Thorbjørn Olesen, at a price of 18-1, won his eighth career DP World Tour event by six strokes over fellow Dane Rasmus Højgaard at the Ras Al Khaimah Championship last weekend. Frenchman Frederic Lacroix finished third while our closest tip Callum Shinkwin, who was the first-round leader, ended up T-4.
This week, the DP World Tour leaves the United Arab Emirates but continues its swing through the Middle East with an inaugural event in Bahrain.
This week’s favorite at the Bahrain Championship is Rasmus Højgaard (9-1) who finished runner-up last week in Ras Al Khaimah while twin brother Nicolai was runner-up to Matthieu Pavon at the Farmers Insurance Open.
Yannik Paul (18-1) and Keita Nakajima (20-1) finished in a five-way tie for fourth last week in RAK along with Shinkwin (60-1), Max Kieffer (75-1) and Brandon Stone (90-1).
Zander Lombard (22-1) finished in the top 16 in all three tournaments held in the Emirates in the last three weeks.
Antoine Rozner (25-1), Sebastian Soderberg (25-1), Alex Fitzpatrick (30-1), Joost Luiten (35-1), Bernd Wiesberger (35-1) and last week’s third-place finisher Lacroix (35-1) follow in the market.
Royal Golf Club is a par-72 of 7,261 yards. The club hosted the Volvo Golf Champions in 2011, which was won by Paul Casey.
The track was designed in 2008 by Colin Montgomerie and has since undergone renovations, including bunkers and greens rebuilt to adhere to current DP World Tour specifications to improve the scope for fair pin positions and create bigger, flatter putting surfaces.
The Paspalum grass was removed from putting surfaces and kept alive while the work was undertaken, then replaced afterward.
Wind will be the primary course defense here this week.
Frederic Lacroix (33-1, BetRivers)
Lacroix finished third last week at Ras Al Khaimah.
The Frenchman graduated from the Challenge Tour last year and has six top-10 finishes in his last 10 events dating to the end of last August.
Joost Luiten (35-1, DraftKings)
Luiten started well enough in 2014 with finishes of 21st and 14th in the two Dubai events.
The Dutchman won the 2016 KLM Open, appropriately enough, at The Dutch golf course, which is also a Colin Montgomerie design.
Bernd Wiesberger (35-1, DraftKings)
As LIV’s season commences this week at Mayakoba, one cannot help but think Wiesberger is especially motivated this week as his LIV contract was not renewed.
The eight-time DP World Tour winner has started 2024 with finishes of 21st and 37th but might be underestimated in what should be windy conditions and he was runner-up to Luiten at the KLM Open.
Callum Shinkwin (55-1, BetMGM)
Shinkwin finished T-4 last week at Ras Al Khaimah.
He was third for Strokes Gained: Tee-To-Green last week as well and is familiar with this type of open desert course that plays with a linksy feel.
Joshua Grenville-Wood (150-1, BetMGM)
Grenville-Wood was born in England, grew up in Atlanta and later moved to the UAE, where he currently resides.
He finished runner-up twice on this course in 2019 while playing on the MENA Tour.
A ninth last week at Ras Al Khaimah got him into this week’s field.