Sports Journalist at FST, Gareth qualified as a journalist after graduating from university and spent over a decade as a freelance broadcast journalist, commentator and tipster before joining FST. Now living in Manchester, he is a long suffering Bolton Wanderers fan who also enjoys boxing, the NBA, tennis and rugby league.
This week’s PGA Tour action comes from the Phoenix Open and there is another event at the Al Hamra Golf Club in the UAE in the shape of the Ras al Khaimah Classic.
Racing Post golf expert Steve Palmer is back with a winners tip for each event, which as always he recommends backing as an each-way double.
Phoenix Open & Ras al Khaimah Classic Winners Double
This week the DP World Tour stays at the same venue it used last week, so course-form lovers have a dream situation, and it could pay to punt on there being an identical result.
With two tournaments to attack this week, double fans may be best served by using Ras al Khaimah Classic favourite, Nicolai Hojgaard. The Dane won the Ras al Khaimah Championship in emphatic fashion last week – destroying the Al Hamra layout with a 24-under-par burst of power scoring – and that four-shot victory showed this course is at his mercy.
Hojgaard did not even have to putt well to win easily – he ranked 60th in the putting stats – and it was his majestic driving which set up the success. Some good players left the Middle East after the Ras al Khaimah Championship – including Bernd Wiesberger, Johannes Veerman and Danny Willett – so Hojgaard has less to beat in the Classic.
With no travel to worry about between the tournaments, Hojgaard should be able to keep himself fresh for the fight, and the world number 67 knows he will have a golden chance of securing a Masters debut if he can complete the Al Hamra double.
The 12/1 about Hojgaard this week can be paired with the 18/1 about Viktor Hovland for the Phoenix Open in a 246/1 double.
Hovland, like Hojgaard, is bursting with confidence having won last time out. Hovland has, in fact, won three of his last five tournaments – a streak of success like Tiger Woods used to deliver in his pomp.
That run includes a top-class Hero World Challenge and a DP World Tour Rolex Series event – the Dubai Desert Classic – so world number three Hovland appears at the peak of his powers and can put on a show for the Phoenix masses.
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