Dubai Desert Classic Each-Way Tips: What did Romain ever do for us?

Romain Langasque
Romain Langasque has enjoyed Emirates GC in the past

It's the European Tour's Dubai Desert Classic this week and Matt Cooper has three each-way selections at Emirates GC with the Betfair Sportsbook paying eight places...

"At Emirates GC, Langasque has made ground on the field in five of his eight laps and in four of them he’s made a lot of ground."

Back Romain Langasque each-way @ 70/1

Main Bet: Romain Langasque each-way @ 70/1

In answer to the headline question, we learned last week that Frenchman Romain Langasque spent some of his lockdown undertaking voluntary work and whilst that might not have done much for "us" individually, for "us" as a collective he has, at the very least, endeared himself greatly.

And being rather more selfish than selfless, let's also hope that he can add to his list of achievements with a strong showing at the Dubai Desert Classic.

If he were to do so it should not qualify as a surprise, more the natural progression of a fellow who has both current form and course form that ranks as "simmering".

He made his debut at the Emirates club in 2019 and was immediately at home, carding a first round 66 to lie second on Thursday night.

He followed that up with a 70, but it was a Saturday 74 that knocked him off track before he returned to route 66 on Sunday and a solid debut of T20th.

Last year he once again got off to a swift start, a pair of 69s having him tied fifth heading into the weekend before he closed 73-76 for T27th.

In all, at Emirates GC, Langasque has made ground on the field in five of his eight laps, and in four of them he's made a lot of ground.

In his seasonal opener last week in Abu Dhabi he again flew from the traps with 67-70 to lie tied sixth before weekend scores of 74-71 landed him T16th.

If that suggested he was in good nick, he backed it up by saying: "I came to Dubai really early to be in the best condition and to be with my coach to practice again, and, I mean, I feel great, so it was a good idea."

He also revealed that he's hungry to accelerate his progress in the game following on from his maiden win in last summer's Wales Open.

"I'm ready for more," he said. "I'm looking for the top 50 in the world and something like that, but it's important to prepare myself for every tournament and every time I play to do the best I can."

There's the possibility that a player with a lot of raw talent has turned a corner with his approach and it could bear fruit on a track he's scored well on.

Next Best: Victor Perez each-way @ 35/1

There's a risk with my continuing support of the Scottish-based Frenchman Victor Perez that I'm turning into a character from The Last of the Summer Wine - a batty old man repeating himself until most folk stop listening.

On the other hand, he found the places for us at the DP World Tour Championship and played well for large parts of last week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

In fact, so much of last week's argument stands up this week, Perez played nicely in patches - and yet he's available at a bigger price, so I'm happy to get involved again.

I won't reiterate my points except to say that since Perez won the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship he's frequently impressed in high quality company, making a play-off in the Turkish Airlines Open and then contending in last year's BMW PGA Championship and DP World Tour Championship.

He's also proved to be a fine performer in the Middle East.

Last week he opened with a 68 to lie tied seventh and, whilst a second round 73 stalled his progress, he found a wet sail on Saturday, getting to 5-under through 11 holes and 8-under for the week.

He pushed for more, made two bogeys and then drooped home with a Sunday 76.

But he'd had yet more knowledge of being on the front page of a leaderboard and he has that at the Emirates, too.

Last year he carded middle rounds of 66-67 to head into Sunday in second whereupon, like many of the 54-hole leaders, he was tripped up by the high wind.

He has a mighty fine long game, ranking third for Strokes Gained Off the Tee last season and 11th for Approach, and it's worth noting that his two visits to the Emirates greens have reaped performances with the flat stick that are among his best.

Final Bet: Aaron Rai each-way @ 80/1

It's not often that you have the opportunity to back a player at 80/1 when he's got a win, a second and a third in his last seven starts.

It's even possible to argue that Aaron Rai's run of autumn form ran even better than that when taking closer consideration.

aaron rai dubai.jpg

He started the spell by leading the Irish Open through pretty much the entire tournament only to be passed on the back nine by John Catlin.

He didn't really lose the tournament, more that his attempt to stay calm led to him becoming becalmed.

A week later he used that experience wisely and turned the tables, overturning a five-shot 54-hole deficit to win the Scottish Open.

Two weeks later he returned north of the border to claim third in the Scottish Championship and in-between?

He opened with a 68 to lie tied eighth on Thursday night at the BMW PGA Championship before the effort of the previous fortnight prompted a second round 77 that saw him miss the cut.

But four weeks of golf, with three top threes and 11 of 14 end-of-round positions being top ten is a mighty fine haul.

He took time off after that, a bit too much maybe, because he returned with an underwhelming T50th-T51st in the two season-ending Dubai events, but last week's T25th at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship was a decent rust removal operation - and was his first top 50 finish there in three attempts.

He boasts an Emirates best of just T29th from three tries, but I'm much more persuaded by the possibility that his price has been inflated a little prematurely.

The Rai of a few months ago could give us a great ride at this price.

MATT'S 2021 P/L
Staked: 6pts
Returned: 0pts
P/L: -6pts

2020 P/L: -32pts

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