The Punter’s In-Play Blog: Hot Hovland the man to beat in Abu Dhabi

20:25 – January 20, 2021

Collin Morikawa and Rory McIlroy dominated the Abu Dhabi Championship market before the off but both have started the event poorly.

Despite the benefit of an early start, when the course was at its easiest with no wind, McIlroy never got going and after a level-par 72 around the Yas Links layout, he’s now trailing by nine strokes and trading at around 60.059/1.

Playing in the afternoon, Morikawa started his first round with a birdie three at the opening hole and he was matched at a low of just 5.04/1 but that was as good as it got for the world number two. He missed putt after putt, found water off the tee on the par three eighth, and he looks a lost cause already. He’s now trading at around 70.069/1 after a one-over-par 73 sees him trailing by ten.

Play was suspended for the day with a few groups yet to finish their first rounds but looking at the averages for those that have completed their rounds, the morning starters averaged 70.89 and the latter starters 71.48 so there was a slight advantage to beginning the event early.

After a nine-under-par 63, Scotland’s Scott Jamieson is the early leader but the man to beat is Norway’s Viktor Hovland. Playing in the afternoon alongside Morikawa and the two-time event winner, Tommy Fleetwood, the world number seven raced to five-under-par through eight holes and after playing the next six in level-par, he birdied three of the last four to close to within one of Jamieson.

Hovland is no bigger than 2/1 on the High Street and he’s trading at just 3.259/4 on the exchange but that looks short enough given tomorrow’s weather forecast.

The wind is expected to pick up dramatically overnight and it’s going to be a tough day for everyone.

Hovland is more than capable of surviving the blustery conditions but with 54 holes still to play, odds of around 2/1 look short enough. I’m more than happy to sit on my hands for now and see what tomorrow brings.

The first round of The American Express is underway and it’s a completely different story there so far with the two pre-tournament market leaders, Jon Rahm and Patrick Cantlay, both starting well. At the time of writing the pair are both four-under-par and tied for second.

I’ll take a closer look at that event in the morning.

Abu Dhabi Championship Pre-Event Selection:
Collin Morikawa – each-way @ 13/2

American Express Pre-Event Selection:
Seamus Power @ 44.043/1

Find Me a 100 Winner Selections:
Back 2 u Rasmus Hojgaard @ 120.0119/1
Place order to lay 10u @ 10.09/1 & 10u @ 2.01/1
Back 2u Andrew Svensson @ 170.0169/1
Place order to lay 10u @ 10.09/1 & 10u @ 2.01/1
Back 2u Phil Mickelson @ 220.0219/1
Place order to lay 10u @ 10.09/1 & 10u @ 2.01/1
Back 2 u Michael Thompson @ 150.0149/1
Place order to lay 10u @ 10.09/1 & 10u @ 2.01/1

*You can follow me on Twitter @SteveThePunter

Author: wpadmin

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