EUROPEAN TOUR: DP World Tour Championships
VENUE: Jumeirah Golf Estates, Earth Course
A strong field has assembled for the European Tour finale which gets under way this week in the form of the Dubai World Championships played at the Greg Norman designed 7,600 yards long, par 72 Earth Course for the ninth time in succession. The course has many bunkers, water hazards and large, sloping greens. Long hitters who are accurate with their wedge play appear to have an edge here.
OUTRIGHT: Rory McIlroy 1 pt win and place 9/1 (1 /4 odds 5 places)
Despite a lacklustre season by his standards, the Northern-Irishman is a deserving favourite due to his incredible record in the Middle East. He has 23 Top-10s in his 26 starts in the region, with four victories in that time and two in this very event. In fact, McIlroy has never finished outside the Top 11 in his eight visits to the Earth Course. Has shown signs of life towards the end of the year with Top 25 finishes in 4 of his last 5 events, hinting towards a strong performance to round off the season here.
OUTRIGHT: Haotong Li 0.5 pts E/W 20/1 (1/4 odds 5 places)
Li is in excellent form and has not finished outside the Top 11 in his last 5 starts worldwide, including a 2nd place finish at the Turkish Airlines Open where he pushed Justin Rose all the way. Finished in a tie for 13th place last year and was victorious in Dubai at the start of 2018, all of which combines to suggest that Li could be good value again this week.
OUTRIGHT: Ross Fisher 0.5 pts E/W 50/1 (1/4 odds 5 places)
Fisher is an outside pick this week but could surprise a few despite not having the best of years. He finished 4th last week in South Africa, and enjoys playing at the Earth Course with Top 20 finishes at this event in the last two seasons, so could be worth considering.
PGA TOUR: RSM Classic
VENUE: Sea Island, Seaside and Plantation Courses
Two courses are used for this event over the first two days with the 7,000 yards long, par 72 Plantation course being added to the mix for the first time three years ago. The final two rounds are played on the Seaside host course which has tended to favour accurate hitters over power hitters in previous years. Expect players with local connections who can play well in windy conditions to figure prominently.
OUTRIGHT: JJ Spaun 1 pt win and place 22/1 (1/4 odds 5 places)
Sea Island has gained a reputation for breeding first-time winners on the PGA Tour and this week could be no different. Spaun has had a fantastic start to the new season with Top 15 finishes in each of his last three starts, including a tie for 3rd place last week in Mexico. He also has form at this event, with last year’s runner-up finish highlighted by a third-round 62. Expect him to have another solid week here, and perhaps add to the list of 5 of the previous 6 RSM Classic champions being first-time winner.
OUTRIGHT: Russell Henley 0.5 pt E/W 35/1 (1/4 odds 5 places)
Henley’s last three visits to Sea Island have all resulted in Top 10 finishes, and last week’s Top 30 finish was his best since before The Open. The course favours those with previous experience and Henley’s reputation as one of the game’s best putters should serve him well this week.
OUTRIGHT: Jim Furyk 0.5 pt E/W 50/1 (1/4 odds 5 places)
Now that his Ryder Cup captaincy has been completed, Furyk can get back to doing what he does best- playing consistent golf. Despite a disappointing missed cut at the Shriners, Furyk has a T4 and T6 finish in his last 3 starts and has never finished outside the Top 11 in 3 goes at Sea Island. With his game sharpening up once again, Furyk could be an underrated prospect for a strong finish at a course which suits his style of play.