Who Will Win The DP World Tour Championship?
Where is the betting value at the DP World Championship? With the golf year coming to a close, today Barry Snidetats delivers his DP World Tour Championship betting preview.
A long European season draws to a close with a finale in, yep, where else, the Middle East. This week’s DP World Championship may sound more like a porno than a golf tournament but the event brings the curtain down on a year that has seen 46 tournaments in 25 countries, from which, according to the Tour’s marketing blurb, there can be only one winner.
Curious, of course, since there can in fact be two winners this week. One for the individual event, for which there’s the small sum of $8 million to play for, and one for the overall Race to Dubai, which carries a hefty bonus pot to go with the bragging rights as Europe’s best golfer (… but didn’t Monty win this back in the old days I hear you cry?).
Tournament And Track
The vast expanse of the Jumeirah Golf Estates has invited the top 60 players in the Race (although only 56 are actually taking part), with the Greg Norman designed Earth Course the chosen track. At 7675 yards, it’s hardly a short par 72, but with perfect weather all but guaranteed (24-29 degrees is forecast) we can expect scoring to be low. In winning here last year Rory McIlroy equalled the course record with a modest 23 under par. Yep, that’s -23…
It goes without saying that this could become a glorified putting comp, so our winner is likely to be in red-hot form with the flat stick. But length is also a crucial factor to take some of the meddlesome cross-bunkers out of play.
So Who’ll Win The Race To Dubai?
If there’s any justice in the world, the overall winner of the Race to Dubai will be Henrik Stenson. One of the most consistent players over the last 12 months, the Swede has shown the bottle for the big occasion with a string of impressive finishes in the Majors (four T21 finishes including second in the Open and third in the PGA) and he’s the rightful favourite here given his lead in the standings and his form.
Of the others in with a mathematical chance of winning the Race, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, Richard Sterne and Victor Dubuisson (a winner in Turkey last week) merit a look based on course and recent form, but Stenson is the obvious standout.
Unfortunately there’s zero value in the 1.61 (8/13) on offer so I’d swerve that, however there are other ways to get with Sten Dog this week. More of that later…
Recommendation: Too skinny! No bet.
And The Winner Of The DP World Championship?
As you’d expect with the top 60 players on Tour, there are several names that merit a look. McIlroy has romped round this track in the past, yet there remain so many question marks about his consistency and his admission this week that off-course issues may be affecting his play, that I am happy to oppose him. Of course he’s more than capable of triumphing here but his recent form line throws up too many rounds in the 70s for me. I’m not sure which Rory will turn up and that’s enough to put me off.
Lee Westwood is another who catches the eye but who I’ve ultimately eliminated. He showed glimpses of form last week when finishing 29th, and is the joint course record holder here, but he’s failed to finish higher than third in his nine European Tour starts and is unlikely to hit the front here if it turns into a putting procession.
One man who has got the putter firing is Ian Poulter and he’s also shown he’s decent in Dubai with second and ninth-place finishes to his name in 2010 and 2009 respectively. With a rest period prior to Turkey last week he’ll be fresh and ready to finish with a bang. But the question mark is the same as it always is… he’s soooo bloody scratchy it breaks the skin! At 11.00 (10/1) the price is just too skinny for me to take the risk.
With the top of the field bunched in the betting it may pay to look at some of the bigger prices for small stakes. The two who catch the eye are Thongchai Jaidi who has two top-ten finishes to his name round here and solid if unspectacular recent form (29, 46, 2, 16). He’ll need to find a bit, but at 67.00 (66/1) I’m prepared to have an e/w poke.
My final e/w selection is Louis Oosthuizen. The talented South African has Major pedigree and has superb form figures here (5, 6, 13, 12). He averages nearly 300 yards off the tee, and is one of the most accurate ball strikers on both tours (5th in GIR on the US Tour). If he can roll in a few putts, he may have a chance.
1 pt e/w Thongchai Jaidee at odds of 67.00, Bet 365 (5 places)
1 pt e/w Louis Oosthuizen at odds of 51.00, Various (5 places)
And What About Those Match Bets?
Finally, with some skinny prices on the outright market, it’s worth looking to the match bets to boost the coffers.
Matteo Manassero has little course form to speak of (42, 34, 32) and has plodded a little in his last two events, but he’s over-priced to beat Peter Uihlein who lines up here for the first time. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of the American but I think he’s been over-rated here on the back of a decent run a few months back. In the last two weeks, he’s looked a little jaded (57, 55) and Manassero – a man with a superior World Ranking – can take advantage at a very generous 6/4.
Recommendation: 2 pts Manassero to beat Uihlein at odds of 2.50, Sportingbet
And so to the aforementioned Henrik Stenson who has been rock solid all year and is odds-on to take the Race for Dubai – so why is he as big as 2.30 (13/10) to pip Justin Rose in the head-to-heads? Don’t get me wrong, it’ll be no walk in the park. Rose has been in stellar form the last fortnight, finishing third and fifth, and was second here last year, but the price should surely be closer to even money. Henrik was seventh here last year and seventh last week in Turkey; that’s good enough to see some of my money.
Recommendation: 2 pts Stenson to beat Rose at odds of 2.30, Bet 365.
DP World Championship Top 10 Finish Odds - Odds as at 13th November 2013.
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Barry Snidetats is the founder and author of WagonBetting.com
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