2024 Bahrain Championship Preview, Picks & Analysis
The DP World Tour returns to Bahrain this week for the first time in 13 years for the inaugural Bahrain Championship.
Rasmus Hojgaard, who has four DP World Tour titles to his name, is relishing the opportunity to tee it up again alongside fellow Danish countryman Thomas Bjorn, who headlines a field that includes rising stars Dan Bradbury, Alex Fitzpatrick, Yannik Paul and Jordan Smith.
“Thomas was a big inspiration to Nicolai and myself when we were coming through the ranks,” said Hojgaard, who became the third youngest winner in DP World Tour history when he secured his first title in just his fifth start in the 2019 AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open, aged 18 years and 271 days old. “His achievements in the game put Denmark on the world golfing map and it’s been amazing being able to play alongside him on the DP World Tour. I love getting to experience new cultures and countries through the game of golf and can’t wait to visit Bahrain for the first time.”
Pablo Larrazabal has nine DP World Tour titles to his name and he’s no stranger to success in the Middle East, having won the Abu Dhabi Championship in 2014. And he enjoyed an excellent finish at the recent Dubai Desert Classic.
The 40-year-old, who has played on the DP World Tour since 2008, was in the field the last time the Tour visited Bahrain, finishing tied 24th at the Volvo Golf Champions en route to a career-high 17th place finish on the Race to Dubai, and he is looking forward to returning.
“I really liked the Royal Golf Club course the last time we played there and they have made some enhancements recently so it’s going to be even better,” said Larrazabal referencing the recent redesign of several greens on the front nine. “I love starting my season off in the Middle East - the weather is perfect and they have some fantastic golf courses, so I’m really looking forward to what promises to be a great event in Bahrain.”
Romain Langasque is also keen to add to his DP World Tour trophy cabinet having claimed his maiden victory at the 2020 Wales Open. The Frenchman has posted some strong results in the Middle East, including a tied 11th place finish at last year’s season-ending DP World Tour Championship and a tied 16th at the Dubai Desert Classic in 2023.
“I enjoy playing golf in the Middle East,” he said. “A lot of the courses suit my eye and we always get looked after really well at the events in the region so I can’t wait to experience playing in Bahrain for the first time.”
Bradbury, who enjoyed an outstanding debut season in 2023, is looking forward to making further progress in 2024 after finishing 36th in his maiden year on the Race to Dubai.
“I enjoy playing golf in the Middle East so I’m excited to head back to Ras Al Khaimah and also visit Bahrain for the first time. They should be great events,” said Bradbury.
Fitzpatrick earned his playing privileges for 2024 through a combination of the Challenge Tour’s Road to Mallorca and strong performances in limited starts on the DP World Tour, including a tie for 17th in The Open at Royal Liverpool, and is now able to play a full schedule on the Race to Dubai.
Fitzpatrick said: “There was quite a lot of pressure last year because I felt like I had to play well in the limited opportunities I got to play, so it’s quite nice now to be able to plan my schedule a bit more. It’s always nice to go out to the Middle East so I’m looking forward to getting out there next month.”
Germany’s Paul, who won the 2022 Mallorca Golf Open, is also looking to build on a strong 2023 which included two runner-up finishes and five other top tens. He has made a really good start to 2024, with decent showings in Dubai and the UAE and he definitely has the game to win.
“I felt like I played some good golf last season, particularly in the first part of the year, so hopefully I can do that again throughout 2024. I can’t wait to get to Bahrain.”
Royal Golf Club is a par 72 that measure 7,261 yards and has bene carved out of desert. Designed by Colin Montgomerie, it features several water hazards, plenty of bunkers and generous fairways - and that means the scoring is going to be low.
Yannik Paul is a hugely underrated German golfer. He does everything really well and is becoming one of the DP World Tour’s most consistent players. Thorbjorn Olesen is fresh from a wonderful week in the UAE and will arrive in Bahrain full of confidence and form.
Yannik Paul. Ready to win
Alex Fitzpatrick. Wonderful temperament
Five to Follow:
Yannik Paul. German engineering!
Marcel Siem. Always fun to watch
Alex Fitzpatrick. Win can’t be far away
Pablo Larrazabal. Streaky
Dan Bradbury. Hits it a mile
Be part of the action with a selection of unique golf tournament experiences, from playing in a pro-am with the stars to watching the action at golf’s most illustrious events. Whether it’s the Masters or The Open, The Ryder Cup or WM Phoenix Open, build your own bespoke package with the experts at Golfbreaks.com.
What do you think? post your thoughts and feedback on the Golfshake Forum: https://forum.golfshake.com/