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PREVIEW: 2024 DP World Tour – Ras al Khaimah Championship

The DP World Tour’s Middle East Swing continues this week with the Ras al Kaimah Championship hosted by Al Hamra Golf Course in the UAE

Rasmus Hojgaard - DP World Tour

The DP World Tour’s Middle East Swing continues this week with the Ras al Kaimah Championship hosted by Al Hamra Golf Course in the UAE.

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

2024 DP World Tour
Ras al Khaimah Championship
Al Hamra Golf Course, Ras al Khaimah, UAE
25th-28th January 23, 2024

Rory McIlroy’s performance in Dubai last week will give him plenty of hope that he can finally end his major drought this season. Everything appeared to be going swimmingly for my pick Cameron Young. He just completely imploded on the weekend (perhaps due in part to the surge of a certain Northern Irishman).

Ras al Khaimah Championship

In any event, it was another thrilling finish in what is turning out to be an exhilarating Middle-East swing. The tour remains in the Middle-East for the third edition of the Ras al Khaimah Championship. A recent addition to the DP World Tour schedule, this is by far the least illustrious of these Middle-East events.

But it does offer an opportunity for some of the mere mortals out there to pick up a DP World Tour title. Englishman Daneil Gavins won his 2nd DP World title here in dramatic fashion last season, twice hitting it into the water on the 18th before holing a 25-foot double-bogey putt.

Al Hamra Golf Course

Every single renewal of this event has been held at Al Hamra Golf Course. It actually hosted two DP World Tour events in 2022, with Ryan Fox winning the now-defunct Ras al Khaimah Classic. Designed by Peter Harradine, Al Hamra also hosted three Challenge Tour events between 2016 and 2018.

This course really matches those that have come before it in this swing (the desert landscapes and exposed fairways can become a tiny bit monotonous). The fairways are wide and water comes into play on eight holes. This is certainly a course that can be overpowered, with a host of drivable par 4s and very gettable par 5s.

I would look for solid ball-strikers with excellent Par 5 scoring stats. As ever, you must show respect for course form and suitability to desert conditions. 2022 champion Nicolai Hojgaard exemplified this when he captured last year’s season-ending DP World Tour Championship.

Rasmus Hojgaard may have not quite reached the lofty heights of his twin bother as of yet but he still remains one of the most consistent players on the tour, evidenced by back-to-back T11 finishes to start the campaign.

Thorbjorn Olesen put his past indiscretions behind him to produce a series of really positive 2023 performances. Thriston Lawrence has proven to be a serial winner on tour and he kept up brilliantly with Fleetwood and McIlroy at Dubai Creek Resort.

Elsewhere, the likes of Jordan Smith and Alex Fitzpatrick catch the eye in an admittedly undercooked field.

Past Winners

2023: Danil Gavins (-17)
2022: Nicolai Hojgaard (-24)
2022: Ryan Fox (-22) *Ras al Khaimah Classic

To Win Outright:

Rasmus Hojgaard 10/1 | Thorbjorn Olesen 16/1 | Jordan Smith 18/1, Thriston Lawrence 20/1, Zander Lombard 22/1

Value Bets

Richard Mansell- To Win 35/1 | To Place 15/2

Richard Mansell has a really solid tee-to-green game and he could thrive in the absence of some of the bigger names. Mansell- still yet to win his maiden DP World Tour title- enjoyed a really consistent 2023 season. The highlight of his year was probably that solo third at the Andalucia Masters. Mansell also comes into this event in solid form, reaching top 25 finishes in each of his last four starts. He was 25th here last season but I think he looks in better shape coming into this year’s event.

Adri Arnaus- To Win 100/1 | To Place 22/1

Big-hitting Spaniard Adri Arnaus has been in pretty dreadful form of late: his last top-20 finish came at last year’s Andalucia Masters. But he played well during this period last season, finishing in a tie for 13th at the Dubai Desert Classic before a T6 finish here. And it’s little surprise that he played so well: he has won here before. Yes, Arnaus won the Ras Al Khaimah Challenge Tour Grand Final here back in 2017. I’m hoping that those positive memories can help him find his best game this week.

The Man to Beat- Rasmus Hojgaard- To Win 10/1 | To Place 22/10

I know this isn’t the most imaginative pick in human history. But four-time DP World Tour winner Rasmus Hojgaard is a cut above most players in this field and he has been playing really solidly of late. He suffered a pretty devastating end to last season, missing out on a Ryder Cup spot before narrowly missing out on his US PGA Tour card. But he knuckled down, finishing in a tie for 11th at the season-ending DP World Tour Championship. Curiously, the Dane also finished in a tie for 11th in each of his two starts this campaign. Hojgaard hits the ball a mile and he finished in sixth place here last season. These are exactly the type of tournaments that he needs to dominate if he wishes to emulate his brother.

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