The European Tour‘s season-ending DP World Tour Championship takes place this week at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai as the curtain comes down on another memorable golfing season.
Rory McIlroy has already secured the Race to Dubai title, but with the top 15 in the final standings sharing a €5,462,093 bonus pool, there is still plenty to play for.
Alvaro Quiros eagled the 72nd hole last year en route to a two-stroke victory over Scottish Ryder Cup star Paul Lawrie, but the Spaniard has failed to qualify for this year’s edition after a thoroughly lacklustre 2012.
At 7,675 yards, the Greg Norman-designed Earth Course will favour the longer hitter, but accuracy is key in avoiding the course’s 102 bunkers and five water hazards.
Five of the world’s top ten are in action this week, with McIlroy the obvious favourite at 6/1 with Ladbrokes. As such, there is some good value on offer further down the field.
That being said, Lee Westwood is worth backing at 14/1 with Ladbrokes. The Englishman is in good form, finishing 14th at the BWM Masters and sixth the following week at the WGC-HSBC Champions. Interestingly, at the latter, Westwood ranked inside the top five over the weekend in Putts Per G.I.R. Indeed, this season, he ranks fifth in Putts per G.I.R. and 11th in Putts Per Round. He also has a good record at the Earth Course, where he won in 2009 and finished third in 2010.
Paul Lawrie, at 33/1 with Ladbrokes, is well priced this week. The Scot carded four rounds in the 60s at last week’s UBS Hong Kong Open en route to a tie for tenth place. The 1999 Open Champion is already a two-time winner in 2012, and sits inside the top 30 on tour in Driving Accuracy and Greens in Regulation. He is also proficient in the desert, finishing second here last year and winning the Qatar Masters at the start of this year.
Stephen Gallacher, at 66/1 with Ladbrokes, warrants serious consideration this week. The Scot has recorded three top-six finishes in his last four starts, including a tie for fourth last week at the UBS Hong Kong Open. He ranks 27th on the European Tour in Stroke Average and 16th in Greens in Regulation. What’s more, his record in the desert is very good. He came second in February’s Dubai Desert Classic, tenth in 2011 and 12th at last year’s Qatar Masters.
Pablo Larrazabal, at 80/1 with Ladbrokes, is good value this week. He finished tenth here last year and eighth last week in Hong Kong, where he shot 65-68 over the weekend. The Spaniard will feel at home in the Dubai’s hot and humid conditions, and will be determined to end a relatively disappointing season on a high. If he gets his putter working, he could be in contention come Sunday.
Joost Luiten, at 125/1 with Ladbrokes, is worthy of a small each way bet this week. The Dutchman is in a decent run of form, and has two top-30 finishes in his last three starts. Much like Larrazabal, he is a streaky player, but his Driving Distance and Greens in Regulation stats suggest he is more than capable of competing this week.
2pts each way on Lee Westwood at 14/1 with Ladbrokes
2pts each way on Paul Lawrie at 33/1 with Ladbrokes
2pts each way on Stephen Gallacher at 66/1 with Ladbrokes
2pts each way on Pablo Larrazabal at 80/1 with Ladbrokes
2pts each way on Joost Luiten at 125/1 with Ladbrokes