I THINK I need an ice cream and something to drink with all the sand and sun we’ve seen on the European Tour recently. This week it’s a short hop to Dubai for the Dubai Desert Classic Open.
The Emirates Golf Club’s 72-par Majlis Course has a worldwide reputation of being a testing layout for the best golfers. Just take a look at past winners and you’ll see the calibre of golfer who have won here – Seve Ballesteros, Jose Maria Olazabal, Fred Couple, Mark O’Meara, Henrik Stenson, Rory McIlroy and of course Tiger Woods.
Ten of the 2016 European Ryder Cup are lining up here as is Woods who won this event in 2006 and 2008.
The Majlis, Arabic for “meeting place”, has a very open layout and like last week the wind could play a leading part. Accuracy off the tee shouldn’t be too important but hitting it long and GIR could be important.
I’m loathe to leave out Rafa Cabrera Bello but I think I’ll give him a miss this week (he’ll probably go and win now).
I am, however, taking a punt on Swede Lucas Bjerregaard. I thought he handled the Qatar Masters at Doha well with three sub-70 rounds and only a 73 in his third round stopped him from challenging on the Sunday.
He hits the ball a proverbial mile (well an average of 315 yards), has a GIR of 69% and putts per GIR of 1.745. I can’t believe some bookies are making him a 125-1 shot and will be having a small nibble at that price.
Actually on second thoughts I’m going to take Rafa for the third week in a row. I just can’t get it out of my head that he will win soon. He just seems to enjoy playing the desert courses and does well there. He hits the ball long (298.9 yards) has a GIR stat of 80.6% and putts per GIR of 1.701.
1pt ew Lucas Bjerregaard (bet365, 125-1)
1.5pt ew Rafa Cabrera Bello (Betfair, 18-1)
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