It's the final week of the official 2013 golf season in Europe and with the big names battling it out at the top and dominating the betting there looks to be some outstanding place value further down the DP World Tour championship market. The Race to Dubai itself looks like it's between the four at the top (Former Dubai resident and course regular Henrik Stenson, Justin Rose, Graeme McDowell and Ian Poulter) but as many as nine are still in with a squeak.
As mentioned, I'll be focusing further down the market on those that could potentially crash the party and take down the just sub €1million 1st prize. I've had some notable successes here in the past on the blog targeting players with a specific skill set to tackle the beast that is the Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates. Recent winners for Nicspicks at the DP World Tour Championship include 45/1 Quiros and 50/1 Karlsson - both big hitters with a high ball flight from approaches, and that's the perfect concoction for the set up here....
Although the rough on the Earth course has been overseeded and is playing tougher, fairways are still generous on a course playing nearly 7,700 yards in length. Greens are large, undulating, hard to read and set to run at 12' on the stimp. Many are equipped with run offs and some players have even complained that they were "unfair" in recent years. The focus of attention for me this week is largely on the inflated price bombers who make plenty of birdies.
DP World Tour Championship picks - Follow me on Twitter: @Nicspicks. If you fancy trading my picks (or yours) on Betfair, here is the DP World Tour Championship market
If we're talking horses for course, Berndt Wiesberger *(33/1) looks a perfect fit for the DP World Tour Championship venue. Ranking 15th in driving distance and 22nd in GIR% the multiple winner closed out with rounds of 66-64 in Turkey for a T7 finish. Wiesberger had a taste of the Earth course in 2012 albeit with a mediocre T42. The Austrian knows how to go low and could be a factor here with form peaking.
Joost Luiten is the exact type of player I look for at an event like the DP World Tour Championship and especially when he's priced at 70/1 EW with stanjames. The dutch birdie machine may not be as long as some but he still averages 290 yards off the tee. Luiten can be a little erratic so the generous fairways will benefit him his week and he can generate a lot of spin from approaches to the tricky greens. Luiten also closed out with a strong weekend of 65-67 in Turkey for a top 20 and showed his injury problems of late are behind him. 16th here in 2012.
Two good friends and compatriots are well and truly on the radar this week: European Tour Winner in waiting burst back onto the scene last week after injury with a T12 which included birdies galore. George ranks 25th in driving distance on tour this year and three of his last eight rounds on the Earth Course have been 67s. If he can put it together in the one week, he could be a big priced factor at this year's DP World Tour Championship. Coetzee has one of the best putt conversion rates from 5-15' on the tour.
Branden Grace (also 80/1, Ladbrokes) may not have the high ball flight of the other DP World Tour Championship picks but is another who can get it out there, averaging 296 yards. Grace won a handful of times in 2012 and knows how to get the job done. I've been monitoring his progress for the last number of weeks and he looks to be gradually sneaking back to form with progressive 61-39-29 finishes and he recorded a top six here in Dubai last year.
Just a quick mention for final DP World Tour championship pick Mikko Ilonen (200/1 ew) - a player who has really stepped it up this year with a win and numerous top fives. Mikko IMO - although he hasn't teed up here competitively - has the perfect game for the Earth course and could be one to watch EW both in the outright and first round leader markets. 21st at the HSBC last time out so possibly rounding into form.
*Prices from members email. Check back late Tuesday for OHL Mayakoba classic picks and one or two picks from the Talisker Masters.
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