The European Tour nears its end in more ways than one this week with the AVIV Dubai Championship at the Fire Course, Jumeirah Golf Estates, Dubai.
… And with the announcement earlier today that the European Tour will soon become the DP World Tour from the beginning of 2022.
What can we expect? Well, first of all we will see the prize money break the $200million barrier for the first time ever with a new minimum tournament prize money purse of $2million. This will feature over 47 tournaments in 27 different countries and also three events co-sanctioned with the PGA Tour.
It’s certainly a new era in world golf and one which should benefit everyone involved including players, caddies, sponsors and the fans.
This week the 114 field will be competing on this par 72 desert track for the $1.5m purse with the winner collecting the title and $250,000.
Antoine Rozner returns to defend his title when shooting a final round 64 to claim a two stroke victory in 2020.
The weather is forecast to be hot with sunny conditions throughout but breezes may pick up later on in the afternoons.
This event will be screened on Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Main Event with live coverage starting at 8am GMT on Thursday.
So let’s try to narrow down the field for this weeks Dubai Championship and pick a likely winner.
For my first and main selection I’m going to single out Tommy Fleetwood 12/1 EW Bet365.
The 30yr old Englishman from Southport has been in good form recently with three Top 10 finishes in his last five tournaments.
T7th last time out at the Zozo Championship, T7th at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship and runner up at the Italian Open.
Another performance worth noting in his previous five events was 12th at the BMW PGA Championship.
Fleetwood hasn’t won an event since 2019 when winning the Nedbank Golf Challenge but already has five victories to his name, all on the European Tour and I just feel it’s time for yet another some time soon.
He has been swinging and hitting the ball superbly and if he brings his recent form to Dubai then he may just be the one they all have to beat.
He is ranked number one on the European Tour for SG Total and could use this to his advantage to win the Dubai Championship this weekend.
For my next selection I’m going to advise Dean Burmester 25/1 EW Ladbrokes.
The 32yr old South African has already won on the European Tour this year when winning the Tenerife Open.
He was T7th at his last event on the European Tour when playing some excellent golf at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship and he won the most prestigious golfing event in South Africa last week when collecting the 86th PGA Championship at St Francis links, shooting a final round 65 with the front nine reading 29 on the scorecard.
He is a man in form and will come to Dubai full of confidence in conditions that suit his game. On the sister Earth Course here at Jumeirah, Burmester has finished 4th on two occasions and 14th in recent attempts.
The Fire Course is much easier than it’s sister course, so Burmester could go well here and is definitely one to consider at a generous price.
Joachim B Hansen
For my next suggestion I’m going to include Joachim B Hansen 40/1 EW Betfair.
I tipped the 31yr old Dane last weekend at good odds for the Portugal Masters and although he didn’t quite do the business, he wasn’t far away in 17th place.
With six Top 25 finishes in his last seven starts, this is form that is hard to ignore and the reason the Dane is appearing on my radar.
A winner on the European Tour in 2020 when winning the Joburg Open, this event is good preparation for Hansen to go on to defend that crown in a couple of weeks. He seems to really enjoy playing his golf in the heat so it would come as no surprise to see Hansen competing on the back nine at Sunday's final round with every chance to double up on his European Tour victories.
With the safety net of seven places available with Betfair then just a Top 7 place would return a tidy profit.
Masahiro Kawamura v Lucas Bjerregaard
For my final selection it’s the customary matchbet and this week I’m liking the look of Masahiro Kawamura to beat Lucas Bjerregaard 9/10 Nap Betfair.