GOLF analyst Lewis Blain (@LewisBlainSport) shares his betting thoughts ahead of the DP World Tour Championship.
DP World Tour Championship | 10th-13th December 2020 | Sky Sports
Here we are, my final golf preview of 2020 as the European Tour comes to a close in Dubai this week. We managed to secure 60/1 and 55/1 places in the PGA Tour's season-ending Mayakoba Golf Classic, so the same for the DP World Tour Championship would be nice.
The Race To Dubai concludes at Jumeriah's Earth course, one last Rolex Series event of the campaign too. Many players who played at the neighbouring Fire Course will have stayed the week for this finale whilst we're also seeing some names make the trip across the pond, namely Patrick Reed – the betting favourite – and USPGA champion Collin Morikawa.
This week's Greg Norman design is a long desert track with generous fairways and nearly 100 bunkers. The greens are huge, undulating and seeded with Bermuda grass. Often, it's power, precision and that touch with putting that sees the winner lift the trophy come Sunday afternoon.
Despite being an all-out easy birdiefest, last week's Golf in Dubai Championship could provide some clues as will form in these parts throughout time – such as the Dubai Desert or the Qatar Masters.
I'm not keen to get anyone onside below 20/1, though Tyrrell Hatton looks the pick of the bunch at the front of the market, instead I'll take two a little further back in Matt Wallace (25/1 William Hill)
and Bernd Wiesberger (28/1 William Hill)
Wallace, a four-time European Tour winner, deserves more respect in this market, especially considering he's been plying his trade in America and more than holding his own. Since a return to life on this continent recently, the Englishman has had two runner-up finishes, including last week when he finished just two shots behind eventual winner Antoine Rozner.
In terms of his overall performance, he was joint-second for stroke average, 5th for SG: Approach, 7th for SG: Putting and 28th for driving distance. He is in impressive nick right now and could well be the one to back in this bracket. In 2018, he also finished runner-up here and then T28 last year.
Another phenomenal ball-striker who finished in a tie for 28th here last year was Wiesberger. A man that has won us money before, when clinching the Scottish Open. He's in arguably the best form of his career right now and is quite possibly trending to another victory. The Austrian has seven ET triumphs, his last two coming in Rolex events.
T4 at the RSM on the PGA Tour was backed up with a T8 at the weekend at the Fire course – in terms of driving, he ranked 12th whilst he was no.1 for scoring on par-5s. Despite never winning it, he has also shown up at the Qatar Masters and contended at similarly humid venues like in Abu Dhabi and in Malaysia.
I think Victor Perez (40/1 William Hill)
could be the pick of the value in the next grouping of hopefuls with a genuine chance of winning this event.
The Frenchman put on a ball-striking masterclass to clinch his first ET title in 2019, winning the Alfred Dunhill Links, and to be honest, it's a surprise that he's not followed that up with many more wins in the 12-15 months since.
He was 2nd in Abu Dhabi at the start of the year, just two shots behind Lee Westwood as he sat alongside Tommy Fleetwood and Matt Fitzpatrick, and ahead of Louis Oosthuizen and Martin Kaymer, so that only goes to show he can hang with an elite field like this one.
Perez was also 2nd to Hatton at the BMW PGA held at Wentworth – to me, this tells me that he shows up at the big events, rather than the smaller ones, once again hanging amongst Reed, Ian Poulter, Andy Sullivan and Eddie Pepperell.
His caddie, JP Fitzgerald, led Rory McIlroy's wins in 2012 and 2015 here, so the fact that it is only his second appearance at the tournament will not matter one bit. A T20 is good going for debut, especially as only three players beat his final round -5.
Having backed Tom Lewis (60/1 SkyBet)
last week prior to his COVID withdrawal, it seems only right to go in on him again, especially as he's 15pts better off. There is no Jon Rahm or McIlroy teeing it up this week, so I see no reason to why he should be 60/1. In fact, he was the same price here last year and finished T6.
Since then, he went T3 at the Dubai Desert and T2 at a WGC, but has played much of his golf over in America. Lewis often shows up regularly at the same venues, as seen by his only two wins on the ET coming at the Portugal Masters, likewise he's finished well in Saudi, Abu Dhabi and of course here, also having a T7 in 2018.
Perhaps he can go one better at a track he clearly likes to clinch the DP Tour title on the back of a rested week.
And finally, I want to throw a long-shot dart onto the big-hitting Sean Crocker (100/1 William Hill)
who should like this track a lot. The American is 22nd for SG: OTT, and 25th for driving distance on the ET this season. He also rates 10th for SG: Approach and 11th for GIR. Evidently, we're getting one of the better ball-strikers in the field at a three-figure price.
His form isn't even bad either, finishing T22 next door last week and second to the rampant Chrisiaan Bezuidenhout at the Alfred Dunhill Championship only the week before. Indeed, he's been playing well all year with a pair of T9s in Scotland and at Celtic Manor.
We've also seen Crocker pop up in Morrocco, China, Singapore, the UAE, Turkey and Hong Kong, so maybe another trip outside Europe is exactly what he needs to finally pick up that maiden ET victory. Again, he's another who really should have one to his name. Rozner got it done to punish us last week, so I don't want to miss the 24-year-old's time to shine either.
DP World Tour Championship – Matt Wallace (25/1 each-way William Hill)
DP World Tour Championship – Bernd Wiesberger (28/1 each-way William Hill)
DP World Tour Championship – Victor Perez (40/1 each-way William Hill)
DP World Tour Championship – Tom Lewis (60/1 each-way SkyBet)
DP World Tour Championship – Sean Crocker (100/1 each-way William Hill)