Neither of this week's events could legitimately be described as fertile territory for backing outsiders. Both the Dubai Desert Classic and Farmers Insurance Open always attract a very high-class field and, usually at least, one of them prevails.
Nevertheless shocks have happened in both and, on the plus side, we have decades of course form and indicators to utilise at both events. Moreover, if we ever needed a reminder that golf produces genuine betting miracles, Adam Long's 999-1 victory at the Desert Classic provided it.
Classy Kinhult to thrive in elite company again
Back Marcus Kinhult 2u @ 340.0339/1
Place order to lay 10u @ 25.024/1
Place order to lay 20u @ 15.014/1
In his comprehensive preview, Steve Rawlings notes a couple of events which correlate very well with this annual Dubai event - the Qatar Masters and Portugal Masters. The fact Kinhult made the top-four at both events last time was decisive in choosing him over a few alternatives at similarly massive odds.
The 22 year-old Swede is a serious prospect and, while at a disadvantage making his Emirates Course debut, the same could have been said before finishing top-five in Qatar, Portugal and most impressively, at the Open de France during a fine rookie season.
Kinhult also played really well for 12th on debut at Wentworth - a track that really takes some knowing. Last week's missed cut - forgivable first time out and due to a poor opening round - was his first in 13 events.
If you're looking for big-priced alternatives, check out our each-way column. We've gone for three picks at 99-1 plus - Stephen Gallacher, Scott Jamieson and Alex Levy.
Others on my shortlist included the consistent and highly promising Matthias Schwab 280.0279/1 and Thomas Aiken at 540.0539/1. The latter has two top-tens from five here, an excellent Qatar record and was in decent form before Christmas.
Torrey Pines previous bodes well for this pair
Speaking of course form, there are few in the world where it is more important than Torrey Pines. This event has produced one multiple winner after another over the decades and the places have been similarly predictable. For a detailed overview, check out Steve's tournament preview.
Back J.J. Spaun 2u @ 200.0199/1
Place order to lay 10u @ 20.019/1
Place order to lay 15u @ 8.07/1
J.J. Spaun gave us a decent run for three rounds last year before fading to 23rd - which still reads respectably given he shot 75 and only lost by seven, behind a typically classy leaderboard. He was ninth the previous year on debut.
It makes sense that this California native would like it here. He's solid off the tee and his long game became more reliable as the season went on. Spaun hasn't missed a cut since July and ranks first for greens in regulation among these over the last three months.
Rodgers' putting stats bode well
Back Patrick Rodgers 2u @ 300.0299/1
Place order to lay 10u @ 25.024/1
Place order to lay 25u @ 10.09/1
Rodgers also has a California connection as he went to college here. A potentially bigger angle regarding Torrey Pines is the greens - he ranks an impressive fifth on Future of Fantasy's Poa Annua Specialists list.
That plus prodigious power off the tee - another key attribute at Torrey Pines - doubtless helped when finishing fourth in 2017. Rodgers isn't the most consistent yet but he was in decent form prior to Christmas. Odds of 300.0299/1 seem big about someone who was runner-up on his penultimate start, closing 61/62.
Two alternatives made the shortlist - both of whom are former runners-up. Ryan Palmer 230.0229/1 did so last year and was in fine form in the tail-end of 2018. Similarly C.T. Pan 160.0159/1 has become much more consistent since contending at huge odds in 2017, only missing one of his last 14 cuts.
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