2019 Saudi International Preview
In case you missed it, Bryson DeChambeau confirmed his credentials as one of the very best golfers on the planet courtesy of the European Tour last week.
He teed up at the Dubai Desert Classic, and after assuming the lead during the second round never looked like relinquishing his grip on the trophy.
It’s funny, because Bryson at times looked out of control; particularly on Saturday, when he was failing to find fairways with any regularity. He looked ready to be challenged.
But then common sense prevailed, with the man himself thinking ‘I hold a one-shot lead heading into the final round having played poorly. Surely if I rise my game a touch I will be unstoppable?’
Yes, so it proved. The flatcap-wearing mad scientist compiled a closing 64 to win by a country mile from a chasing pack that never got close.
Bryson DeChambeau of the USA with the winners trophy after the final round of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic at Emirates Golf Club on January 27, 2019 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Get premium, high resolution news photos at Getty Images
DeChambeau will have a chance to double up this week in an event which is arguably the most controversial of the year, the Saudi International.
This is a country with a ‘questionable,’ and that’s a polite way of putting it, human rights record, and really it’s not the kind of place that any player or golfing organization should be aligning with.
But, as we know, money talks, and while we can query the moral obligations the bottom line is that Dustin Johnson is reportedly being paid $3 million for what is in essence four days work, assuming he makes the cut.
Bank balance or moral fibre? It’s a question of individual choice, ultimately.
Like it or not, a strong field has gathered at the Royal Greens G&CC in the egomaniacally-named metropolis of ‘King Abdullah Economic City’. DJ, last week’s Farmers Insurance Open winner Justin Rose, dual major champion in 2018 Brooks Koepka, Sergio Garcia and many more have chosen dollar over defiance in this inaugural hosting of the event.
In bad news for DFS gamers, we don’t really know what to expect from Royal Greens G&CC, given that it has never hosted a professional golf event.
From the pictures, it looks like a Links course in the desert, and its proximity to the Red Sea coastline suggests a strong old wind will buffet the players.
Measuring a reported 7,000 yards for its Par of 70, according to the European Tour website, the track features just two Par 5s but also four Par 4s under 380 yards, so this is not a long stretch by any means.
There are bunkers and some water hazards – including a couple of holes flanked by the ocean, so it may be a case that we simply draft players who will find fairways before hitting wedges and short irons into what appear to be large, flat greens.
It’s a bit of a minefield, but here are our picks for the Saudi International.
This Week’s Saudi International Fantasy Picks & Predictions
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