tommy Fleetwood To Win (+2400 or better)
An off-year in 2022 dropped Fleetwood to 41st in the world, the lowest he’s been since early 2017. He seemed to be figuring this out a bit late in the year, and this is a crazy number for someone who has two wins and a second-place finish in his career in this event.
It’s a new course, but if anything a links test should suit the Englishman even better. He’s one of the best players in the world in high winds and controls his ball flight as well as anyone. On top of that, he’s always been extremely tidy around the greens, so I find this to be a perfect test for Fleetwood to get his first win since 2019.
Thomas Pieters to win (+3600 or better)
I’m all in on Pieters reaching and perhaps surpassing his career-best mark of 24th in the world rankings this year. After some slumping years, he really brought his game back in 2021 and was playing his best golf as the year ended.
Pieters has played well in Abu Dhabi in the past and is a powerful player who is fantastic in high winds. He’s able to flight his ball exceptionally well and as one of the better short-game players in Europe as well, I was surprised to see this number well into the 30s when he could have been priced with Hatton and Lowry based on form.
Adam Scott To Win (+3500 or better)
The Aussie will come to Abu Dhabi for the first time since 2007, and with more difficult conditions on a proper links course, it’s likely the perfect time. Scott has always been another exceptional wind player, and I do believe some of the veterans might have an advantage on a course with more quirks than pros are used to seeing.
Scott has dropped outside the top 50 in the world, but a 2nd at Wyndham and 5th at the CJ Cup had him looking more in form than he was all in 2020 and into 2021. An exceptional driver of the ball who has gotten better on and around the greens as of late, I think this is a great spot for him to start 2022 strong.
Matthias Schwab To Win (+6500 or better)
One of my favorite young players for years now, Schwab has been unable to break out on any Tour the last couple of years despite stretches of great play. He got PGA Tour status through the Korn Ferry Tour at the end of 2021 and played decent golf in America to end the year. He’s a powerful driver of the ball whose best skillset might be around the greens. That should play well here, and if he catches hot with the irons, he could build on some success he’s had in the Middle East.
With a number approaching 70/1 at some spots, you’re betting a guy who is often down in the low 20s in a normal European Tour field. I don’t think the presence of just the three big names warrants that big of a drop, so I’m in on the Austrian this week.
Matthias Schmid To Win (+15000 or better)
I’m going to end with a longshot on perhaps the most promising rookie on the European Tour this year. Schmid has a ton of game and contended for a win multiple times last year in some of his first starts on the big tour. He has all the skill you’d ever want in a young player and seems to possess the temperament alongside it.
You should expect to hear a ton of his name in 2022, and a price like this is way too big to pass up for one of the most skilled guys in the field. It’s better to be early than late on someone who will likely be priced much, much lower than this all year.
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