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Abu Dhabi Championship 2018 First Round Leader Betting: Rely on Stenson for another strong start

Stenson has finished in the top ten on five occasions
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After landing a place return with Brian Harman last week, the Betting.Betfair editors return alongside Steve Rawlings with their first round fancies for Abu Dhabi...

Steve Rawlings says: Back Henrik Stenson @ 28/1

Adam Baylis says: Back Kiradech Aphibarnrat @ 45/1

Joe Dyer says: Back Matthieu Pavon @ 100/1

*EW Terms: 1/5 Odds | 6 Places

Steve Rawlings says: Back Henrik Stenson @ 28/1

Stenson looks a no-brainer bet this week. The former Dubai-resident loves to play the game in this part of the world and has regularly gone close in this particular tournament, finishing in the top 10 on five occasions. And in that run he has been placed after the first round in six appearances. Stenson enjoyed a good warm-up in last week's EurAsia Cup, has the all-important morning tee time and looks primed for another strong early showing on a course he knows well. The industry-leading 28/1 looks a steal.


Adam Baylis says: Back Kiradech Aphibarnrat @ 45/1

The world number 49 ended last year with a flourish, finishing outside the top 20 on only two occasions in his final ten appearances. Vital to those performances were fast starts and he ranks eighth in the last 12 months for first round scoring average with 69.64 through 22 rounds.

He's been given another boost with an early-ish tee time at 08:00 and going round with Graeme McDowell and Bryson DeChambeau should keep him honest enough. Particularly the former who finished third on his last two attempts round here. Kiradech was -6 in the first round here in 2017, two shots behind leader Henrik Stenson and I expect an equally impressive performance this week.


Joe Dyer says: Back Matthieu Pavon @ 100/1

Finally a long-shot who may just oblige at three figures. Pavon sits high in the first round scoring average for the last six months, seventh overall, and if he brings some encouraging form from the back end of last season - including a 13th place finish in Dubai - has every chance of competing in this market. The Frenchman is immensely long off the tee and more accurate than most with his approaches and a good day with the driver will make him competitive.

2018 Season P/L to date: +£15.00

Staked: £30
Returned:£45

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