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Playing the Tips

Expert Picks: Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

by Matt Cooper
Updated On: January 14, 2020, 9:48 am ET

Each week, Dave Tindall and Matt Cooper will give their picks for the two main European Tour options – DraftKings and the official season-long 2020 Fantasy Race to Dubai game run by europeantour.com (still awaiting confirmation of this year's start date).

The latter is no-salary. Simply select a team of six golfers and nominate a captain whose points are doubled. Points are based on official Race to Dubai points earned by your players.

The DraftKings lineups will be entered into a large-entry Guaranteed Prize Pool. That means we need to take a risk or two, in order to separate ourselves from the field.

The idea is to provide you a list of names to consider. We would not recommend copying these teams, golfer for golfer. Duplicate teams are no fun and don't help anyone.

Dave Tindall



Branden Grace ($9,400) – Landed last week's South African Open with a closing 62 and has won back-to-back before, showing that when he gets hot he stays hot. Two top fives here so every reason to think he can ride the wave.

Thomas Pieters ($9,200) – Stellar record here with a second, a fourth and a fifth and showed his liking for desert golf again with T6 in the DP World Tour Championship in November. Big upside and summer win at Czech Masters could pave the way for another here.

Thomas Detry ($7,900) – Happy to go with a twin Belgian attack. Detry ended 2019 with three top fours in four starts and only one bad day kept him down in T28 in South Africa last week. Top ten on Abu Dhabi debut two years ago.

Joost Luiten ($8,300) – File him under course specialist. The Dutchman has four top sixes in his last six Abu Dhabi starts and concluded 2019 with a trio of top 25s, including T10 at the Nedbank.

Andy Sullivan ($7,600) – Game is trending nicely again and he continued his revival with a top six in South Africa on Sunday. Lots of good form in the Middle East and 7-for-7 here.

Richard Sterne ($7,300) – Disappointed in his home South African Open last week although rounds of 71 and 68 were hardly poor. Two top 20s before that so he's in good enough shape to continue his strong play in Abu Dhabi which shows second place last year, two further top 20s and a perfect 5-for-5 slate.

Total salary: $49,700

On the cusp: Louis Oosthuizen ($10,300), Robert MacIntyre ($9,100), Sergio Garcia ($8,900), Martin Kaymer ($8,400), Charl Schwartzel ($7,800), Ryan Fox ($7,200)


Matt Cooper



Thomas Pieters ($9,200) – Sixth last time he was in the desert and has four top 20s from six course appearances, three of them top sixes.

Bernd Wiesberger ($9,000) – Three-time winner last year, including two Rolex Series events and five top 30s from eight starts in the tournament.

Sergio Garcia ($8,900) – Sixth in the DP World Tour Championship at the end of 2019 and has completed six top 20s from six tournament appearances.

Victor Perez ($7,900) – Five top 20s in his last six starts, including a win and a play-off defeat. Shot a good 66 to make the cut on debut after a poor R1.

Guido Migliozzi ($7,200) – Ended 2019 with four finishes of T21 or better and making his debut but SG: Tee to Green stats are good and they matter in Abu Dhabi.

Lee Westwood ($7,700) – Sixth just two starts ago in the Nedbank Challenge and has four top 20s from his eight course starts.

Total salary: $49,900

On the cusp: Tommy Fleetwood ($11,400), Brooks Koepka ($10,800), Patrick Cantlay ($11,200), Shane Lowry ($9,800), Viktor Hovland ($9,300), Matthias Schwab ($8,700)