Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship Tips: Each-way selections for the first event of the Desert Swing

Rory McIlroy heads the betting but our writers are looking for bigger prices down the field

The European Tour is quickly into its stride with the mega-money Abu Dhabi Championship and once again we serve up a quintet of golfers to consider with your weekly each-way wagers... 

"With his insanely good greens-in-reg figures and huge driving Nicolas Colsaerts has the game to really contend this week."

Joe Dyer: Back Nicolas Colsaerts @ 67.066/1

Nicolas Colsaerts


*Each-way terms: ¼ odds, 5 places


Dan Geraghty: Back Emiliano Grillo @ 67.066/1

Emiliano Grillo is yet to win on the European Tour but his best performance to date came in the UAE, when he was second to Stephen Gallacher at 2014's Dubai Desert Classic. During his first three years on tour, Grillo's accurate tee to green game has won many admirers, and at just 22 years of age, the Argentinian can be forgiven for having struggled in contention in the past - most notably when leading at last year's Africa Open. However, Grillo had comfortably the best season of his short career thus far in 2014 and approaches the new season with confidence following a win at his national open last time out.


Paul Krishnamurty: Back Miguel Angel Jimenez @ 81.080/1

Considering Abu Dhabi GC is a layout that invariably suits big-hitters, Miguel Angel Jimenez's record is excellent. He's finished top-11 four times, including two of the last three, despite falling further behind in the power stakes. This year the greens are reported to be firmer than usual, the fairways slightly narrower and the rough penal. All of that should play more to the Spanish legend's strengths and he remains competitive even at this elite level. While 2014 wasn't his most vintage season, Jimenez finished pretty well with his long game in good order, finishing fourth in Turkey and sixth in the Nedbank.


Joe Dyer: Back Nicolas Colsaerts @ 67.066/1

After a forgettable couple of years trying to combine both major golf tours Nicolas Colsaerts returned to Europe in the summer of 2014 with some encouraging results, including top-fives in successive early autumn tournaments. Might this be the year he gets his career back on track? Back in 2012, with a string of top 10s and a win at the Volvo World Match Play, it seemed as though this monster hitter was set to take a seat at the top table of the game and he won't be awed by the company he'll be keeping in Abu Dhabi. If anything it'll inspire him. What's more with his insanely good greens-in-reg figures and huge driving he has the game to really contend this week. Top 10s at the Qatar Masters and Dubai Desert Classic, and an 11th here in 2012, show he can play the game in the Middle East and 66-1 will hopefully look a steal come Sunday. 


Steven Rawlings: Back Branden Grace @ 41.040/1

Branden Grace looked back to his best when he trotted to victory in the Alfred Dunhill Championship just before Christmas and he didn't play awfully last week when 15th at Glendower - a course that probably didn't suit. With two top-tens in the DP World Championship and a fifth place finish here two years ago we know desert golf, and this course in particular, suits and I can easily see him bouncing back after last week's disappointment. The South African was a prolific winner during the 2012 European Tour season (winning four times) and now that he's off the mark again the floodgates could open.  


Mike Norman: Back Rafa Cabrera-Bello @ 51.050/1

I managed to banish all memory of Rafa Cabrera-Bello's painful loss at the season-ending World Tour Championship last November, until I saw the name Rafa Cabrera-Bello listed for this event. For those unaware, I tipped him up at a triple-figure price for that event and saw him lead right up until a few holes to go. At that point he may as well have turned into a duck given the amount of water he found, and he went from leading to not even being placed in the space of half an hour. But at least the Spaniard confirmed what most of us already know in that he's a great desert golf performer, and given that he finished fourth in this very event last season then I'm more than happy to give him another chance. True, his odds are half what they were a few months ago but this field - although bigger in numbers - is somewhat weaker, and a reproduction of anywhere near his best desert golf will see him go close. Just don't hit the front until the 72nd hole Rafa!


2015 P/L (£5 e/w per selection)

Year to date P/L: -£50.00

*Total P/L for 2014: +£251.75

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