Friday, March 1, 2024

Golf betting tips and free bets: Picks for the Farmers Insurance Open and the Hero Dubai Desert Classic

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SO before I dig myself into an even deeper hole, let me say straight away that the wise money this week is probably on a Jon Rahm-Roy McIlroy trans-Atlantic double.

Rahm has rewarded favourite backers by winning his last two starts, and is as low as 7-2 to make it a hat-trick at another of his favourite events, the Farmers Insurance Open.


Betting tips for this week’s Farmers Insurance Open

No real surprise there. In addition to being on a sizzling streak – four wins from his last six starts – he claimed his first professional victory at the Farmers in 2017, and has only once finished outside the top seven in six visits.

McIlroy is also back at the venue where he opened his professional account, winning the Dubai shootout FOURTEEN years ago.

Rory has never finished outside the top ten in eight subsequent starts, winning again in 2015, and finishing third and second in the last two years.


He is also priced at around 7-2. And while the double is certainly a strong possibility, I’m going to continue to avoid the blindingly obvious, risk getting more egg on my face by opposing Rahm – again! – and try for a better price elsewhere…

Farmers tips

Hotshot: Will Zalatoris, 16-1

The crazy scoring at the AmEx proved too hot for Zalatoris, but he still shot four sub-70 rounds to make it eight in a row since his return from injury.

I remain convinced this will prove a multiple win season for the slim American, and there is the considerable bonus that he clearly loves this week’s venue, Torrey Pines.

Zalatoris looked the likely winner for most of last year’s event, before being edged out by Luke List in a play-off. He was seventh here a year earlier, so expect another bold showing.

Mid price: Taylor Montgomery, 28-1

Montgomery has had plenty of people raving about him in the States for a while, but it has taken me a while to accept that he is the real deal.

But he has been the model of consistency over the past few months, and I liked what I saw when he finished fifth at the AmEx, shooting rounds of 64-69-65-66.

Throw in  the fact that he finished in a share of 11th on his tournament debut here a year ago – and will know a lot  more about the place now – and he is a player I want on my side. 


Long shot: Ben Griffin, 125-1

The rookie is one of the best of the new crop, and a share of 12th in Hawaii was followed by another good effort at the Amex.

He bounced back from a grisly first round 73 with scores of 67-64-67 for a respectable share of 32nd place.

If he can avoid another slow start, he could make those three figure odds look very appealing.

Desert Classic

Let’s roll back the years and root for another big performance from Padraig Harrington, who finished an eye-catching fourth in Abu Dhabi last week.

The three time Major champion is playing better than he has for years – and he has finished sixth and ninth in his last two starts in Dubai. 

The 51 year old Irishman was a four-time winner on the Champions Tour last year. With Coral pricing him up at 45-1, and offering ten places, he is a sporting bet to put the youngsters in their place.

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