Qatar Masters Betting Tips: Six against the field for DP World Tour event
After a couple of weeks of birdie-heavy contests over in South Africa, it’s time for a change of pace on the DP World Tour this week. As we head to the Middle East for the Qatar Masters.
Back on the rota is the Peter Harradine designed Doha Golf Club. Which hosted the Qatar Masters from its debut in 1998, up until 2019. With Education City Golf Club hosting the 2020 & 2021 editions.
Qatar Masters Tips
- Romain Langasque 28/1 – 1/5 7 places (Betfair) – 1.75 pts ew
- Julien Brun 55/1 – 1/5 6 places (Betfred) – 1 pt ew
- Jazz Janewattananond 66/1 – 1/5 6 places (Boylesports) – 1 pt ew
- Jorge Campillo 50/1 – 1/4 7 places (Betfair) – 1 pt ew
- Hurly Long 80/1 – 1/5 6 places (Betfred) – 1 pt ew
- Andrea Pavan 300/1 – 1/5 7 places (Betfair) – 0.5 pts ew
An exposed, desert course, Doha Golf Club is a par 72 measuring 7401 yards. Fairways are relatively tight, though historically, the rough isn’t too tricky around here and the big, undulating greens are easy enough to find, providing you avoid the run-off areas around many of them.
The difficulty at this venue, aside from the water in-play and the large amount of sand positioned around the course, comes from the weather, wind to be specific. When the conditions are mild, the course is scoreable, as seen by plenty of winning scores in the high teens over the years. -20 from Paul Lawrie in 1999 and Adam Scott in 2008 is the tournament record at this venue.
Though when that wind blows, it becomes an entirely different story. Something we saw in the most recent renewal at Doha Golf Club in 2019, when -13 was enough to pick up the title. As South Africa’s Justin Harding came out on top by two strokes ahead of a nine player logjam in 2nd.
We may see similar this year, as after a mild opening round on Thursday, the forecast predicts things will get a good deal tougher over the rest of the week. With winds upwards of 20mph predicted over the following three rounds of the event.
With that forecast in mind, I’m certain that a quality short-game is going to be a requirement this week. It’s going to be tough to control the ball in these conditions and the run-off areas will see plenty of action.
This belief is emphasised when we look at the last two winners of the event here, in 2018 and 2019, the only two renewals at Doha in which we have Strokes-Gained data. As much as good approach play was on show for both Justin Harding in 2019 and Eddie Pepperell in 2018, the standout area of their games was the short-game, both ranking 1st in the field around-the-greens when winning.
We can even head back to 2017, in which Korea’s Jeunghun Wang won. Despite possessing no SG data, the standout area of Wang’s game was very much the short-game. As he ranked 4th in scrambling.
As usual, form across the Middle East in general is often a positive. Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Oman. Etc. The majority of them are open, exposed courses where wind plays a big part. Though there are a few courses that standout more than others, not all in the Middle East:
Royal Dar Es Salam’s Red Course in Morocco, host of the Trophee Hassan II every year besides from 2011-2015 has always been a good pointer to success at Doha Golf Club.
2017 Qatar winner, Jeunghun Wang won in Morocco just a year earlier. With both Ernie Els and Sweden’s Joakim Haeggman winning at both courses. Further to this we have both Alvaro Quiros and Robert Karlsson, who have won at Doha and finished 2nd in Morocco. Whilst Spain’s Jorge Campillo has won at Royal Dar Es Salam and finished 2nd here in Qatar. Louis Oosthuizen, Nacho Elvira and Erik Van Rooyen providing extra form-ties, having all finished 2nd at both events.
Jordan Smith, Joakim Lagergren and Renato Paratore amongst a bunch of other players who have form at both courses.
The Alfred Dunhill Links Championship is another event that correlates nicely, with British links form often tying in well with courses in the Middle East. The exposed nature of the courses and usual necessity in wind management asking similar questions.
Paul Lawrie, Robert Karlsson and Branden Grace have won both events, whilst Ernie Els has twice been runner-up in the Dunhill Links. Nick Dougherty, Thorbjorn Olesen and Oliver Wilson are all Dunhill Links winners and have been 2nd in Qatar. With Sweden’s Joakim Lagergren coming up again, possessing a runner-up finish as well three other top 5 finishes in the Dunhill Links.
Jordan Smith and Renato Paratore tie this form together again, both with top 10s in the ADL. With South Africa’s George Coetzee adding further ties, twice a runner-up in Qatar, he has a top 5 finish to his name in the Dunhill Links.
The Portugal Masters, played at Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course in Vilamoura can provide further clues. Another exposed layout that is generally generous off-the-tee.
Alvaro Quiros is the only player to double up at Doha Golf Club and in Portugal. Though other Qatar winners in Doha: Paul Lawrie, Robert Karlsson, Eddie Pepperell and Chris Wood have all finished 2nd in Portugal. George Coetzee backs up his excellent record in Qatar with an equally strong record in Vilamoura, where he won in 2020. Whilst Marc Warren and Rafa Cabrera Bello both have runner-up finishes at the two courses.
Joakim Lagergren is the man tyng them all together again, having finished 3rd in Portugal. As the likes of Jorge Campillo, Marcus Kinhult, Nacho Elvira and Pablo Larrazabal are amongst a bunch of players to have form at both courses.
Abu Dhabi Golf Club, home of the Abu Dhabi Championship is another course by Doha designer, Peter Harradine. Though it’s Emirates Golf Club, home of the Dubai Desert Classic that is the standout venue in the Middle East.
Ernie Els is a 3-time winner there, while Henrik Stenson, Alvaro Quiros, Thomas Bjorn and Sergio Garcia have tasted success at both venues. 2007 Qatar winner, Retief Goosen has finished 2nd in Dubai. While the last winner here in 2019, Justin Harding, has recorded finishes of 4th and 7th at Emirates Golf Club. Rafa Cabrera Bello has won in Dubai and finished 2nd at Doha Golf Club. With Ian Woosnam, James Kingston and Christiaan Bezuidenhout possessing 2nd place finishes in both events.
Erik Van Rooyen, George Coetzee, Jordan Smith and Thorbjorn Olesen are amongst an abundance of other payers who have enjoyed success at both courses.
Finally I quite like Le Golf National, home of the Open de France for much of the last 30 years. Retief Goosen has won at both courses. 2013 Qatar Masters winner, Chris Wood has a runner-up finish to his name in France. Jean-Francois Remesy has a 2nd in Qatar whilst being a two time winner at Le Golf National, with Paul Broadhurst also possessing a 2nd in Qatar and victory in France. Nick O’Hern and Thorbjorn Olesen both collecting runner-up finishes at the two courses.
A bunch of familiar names tie this form together again. With Pablo Larrazabal, George Coetzee and Marcus Kinhult chief amongst them, each possessing top 5 finishes at the two courses.
We have a good DPWT field teeing it up this week. With 2019 champion, Justin Harding returning as the most recent player to taste victory at Doha Golf Club. Though the eye is very much drawn to the name of Joohyung Kim.
The teenage Korean sensation already has seven professional victories to his name around Asia and I’m fascinated to see how he gets on this week, making his debut in a DP World Tour sanctioned event.
Of those at the very top it was course horse, George Coetzee who appealed most at 20/1. He’s playing well but was just about short enough for me to leave him alone, especially considering his usually excellent putter isn’t quite firing at the moment.
Instead we start with a couple of Frenchmen, the first of whom has been threatening to win since the back end of last year and I’m taking Romain Langasque to tame the winds in Qatar this week.
After a decent start to 2021, Langasque’s form really fell off a cliff in the middle part of the year, though showed signs of life in his final handful of events. As he reeled off five made cuts in a row to end 2021.
He’s started this year very much in the same form, with four top 20s in six starts, including finishing top 10 on his latest two starts in South Africa. The two missed cuts both coming at Ras Al Khaimah.
No single part of Langasque’s game has engineered this form, as he’s playing pretty well across the board. Ranking 43rd tee-to-green and 50th on the greens. With 10th in scrambling and 19th in GIR providing further encouragement as to his chances in windy conditions this week.
Romain has played here twice and possesses only a modest record, finishing 37th on debut in 2017 and missed the cut here in 2019. Though solid records at four of the five correlating courses mentioned above, all excluding the Dunhill Links, gives confidence as to his chances. As does his victory in the Wales Open in 2020, his solo DPWT victory to date, played in tough conditions on a somewhat exposed, lengthy course.
Langasque was a fantastic amateur and there was a feeling that after he picked up his first title in Wales, he’d go on to become a force on the DP World Tour. That hasn’t quite happened as yet but there have been plenty of signs over the last six months that he’s nearing winning form again and this week at Doha Golf Club looks a good chance for him to pick up that 2nd title.
Two of the last three winners at Doha Golf Club, Justin Harding in 2019 and Jeunghun Wang in 2017, won here on their first try at the course. With that in mind I’m not afraid to throw in some talented players having their first try this week and Frenchman, Julien Brun, is the first of three such players.
After a superb year on the Challenge Tour in 2021, that saw Brun win twice, finish runner-up twice and miss just one cut in 22 starts, he earned his spot on the DP World Tour this year. Finishing the season ranked 4th on the Race to Mallorca, the Challenge Tour’s season long rankings.
Jump to this year and he has enjoyed a strong start to 2022. In six starts he’s had three top 15s, with a further top 25 and just the two missed cuts. I was particularly impressed with the 25th place finish in a strong field in Abu Dhabi, played on an exposed course in tough, windy conditions much like this week’s test.
His game is one with little weaknesses. Showing himself to be of equally high quality in putting, around-the-greens and approach so far this season. With the driver the only club in the bag that hasn’t quite been up to scratch so far. Also ranking an impressive 12th in bogey avoidance, which could signal further his chances this week.
No start here but as mentioned, the 25th in Abu Dhabi should bode well. As should his next start following that, when 13th in the Ras Al Khaimah Championship, another exposed course with little penalty from off the fairways. It also shows his ability in playing well in different scoring conditions, as the RAK events were substantially lower scoring than Abu Dhabi.
Much like Langasque, he was an extremely highly rated youngster, reaching 3rd as an amateur before turning pro in 2015. He’s taken a little more time to reach this level but has the game to make some noise on the DPWT. With the quality of his irons and short-game, these conditions may well bring out his best performance yet.
Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond has started the season well. With his irons showing small signs of life in his 16th place finish at Steyn City last week, I’m taking a chance on him continuing his form this week in Qatar.
He started his season with an 8th place finish in Singapore on the Asian Tour. He then missed the cut on his first start on the DPWT this year, in Abu Dhabi but has made every cut since, mixing his schedule between the DPWT and Asian Tour. His best a 6th in the Royal’s Cup at home in Thailand, though equally as encouraging are two top 20s in his last three DPWT starts, once last week and prior to that he finished 20th at Ras Al Khaimah.
The short-game has looked solid all year, with the putter doing most of the hard work. Though he did produce one of his better approach performances of the year last week at Steyn City. Something I’m hoping he will make further gains in this week.
He hasn’t played here but that 20th in Ras Al Khaimah gives promise. Though looking at a more lowkey performance this year, his 38th in the Saudi International, an exposed desert course at the mercy of the elements. He produced one of the best rounds of the day there on the Sunday in strong winds, giving plenty of encouragement for his chances in this week’s conditions.
At just 26 years of age, Jazz is already a seven time winner as a professional, though has yet to really make that step up. There have been plenty of positive signs this year though and if able to build on that 16th place finish last week and revel in the blustery conditions that look set to befall Doha Golf Club, he can pick up an 8th and breakthrough victory this week.
Spain’s Jorge Campillo has enjoyed a solid start to the season and possessing a good record here at Doha Golf Club, he can go well again this week.
After a largely difficult 2021, Campillo seems to have turned a corner in these first few months of 2022. He’s played seven events and only missed one cut, three times finishing 28th or better. With a 13th place finish in Kenya his best effort.
The predominant reason for his improved form is much better performances tee-to-green, particularly in approach. Where he ranks 48th in SG: Approach and 34th for greens-in-regulation at this early point of the season. The driver has been inconsistent but plenty of positive signs there, with the same thoughts applying to his short-game. Strangely, it’s been the putter, often Campillo’s main weapon, that has failed to fire this year, but again, in his last four starts, more encouraging signs can be found.
Campillo has teed it up at Doha Golf Club seven times, with that excellent 2nd place finish in 2019 his best effort. He’s missed the cut twice in those seven visits but recorded a further three top 25s in his other four appearances.
Further to this, Campillo has won at Royal Dar Es Salam in the Trophee Hassan II, has twice finished inside the top 10 in the Portugal Masters and has a strong record at Le Golf National, including a top 10 in 2018. Aside from also being a Qatar Masters champion, winning the first of those two renewals at Education Golf City in 2020.
Campillo has found some good consistency after a largely disappointing year last year. Coming back to a place in which he has a great record and to an event in which his name is already on the trophy, he can take advantage of his early season form to once again contend in Qatar.
Big hitting German, Hurly Long has enjoyed an excellent start to his DPWT career. I fancy him to continue that start this week in Qatar at a venue which could set up well for him.
After a strong amateur career, that saw Long hit top 50 in the world, he turned pro in 2019, plying his trade in that debut year on the ProGolf Tour. He signalled his potential in converting that amateur promise to the pro ranks with an exceptional year on that tour. Playing 23 events and hitting the top 10 on 14 occasions, including picking up his first title towards the end of 2019.
Promotion to the Challenge Tour followed in a covid hit 2020. He wasted little time in adding to his professional tally, winning the Italian Challenge on just his 7th start on the Challenge Tour. Carrying this form over into 2021, where he enjoyed a solid year, picking up 6 top 10s and earning his way onto the DP World Tour this year.
He’s had a flying start to the campaign. Five starts and five made cuts. Finishing 21st or better in four of those appearances. Excellent finishes of 3rd in the Ras Al Khaimah Classic and 2nd in the Kenya Open highlighting further the potential he has to be a force on the main tour.
Long’s game is about length off the tee and a quality short-game. Putting in particular the standout at this point of the season, ranking 18th. His irons have been off so far this year and he may need to find something in that respect this week.
He hasn’t played here but confidence can be drawn from that 3rd place finish at Ras Al Khaimah. I also take encouragement from his 5th place finish in the B-NL Challenge Trophy on the Challenge Tour in 2021. Played at The Dutch in the Netherlands, an open, exposed, links like course.
I was a little surprised to find Long at such a price this week, regardless of his lack of a visit to this week’s venue. He’s made an excellent start to his DPWT career so far and I fancy him to continue that this week.
Finally I’ll finish with a speculative bet on Italy’s Andrea Pavan. After a really poor couple of years, that saw him make just 11 cuts in 38 starts, he seems to have turned a corner this year and can go well back at a course where he finished 13th in 2018.
Pavan’s start to this year has seen him make 4 cuts in 6 starts, starting off the season with two top 25s in strong fields. Finishing 25th in the Abu Dhabi Championship and 18th in the Dubai Desert Classic.
His form wasn’t quite as strong over his next few starts, recording finishes of 57th and a MC in the two events at Ras Al Khaimah. Another missed cut followed at Pecanwood two weeks ago, both those missed cuts down to poor putting weeks, but he bounced back on the greens last week, which helped him to a 40th place finish at Steyn City.
There’s no doubt that Pavan’s improved form this year has been down to improved ball-striking. Particularly better accuracy off-the-tee, where he really struggled over recent years and in those first couple of starts this year he produced some quality approach play. However that has tapered off a little in recent starts.
The short-game is in excellent nick though, ranking 7th on tour this season around-the-greens and 38th in scrambling. Making him an attractive prospect this week at a course where quality around-the-greens has been so important.
In addition is the fact he’s gone well here before, with that 13th place finish in 2018. Further to this, he has finished 3rd in Morocco in the Trophee Hassan II, with finishes of 5th and 10th in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. Those two performances in Abu Dhabi and Dubai to start the year giving further hope he will appreciate the test.
It’s been a long road back for Pavan but there is genuine optimism in his early season performances. The long-game may not appear great but it’s still a massive improvement on what he’d shown the previous two seasons and with the continued quality of his short-game I expect him to go better this week than his price suggests.