Known mainly for its vast amount of oil and pearls, Bahrain is hoping to become a staple on the European Tour as the Royal Golf Club prepares to host its maiden tour event this week.
The Colin Montgomerie-designed Royal Golf Club will play host to Europe’s finest his week and Paul Casey is the 8/1 favourite to win the inaugural Volvo Golf Champions event.
With a prize fund of €1.7m up for grabs, every player will be clamouring to get a piece of the pie, but Casey has a habit of winning wealthy events.
Casey picked up €750,000 for winning the BMW PGA Championship in 2009, €600,00 for the HSBC World Match Play Championship in 2006, and €540,000 for the WGC World Cup in 2004 and enters the tournament on the back of a solid top-20 finish in Abu Dhabi last week.
Seven of the world’s top thirty take to the course this week leaving Casey facing a tough fight to justify his favouritism, and Robert Karlsson, who is making his first start of the season, is the 10/1 second favourite.
Karlsson’s last two tournament wins have come in the Middle East, including his last appearance in the Dubai World Championship in November, and the Swede is one to consider.
Ian Poulter (12/1), Francesco Molinari (12/1), Edoardo Molinari (33/1), Miguel Angel Jimenez (20/1) and Padraig Harrington (14/1) are the others in the world’s top thirty and all hold a strong chance.
But the ones to watch are David Lynn (50/1) who finished T5 last week and Danny Lee (150/1), who hit his stride in the final round last week, and the 20-year-old can stake a claim for a top-10 finish at a big price.
Sergio Garcia is also making his first appearance of the season and is 33/1 to win this week.
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