It’s an early start for golfing enthusiasts this week with the Race to Dubai heating up. There are two events running simultaneously on the European Tour this week but we will focus on The Golf in Dubai Championship – the other being The South African Open.
Tomorrow I’ll have a preview as the PGA Tour returns at the Mayakoba Classic .
Before I start my preview as you are all aware, it was so sad to hear the news that Mr F was taken into hospital at the weekend. Let’s all send Paul a prayer 🙏 and wish him a speedy recovery, my best wishes are with him and his family and we all miss him.
The Golf in Dubai Championship will be held on The Fire Course, Jumerah Golf Estate with next week’s traditional finale DP World Tour Championship being held on The Earth Course.
This Fire Course is Greg Norman designed, as is The Earth Course, and it's a par 72, long-yardage Desert Course with 108 competitors competing for the $1.2M purse with $200,000 to the winner.
The weather is forecast as you’d expect in Dubai at this time of year; sunny and warm throughout.
The key attributes this weekend will be accuracy but putting on these large slower greens could be pivotal in a low scoring affair.
Just a reminder that this event starts at 3am GMT Wednesday morning, not Thursday as per usual, so any pre-tournament selections should be placed before the early hours in the morning.
Last week at The Alfred Dunhill Championship I selected Adri Arnaus at 44/1 and although he never won, he was in the place money yet again so well done to everyone who followed my selection.
For my first pick in Dubai this week I’m going to suggest Andy Sullivan 28/1 EW betfair.
The convincing seven shot winner at The English Championship could also conquer the field here and I think he is just slightly overpriced. He also finished 3rd at The BMW Championships at Wentworth and seems to be in good form at a crucial time in the golfing calendar.
Sullivan had finished runner up in Dubai twice, beaten by Rory McIlroy and Danny Willet so conditions will definitely suit the Englishman. He is usually hot with his putter and enjoys a birdie fest so I’m backing him to be in the mix yet again come Saturday – not Sunday remember.
For my next selection I’m going to side with the golfer I’ve been following recently Adri Arnaus 44/1 EW betfair.
I picked him yet again last week and he didn’t disappoint with a 6th place finish at 44/1. It could have been even better for Arnaus if he didn’t drop a few shots on the opening holes on the final round which couldn’t have done his confidence any good.
The Spaniard is based in Dubai and has course experience practicing here at Jumerah on many occasions so conditions will not be a problem.
I have previously mentioned that Arnaus is on his way to that long awaited maiden European Title and seems to be in contention at so many tournaments, with just some silly shot selections letting him down. Let’s hope he can keep his composure this week and instead of collecting just place money, go on and lift that trophy and a European title.
For my next selection I’m going to look for some value considering many of the leading contenders here this week have different reasons to avoid them. With this in mind I like the look off Marcus Kinhult 75/1 EW betfair.
The Swede has been on form lately, a very respectable 10th at The BMW Championship at Wentworth, 6th at The Scottish Open and 20th last time out in Cyprus.
He is one of the players just outside the top 60 in The Race to Dubai so another good performance here will safely see him back here next week on The Earth Course. He really seems to relish playing in the desert, finishing 7th in Qatar this year and finishing in the top 20 previously here on this course and in Saudi Arabia.
I’m just thinking that the bookmakers may have overlooked Kinhult and overpriced him significantly and it could be an early Christmas present for both punters as well as the young Swede here in the desert.
Andy Sullivan – Top 20 Finish
My final selection is a top 20 finish for my main pick Andy Sullivan 11/10 Nap bet365.
I feel that he will not only be in the mix come Sunday but is a leading contender to win this title so a top 20 finish seems more than achievable.