PATRICK REED came so close on Sunday to giving me a 20-1 winner but after missing a five-foot putt on the 71st hole and ending up in a play-off with Kristoffer Broberg he lost to the Swede.
Another pick Paul Casey was tied third after his 71st hole but instead of parring it and getting into a play-off he hit into the water and ended up joint seventh.
The last of the Final Series takes place at the Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai on Thursday with the top 60 in the Race to Dubai standings take part. There are only seven players who can top the rankings which Rory McIlroy leads at the moment. And there is the incentive of $5 million Bonus Pool money shared between the top 15 in The Race to Dubai.
Normally I don’t like picking players offered at single figure odds but there are only 60 players in the field so needs must.
Justin Rose has finished runner-up in two of the last three visits to the Jumeirah Estates. Since his T6 in The Open in July he has had a great run with eight top-10 finishes, including a win in the UBS Hong Kong Open last month. The incentive of being Europe’s No.1 will push him on and although he is second favourite I’m still backing him.
Branden Grace has an average driving accuracy stat of only 55% but has a GIR of 74.5% and average putting of 29 which seems to work for him with a scoring accuracy of 69.6.
He ranks inside the top15 in stroke average, GIR and putts per green in regulation. He is still able to win the Race to Dubai, needing a win or a solo second place, so he’ll have an incentive to do well. In three starts in this event he has two top-10 finishes, including a sixth last year.
After winning the BMW PGA Championship in May Byeong Hun An’s game hit a brick wall. Then in November he finished 4th in the Turkish Airlines, followed by a T19 at the WGC-HSBC Championship and a T3 last week at the BMW Masters. Sitting seventh in the Race to Dubai he also can win the title and I expect him to have a real go.
I know Reed blew it last week but I can’t honestly leave him out of my selections. He did everything right, apart from that putt, and his game is so good he’s an obvious selection. His putting and driving accuracy are not the best but his GIR stats are an impressive 83.33, so I’m going to give him another chance.
The European Tour season finishes off this weekend in Dubai but the PGA Tour is on its seventh tourney of the new season! The RSM Classic takes place at the Sea Island Resort, Georgia and it is the sixth time the tournament has been held there.
With three runners-up place last season and one this season it’s about time Kevin Kisner got his reward. The 31-year-old was being tipped a lot last year but just couldn’t break through. This could be his chance.
3pts Justin Rose (8-1, BetVictor)
1.5pts ew Branden Grace (22-1, Bet365)
1.5pts ew Byeong Hun An (28-1, Paddy Power)
1.5pts ew Patrick Reed (16-1, 888sport)
1.5pts ew Kevin Kisner (20-1, Betfred)