Golf Bets

Find Me a 100 Winner: Hodges can get hot again in the desert

Golfer Lee Hodges
Lee Hodges on his way to victory at the 3M Open

After a profitable week in Hawaii, our man's picked out four outsiders across this week's two events - the Dubai Desert Classic and The American Express...


Although he eventually finished down in 24th place, last week's fancy at the Sony Open, Kurt Kitayama, was matched at low of 7.26/1 on Saturday so it was a lowkey but profitable first column of the year.

The winner, 1000.0999/1 chance, Grayson Murray, was never on the radar but after his playoff success, and an impressive victory at The Sentry for 230.0229/1 shot, Chris Kirk, we're heading to the West Coast Swing with a strong possibility that we'll witness a third triple-figure priced winner in-a-row on the PGA Tour.

Although the favourite, Jon Rahm, took the title 12 months ago, The American Express has been a fabulous event for longshots with three of the last five winners going off at between 250.0249/1 and 1000.0999/1.

I've picked out two there and first up is Korea's K.H Lee...


K.H Lee @ 170.0169/1

Lee has event form figures reading MC-21-32-63-MC, but it might only be a matter of time before he improves on those numbers given it's an event that really should suit the low-scoring Korean.

The 32-year-old birdie machine won the AT&T Byron Nelson back-to-back in 2021 and 2002 in 25 and 26 under-par so he has a penchant for going super-low and he also has form in the desert.

Lee was second at the Phoenix Open in 2021 and he finished seventh in the Shriners Childrens Open as recently as October.

He putted poorly last week at the Sony, where he finished 30th, but he broke 70 on all four days and his iron play was on point.

KH Lee wins again.jpg

Lee ranked sixth for Strokes Gained: Tee-2-Green and seventh for SG: Approach and a repeat of that will see him contend this week, if he putts a bit better.

Back KH Lee (2us) @ 170.0169/1

Bet now

Place order to lay 8u @ 10.09/1 & 12u @ 2.01/1


Lee Hodges @ 210.0209/1

It's only six starts and six months since Lee Hodges romped to a facile seven stroke victory at the 3M Open in 24-under-par and it's only two years since he finished third here on debut.

He missed the cut 12 months ago here and he didn't really spark at The Sentry in his only start this year two weeks ago, where a third round 77 saw him fall out of contention to eventually finish 57th. However, at odds in excess of 200.0199/1, I was more than happy to chance him given he was a selection for the column at half that price when he got off the mark on the PGA Tour at the 3M Open.

Back Lee Hodges (1.5us) @ 210.0209/1

Bet now

Place order to lay 8u @ 10.09/1 & 12u @ 2.01/1


Antoine Rozner @ 100.099/1

The Dubai Desert Classic hasn't produced as many longshot winners as The American Express, but Li Haotong won here at 180.0179/1 as recently as 2018 and Lucas Herbert took the title two years later at 230.0229/1, so I'm happy to chance two triple-figure priced picks, and first up is Antoine Rozner.

Matt Cooper makes a robust and logical case for the Frenchman in his each-way column and I'm more than happy to follow him in.

Antoine Rozner at the Open de France.jpg

He was a bit disappointing when defending the Mauritius Open before Christmas when he finished 29th, having led after round one. His 32nd placed finish last week in the Dubai Invitational was hardly an inspiring start to 2024 but he has a great record in the desert, and he was ninth here on debut in 2021.

He failed to build on that promising first start, finishing 47th and 78th but he's a winner in the region, at the 2020 Golf in Dubai Championship, and he's too big to ignore at 100.099/1.

Back Antoine Rozner (2us) @ 100.099/1

Bet now

Place order to lay 8u @ 10.09/1 & 12u @ 2.01/1


Ewen Ferguson @ 130.0129/1

The Dubai-based Scotsman, Ewen Ferguson, moved into contention early on in round three at last week's Dubai invitational until back-to-back bogeys, shortly after he'd taken part in an on-course interview, halted momentum entirely.

Ferguson made only four bogeys all week last week on his way to an 11th placed finish and three of them came at the par four 15th. This was quite odd given it wasn't a particularly tough hole but he played quite nicely throughout the week, ranking inside the top-five for Driving Accuracy, Greens In Regulation, Scrambling and 10th for Strokes Gained: Off the Tee and second for SG: Approach.

His lack of length off the tee is a handicap at this venue but given he's a winner of the Qatar Masters at Doha, which, as highlighted in the preview, is an event that's produced more its fair share of Dubai Desert winners, and that he was ninth at the DP World Tour Championship in November, having sat just three off the lead with a round to go, I thought he was a fair price at 130.0129/1.

Ferguson finished 28th on debut 12 months ago but he'd finished only 64th the week before in Abu Dhabi so he's in far better form this year.

Back Ewen Ferguson (2us) @ 130.0129/1

Bet now

Place order to lay 8u @ 10.09/1 & 12u @ 2.01/1


*You can follow me on Twitter @SteveThePunter


Read Dave Tindall's American Express preview here


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