Golf Bets

Bahrain Championship First-Round Leader Tips: Picks from 50/1 to 80/1

South African golfer Brandon Stone
Brandon Stone can start fast

The DP World Tour heads to Bahrain and Dave Tindall has three each-way bets to top the leaderboard come the end of round one...

  • 66/167.00 Brandon Stone is a fast starter back in form

  • 80/181.00 Andy Sullivan is an auto-bet at this price

  • 50/151.00 Pablo Larrazabal has R1 form in the Middle East

Weather forecast for Thursday

The main focus for first-round punters in the Middle East is how windy will it get and could there be a draw bias?

For round one, the answer is hardly any so there's no advantage. That allows us to pick freely regardless of tee-times and watch the birdies rack up with wind speeds struggling to get over a paltry 5mph.

Back Brandon Stone @ 66/167.00

Followers of Brandon Stone's career will have been pleased to see him win his DP World Tour card back at the end of 2023.

This was a player once closing in on the world's top 50 when he added the prestigious 2018 Scottish Open title (a Rolex Series event) to two previous wins in his native South Africa.

Clearly it went wrong after that but he talked at the back of end of 2023 about feeling rejuvenated again and it showed in Ras al Khaimah last week where he finished in the top four.

Stone started out there with a 64 to lie second after the opening lap and he twice occupied a top two place after day one on the Challenge Tour last season.

One of those came in the United Arab Emirates and this is where it gets particularly interesting.

Take a look at Stone's R1 positions in his last six starts in the UAE. They read: 2-2-5-12-3-9.

Add in a second place after 18 (and 72) holes in the 2020 Oman Open and there's plenty of evidence to suggest Stone can hit the ground running in his latest Middle East start.

He tees off at 11.10 local time.

Back Brandon Stone each-way @ 66/167.00

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Back Andy Sullivan @ 80/181.00

Yep, here we go again!

Followers of this column will know that Andy Sullivan is a regular selection and his dead-heat for first place in the Dubai Desert Classic a fortnight ago was the latest justification.

It didn't work out last week but here are Sullivan's final round one positions over his last six starts: 7-3-3-10-1-86.

Once again, it's a fairly lengthy scroll to find the Englishman in the R1 betting and he simply has to be a play again at 80s.

Colin Montgomerie designed this week's course, Royal GC, and Sullivan should enjoy it. He's played Monty's courses on four occasions, finishing fourth at the 2014 Turkish Airlines Open and sitting eighth after 54 holes in the 2018 KLM Open at The Dutch.

Sullivan starts out at 11.40 local so UK viewers (Bahrain is three hours ahead) can get up for breakfast and watch his round unfold.

Back Andy Sullivan each-way @ 80/181.00

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Back Pablo Larrazabal @ 50/151.00

It's an awfully long time ago but with both Matt Cooper and Steve Rawlings giving Pablo Larrazabal some love this week, I couldn't help but have a closer look at his performance at this week's course back in 2011 when he contested the Volvo Golf Championship.

And the good news is that the Spaniard did by far his best work on day one, shooting a 66 to sit second after 18 holes.

Time to fast forward. A leader after the first round of the 2022 Qatar Masters, Larrazabal has made plenty of quick starts in the desert in the last few years.

That includes being in the top four following the opening day of the 2022 Dubai Desert Classic, a tournament where he posted tied fourth just two starts ago following a top 20 in the Dubai Invitational a week earlier.

Via X (Twitter), he seems pleased to be one of the cover stars on the official poster advertising this tournament and also happy to have found a Spanish restaurant to his liking in Bahrain.

A player who can go low in the hot conditions he likes, Larrazabal is well worth a punt at 50s for FRL from his 11.30 tee time.

Back Pablo Larrazabal each-way @ 50/151.00

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Now read Steve Rawlings on the Bahrain Championship.

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