Each-Way Betting

Bahrain Championship Each-Way Tips: Monty hint points to 28/1 Luiten

Golfer Joost Luiten
Joost Luiten has taken a shine to Colin Montgomerie designs.

The penultimate week of the Desert Swing takes the DP World Tour to the Bahrain Championship at the Royal GC. Rasmus Hojgaard is the favourite but Matt Cooper looks elsewhere for his three selections with the Betfair Sportsbook paying seven places...

  • Dutchman Joost Luiten can fly this week

  • Stick with experienced winner Pablo Larrazabal

  • Local man Joshua Grenville-Wood an intriguing prospect

The DP World Tour rumbles on, this week moving to Bahrain for just the second time and after a gap of 13 years.

What also chugs on is 2024's peculiar punting trend which has seen the PGA Tour begin the year with four winners who started the week at three figures (and large ones at that) while the DP World Tour has witnessed domination by golfers at the top of the market pre-tournament.

At the Dubai Invitational the clear favourite Rory McIlroy contrived not to win, allowing second favourite Tommy Fleetwood to pounce. A week later in the Dubai Desert Classic McIlroy made up for his errors and last week Thorbjorn Olesen, pre-event third favourite, overcame second favourite and compatriot Rasmus Hojgaard over the final round.

Last week's column pick Callum Shinkwin did flirt with ending this trend, thrashing a Thursday 62 to open up a first round lead. Unfortunately he couldn't maintain the pace but he did land the place money for us.

This week's test is the Royal Golf Club which also hosted that first venture to the kingdom in 2011 for the short-lived Volvo Golf Champions event.

Paul Casey emerged triumphant that week and maintained something of a trend in doing so because the Englishman has always taken a shine to layouts created by the European Golf Design team based in Sunningdale.

He's finished second and first at Carton House, he's also won a Green Eagle after they redesigned it and landed a pair of top fives at Royal Greens in Saudi Arabia.

EGD course winners Miguel Angel Jimenez, Alex Noren and Alvaro Quiros all finished in the top eight at Royal 13 years ago, while James Kingston, one off the lead after 36 and 54 holes, has two wins at EGD's San Domenico in recent years on the senior circuit.

It's a possible angle this week but I did once visit EGD's office and happened to ask their thoughts on a few of their apparent course specialists. They quickly noted that the links might be mere coincidence because the layouts mentioned had indeed all been created from their offices but by different architects.

Here's an odd thing, though.

Carton House, which Casey very clearly took to, was co-designed by Colin Montgomerie and so, too, was the Royal's championship layout - in fact it is called the Montgomerie Course.

The Scottish Ryder Cup hero has also sketched out The Dutch, some time host of the KLM Open, and Maxx Royal, which hosted the old Turkish Airlines Open.


Bahrain, incidentally, is something of a WAG hangout. Steven Gerrard's wife Alex is based there while he manages in Saudi Arabian football.

The ex-Liverpool midfielder is a keen walker of the fairways who attended the Women's Open when it was at Royal Birkdale so it's possible he'll be spotted this week.

And - surprise info warning - I'm actually playing the pro-am on Wednesday. I'll pop on X later in the day (@MattCooperGolf) and add any info I've gleaned.

Dutch delight awaits Joost

It's been a long time since the Dutchman Joost Luiten last picked up a victory and, although his chipping can be rather frightening to watch, I can't believe he will never add to his tally of five.

Could this week be the week?

His last win came in the Middle East, at the 2018 Oman Open, so that's one tick.

Form-wise he was solid in Dubai, finishing T14th at the Invitational and T21st in the Desert Classic.

He's also been close to another victory in the last year with four top threes and another occasion when he had a 54-hole lead.

Then there is that EGD/Monty link.

He notched three top 25s at Maxx Royal.

He was the 54-hole leader when second in the Irish Open at Carton House.

And he won the 2016 KLM Open at The Dutch.

Back Joost Luiten each-way @ 28/129.00

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Trust Pablo to bounce back

I was very keen on the Spaniard Pablo Larrazabal last week off the back of his fourth place in the Dubai Desert Classic and, despite the missed cut, I'm going to stick with him.

High expectations are always dangerous to a golfer and plenty land a top 10, expect much next time out, miss the cut, and then bloom again a week later.

Can the 40-year-old join their ranks?

pablo larrazabal himmerland 2021.jpg

Well, as last week, I will reiterate that he's won four times in the last two years which is an excellent record in this company.

He was also T24th on this course in 2011, when sitting second after an opening round of 66.

He also has two top 20s on Monty's The Dutch and was fourth at Carton House in 2013 when just one shot off the 54-hole lead.

Back Pablo Larrazabal each-way @ 50/151.00

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Well-travelled JGW can go well

Joshua Grenville-Wood has a tremendous surname that sounds like the moniker of an old Tory grandee who played a minor role in the Profumo Scandal.

The golfer's background is nowhere near as baroque but it is rather fascinating.

He was born in the UK, grew up Atlanta (his father was a teaching pro there) and, after basing himself in Dubai, he has recently started representing the UAE.

Diagnosed with ADHD, as a child he suffered badly at school and it was golf that offered him something of a lifeline prompting him to turn pro at 19.

He's tried the Europro Tour, the Asian Development Tour, the Alps Tour and has had a spell on the Challenge Tour.

At the back end of last year, just as his citizenship came through, he seemed to blossom.

He was sixth in the Qatar Masters, T12th in the Asian Tour's Saudi Open and then ninth last week in the Ras al Khaimah Championship.

And what intrigues me is that the first ever time he contended for a win at any level was when he was second in the 2019 Royal Golf Bahrain Open.

Returning to the course off the back of some fine form should further encourage him.

Back Joshua Grenville-Wood each-way @ 125/1126.00

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Now read Steve Rawlings on the Bahrain Championship.

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