EUROPEAN TOUR: DP World Tour Championship
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: Justin Rose, 1 pt win and place 7/1 (1/4 odds 5 places)
Recent back to back victories in China and in Turkey two weeks ago has left Rose with a major incentive this week in that a win guarantees him top spot in The Race to Dubai money list. Fresh off a break last week and with his confidence bubbling he looks very much the man to beat this week and his course form of 2nd in 12, 10T in 13, 2T in 14 and 22T in 15 establishes him as justified favourite.
OUTRIGHT: Sergio Garcia 1 pt win and place 12/1 (1/4 odds 5 places)
Rose aside Garcia is the only other player capable of knocking Fleetwood off the top spot on the money list and that ought to fire up his competitive juices this week. Although Garcia has been an infrequent visitor here and has not distinguished himself when he has played his long, straight driving and accurate wedge play should suit this course and he does have an excellent record on similar desert courses such as those used in Qatar and in the Dubai Desert classic, both events he has won in recent years
OUTRIGHT: Victor Dubuisson 0.5 pts win and place 25/1 (1/4 odds 5 places)
Dubuisson only made it to Dubai courtesy of some strong end of season performances with a third place in The Dunhill Links followed up with a third place finish in The Nedbank event last week. Other than that his form has been very patchy indeed this year but he is very much a player to catch when he runs into the kind of form he’s in at the moment. Taking that into account when you add in some excellent course form of 3rd in 13, 2T in 14, 13T in 15 and 4T in 16 into the mix he looks fair value at these odds.
PGA TOUR: The RSM Classic
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 two years ago. The final two rounds are played on the Seaside host course which has tended to favour accurate hitters over power hitters. Expect players with local connections who can play well in windy conditions to figure prominently.
OUTRIGHT: Chesson Hadley 0.5 pts win and place 33/1 (1/4 odds 5 places)
Aside from some excellent recent form which has seen him record three top five finishes in his last four starts there are a couple of sound reasons to get with Hadley at value odds this week. Firstly he has local Georgia connections in that he went to College there and secondly he has a proven track record on coastal links courses which includes his maiden tour success in The Puerto Rico Open a few years back. So although he has strong course form he is a much improved player now and is more than capable of excelling in such a weak field.
OUTRIGHT: Charles Howell III 0.5 pts win and place 30/1 (1/4 odds 5 places)
Like Hadley, Howell has strong local Georgia connections which ought to give him an edge this week. However his course form is significantly better with three top ten finishes recorded between 2010 and 2015 when he finished tied ninth. Having started the year with some solid form in Asia he stepped up a gear in finishing tied fourth last week in Mexico with a notable weekend performance which proved he is capable of playing in the breezes he may well face this week. Therefore it may well pay to stick with him again this week after last week’s profit.