2014 was a year of untold winning for Rory McIlroy, but it started with a silver medal at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship and it seems 2015 is set to get off on the same foot.
The Northern Irishman is installed as the 4/1 favourite for the tournament by Ladbrokes, as the great and the good of the game return from extended Christmas and New Year’s celebrations in their droves.
One of the illustrious names among the field has a particular affinity for this tournament. Martin Kaymer lifted the trophy three times in four years between 2008 and 2011, with the one edition he failed to claim ending in a runners-up spot.
Since that purple patch, the former world number one and two-time Major champion has still shown his love for the Abu Dhabi Golf Club finishing sixth two years ago and only ever missing the cut twice in his eight appearances.
Such a history at the tournament should see the German cling to McIlroy’s coattails in the betting, but Ladbrokes seem to rate the chances of Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose, at 8/1 and 10/1 respectively far better.
The 14s available on Kaymer really does mean the search to find a winner ends rather quickly when looking down the field, but an each-way punt on 50/1 shot George Coetzee isn’t a bad accompaniment.
Coming off his best year on the European Tour in 2014, where he sealed a first title at the Johannesburg Open, the South African will look to kick on in a tournament that has been kind to him.
Coetzee has finished sixth, ninth and fourth in his three outings at the HSBC and has never shot a round over par in 12 at the course.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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