EUROPEAN Tour golf specialist Vince Blissett (@Vince_RFC) returns to share his thoughts on the upcoming DP World Tour Championship.
DP World Tour Championship | 16th-19th November 2017 | Sky Sports
The 48th and final tournament of the season is here as the European Tour heads to Dubai and the DP World Tour Championship. Not to worry though as the off-season is a short one as the 2018 season starts next week.
The top 62 in the Race to Dubai, with the exception of Rory McIlroy and Henrik Stenson, make up the field but only three can still win the Race to Dubai.
I won’t go into the permutations as it’s fairly dull but the European Tour have an article online detailing it all. In said article though they’ve calculated that Tommy Fleetwood has a 73% chance of holding onto his lead. Justin Rose has a 24% chance and Sergio Garcia a 3% chance.
For some, that may have a bearing on how to approach the tournament from a betting point of view but for me, that’s of no bearing.
When I say the words ‘fairly new course in Dubai’ you’ve probably got a picture in your head of what it looks like and you’d be correct. It’s an immaculate course with big open fairways and perfect white bunkers.
The last two holes especially are visually great and provides an exciting finale. The 17th is a par-three island green (think Sawgrass) and there is a long par-five with a stream meandering up the middle of the fairway.
Overall it’s a fairly easy course that doesn’t need much strategy. Long and straight off the tee on pretty much every hole will get the job done.
The big hitters have a distinct advantage round here and the winning score should be around the -20 mark. The par-fives are key as all four are reachable in two shots for the longer guys, so looking at those that can drive the ball 300+ yards and have a bit of form is the first port of call.
Thomas Pieters (45/1 Marathon)
That leads me to Thomas Pieters who for some reason is out at 45/1.
The Belgian hasn’t been in the best of form over the last few months but he was 11th in Turkey on his last outing indicating he could be finding his range again.
His form out in the Middle East is pretty good too having been second and fourth at the Abu Dhabi Championship. It’s a course that should suit him down to the ground on paper so I’m taking the gut instinct and rolling with him.
Thomas is a very hit and miss kind of player but at the price he’s worth of backing.
Charl Schwartzel (28/1 Betfred)
Last week’s headline pick Charl Schwartzel has some very good course form 3-4-47-3-5 to be exact and I’ve deliberated quite a bit over including him again.
He finished in a tie for 12th last week despite never seemingly being able to find any consistency. On looking at the stats it was his ability to consistently miss the fairways that was his first undoing, hitting just 33.9% of them off the tee.
On this course missing the fairways won’t be nearly as much an issue. With his course form and ability last week to grind out a much better result than he should have done I’m going to double up on Charl, again at 28/1.
Haydn Porteous (125/1 Bet365)
One of those to finish in T12th with Charl last week with a similar theme of not hitting the fairways but making a good fist of it was Haydn Porteous.
Now, I’m aware I’ve backed Haydn a fair bit recently but he should be a good fit for this course and at 125/1 is a very nice price. He hits the ball miles and on his day can be a very good putter, as highlighted by ranked first in putting last week.
It’s his first time playing the course this week, which isn’t ideal, but does have a good result in Dubai previously at the Dubai Desert Classic last year where he was eighth.
It promises to be a good week of golf and hopefully we can finish the season off with another decent priced winner.