Each-Way Betting

Dubai Desert Classic Each-Way Tips: Take 55/1 desert rat Rozner

Golfer Antoine Rozner
Antoine Rozner is seeking a third win in the Middle East.

The DP World Tour stays in the Middle East for this week's Dubai Desert Classic at the Emirates GC. Rory McIlroy is the hot favourite but Matt Cooper looks elsewhere for his three selections with the Betfair Sportsbook paying eight places...

  • Frenchman Antoine Rozner enjoys desert golf

  • Dylan Frittelli can continue his career rebuild

  • Finn Kalle Samooja has a free roll on a favourite course

There was an entertaining sideshow in last week's Dubai Invitational when the invited American Ken Weyand carded rounds of 87-82-82-86 for a 53-over-par total of 337.

The 54-year-old Director of Golf at Michael Jordan's club played both the par-4 seventh and 18th holes in 8-over for the week, and had to reload three tee shots in a row during the first round.

The Keystone Cops style carnage prompted plenty of social media chitter chatter but, such is the madcap state of the world, the derision probably went down well with the promoters because the tournament undoubtedly earned coverage it otherwise wouldn't have.

In fact, the world is so barking mad, it's not entirely out of the question that there is a tournament committee out there searching, W1A-style, for a potential invitee who fails to break 90 in any round.

It brought to mind the tennis player Yevgeny Kafelnikov who carded 88-96 in the 2005 Russian Open.

You might think he'd have twiddled his thumbs after that effort but instead he eventually racked up 27 starts on the Challenge and European Tours, mostly in Eastern Europe, averaging 81 blows per round

Not to be outdone, the Russian Olympic gold medal winning gymnast Vera Shimanskaya averaged 81 in her nine professional starts including an 84 on the Majlis Course at Emirates GC, host of this week's Dubai Desert Classic.

It's a well-loved track with a back nine that rewards aggressive golf and often produces a dramatic finish.

We can also fully focus on the leaders this week.

Main Bet: Antoine Rozner 1pt each way @ 55/1

As Steve Rawlings has noted (link below), those who thrive on the Majlis Course at Emirates have often also performed well at Dom Pedro and Abu Dhabi.

That bodes well for Antoine Rozner who has finished eighth at the former and was 16th in his only start at the latter.

Good finishers in the DDC also tend to boast solid course form, excellent credentials in the desert and they've also often got an Open top 20 finish in their record book.

Rozner was ninth on debut at the Emirates and is three-for-three at making the cut.

He's also four-for-four at playing four rounds in the Qatar Masters and he won it in 2021 at Education City.

A few weeks before that, he'd been victorious in the Dubai Championship at Jumeirah's Fire Course in 2020, was fourth there on defence and was T11th in the DP World Tour Championship on the Earth Course last November (when second at halfway).

The Frenchman was also a sneaky T20th in the Open last July, a fine week when he headed into the final round in fourth place on the leaderboard.

The 30-year-old closed 2023 with a first round 62 in the Mauritius Open and started 2024 with a Thursday 68 last week.

He failed to maintain the pace on both occasions but he's a nice price and a next-level win should be in his crosshairs this year - contending this week would be a good start.

Back Antoine Rozner @ 55/156.00

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Next Best: Dylan Frittelli 1pt each-way @ 250/1

There's no doubt that the natty South African Dylan Frittelli has endured a career slump in recent times but at a huge price he might offer a fine chance of landing a tasty place payout.

Dylan frittelli Texas Open.jpg

He made his breakthrough at this level in 2017 with a couple of DP World Tour wins and in 2018 it was notable he took to playing the Middle Eastern venues.

He was T19th in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, sixth here at Emirates (his only visit) and ended the year with seventh in the DP World Tour Championship.

That year he also earned graduation onto the PGA Tour and won the John Deere Classic in 2019.

Late the following year he landed fifth place in the November Masters and the following summer he was fifth in the Open at Royal St George's.

As mentioned above, a good desert record, solid course form and an Open top 20 finish are common factors among Emirates winners and placers - and he ticks those boxes.

He's a big price, though, because he missed 22 cuts last year.

However, his last four starts were back on this circuit and he recorded T12th at the Joburg Open and T20th in the Alfred Dunhill Championship.

And his best effort in 2023? T14th in the Arizona desert at the Phoenix Open.

It's a big ask but his best golf is high quality and he likes this sort of test.

Back Dylan Frittelli @ 250/1251.00

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Final Bet: Kalle Samooja 1pt each-way @ 110/1

These opening weeks of the year represent something of a free roll for the Finn Kalle Samooja who closed 2023 with victory in the LIV Golf Promotions event which earned him a spot in the rebel league's main events in 2024.

In the aftermath of that result he said: "Once I came here, I knew this was the only thing I wanted to achieve ... it's a big step forward in my career."

The triumph came in the Middle Eastern desert at Abu Dhabi GC and it is far from the first time that the 35-year-old has played well in the region.

He's finished fifth at Doha in the Qatar Masters (and was T21st there in October), eighth in the Dubai Championship on Jumeirah's Fire Course and he has a particularly solid record on the Majlis Course.

He was T16th on debut in 2019, T27th in 2020, T12th in 2022 and T38th last year.

In the middle of that run he was fourth, spending all week in the top 10.

He removed the rust with a top 40 finish last week and he can attack the course with the leash off from Thursday.

Back Kalle Samooja @ 110/1111.00

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Now read Steve Rawlings on the Dubai Desert Classic

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