Final tournament of the year for Nicspicks this week as a 60 strong (Jacobsen and Rose now withdrawals) high class field assembles for the Dubai World Championship. Looking at the top end of the market, it looks like a tournament within a tournament but there are some big prices I fancy who could challenge the market leaders.
The Earth Course at the Dubai World Championships is one of the longest on the European Tour but this can be deceptive as a lot of the added length on the 7,675 yard layout comes from long par 5's and par 3's. While the generous fairways will give an advantage to the bigger hitters, some of the greens on the Earth Course come with dangerous run off areas, placing the premium at this week's Dubai World Championships on approach shots. Ian Poulter played some superb golf here last year. He is coming nicely into form and could challenge the big five but I'm looking even further down the list and hoping we can end another great year with a big priced winner! Follow me on Twitter: @Nicspicks.
Alert: Before betting this week, Bet365 are currently offering up to £200 in free bets (aff link) which can be used on the Dubai World Championships. Quiros is currently a standout 45/1 with Bet365 and is the best value E/W pick of the tournament for me.
Dubai World Championship Picks
Pick 1: Peter Hanson E/W @ 35/1(general) Top 15 finishes at the Dubai World Championship in consecutive years leading up to the event. 3rd last week in Hong Kong after a slightly disappointing final day. One of the best ball strikers on tour and a player always underrated in these events IMO. Ranks 14th in GIR%.
Pick 2: Louis Oosthuizen E/W @ 35/1(general) Last 4 events on the European tour read 5,7,3,8 and in his last outing with Schwartzel in the World Cup, they blasted themselves into contention with a -11 day 3 in the fourballs. In his best form of the year and also has standout form in this part of the world.
Pick 3: Alvaro Quiros E/W @ 45/1 (Bet365 - Grab your Free bets) Standout pick for me this week due to many variables. The Earth course at the Dubai World Championship should suit Quiros' game down to the ground with the wide fairways and length of the track. He proved it at last year's Dubai World Championship when he finished in a share of 3rd place just one shot back. Warmed up nicely in Hong Kong with a return to form last week, snatching the 3rd round lead only to hit a final day 73 and fall back, enhancing his price this week. Quiros is also available at 50/1 E/W (Ladbrokes) to be first round leader, twice the price of other firms.
Pick 4: Alex Noren E/W @ 66/1 (General) | First round leader E/W @ 50/1 (general) Multiple winner on tour this year, big hitter Noren is another who catches the eye at a very big price. 6th here last year and a much improved player this time round. Noren often starts fast and may also be worth a look in the first round leader market.
Pick 5: George Coetzee @ 80/1 (general) | First round leader E/W @ 66/1 (Betfred) Another who could benefit from the generous fairways this week at the Dubai World Championship. Coetzee is a very streaky player who's been in contention many times this year. He's raw and prone to some wild drives which can cost him double or triple but he may get away with that this week on the Earth Course. One to watch next year in the big events. Ranks 14th in driving distance.
Dubai World Championship Sleeper Pick
Pick 6: Lorenzo Gagli E/W @ 125/1 (general) | First round leader @ 90/1 (Betfred) Eye catching first season on the main golf tour with numerous top five finishes and some of those in high quality events. Gagli catches the eye mainly due to the fact that he currently tops the GIR% stats on tour. As previously mentioned, approach shot accuracy could be key this week. Gagli also averages 293 yards off the tee and that could be a concoction to stand him in good stead at the Dubai World Championships.