The DP World Tour stays in the UAE this week for the Dubai Desert Classic at Emirates Golf Club, Dubai.
With a boost to the prize money on the new look DP World Tour, the 132 field will all be competing around this par 72, desert track for a share of the $8m purse with the winner receiving the title and $1.33m.
Something I’m sure you've all noticed recently on both the DP World & PGA Tours, the Top 65 including ties will make the cut and progress to play golf over the weekend .
Paul Casey returns to defend his title when winning this event in 2020 with four shots to spare over the field.
It certainly won’t be an easy task with many of the world's golfing elite in attendance again this week including Rory McIlroy, Collin Morikawa and Viktor Hovland to name but a few.
The weather is forecast to be sunny and warm throughout as one would expect in the desert but breezes could be a factor later in the afternoons, peaking at around 20mph .
This event will be screened on Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Main Event with live coverage starting at 4am GMT in the early hours of Thursday morning.
So let’s try to narrow down this field for this week's Dubai Desert Classic in the United Arab Emirates.
For my first and main selection in Dubai I’m going to single out the defending champion, Paul Casey 25/1 EW Paddy Power 1-8 places.
Last year the 44 year old veteran from Cheltenham, England, won this event in a canter seeing off his nearest challenger Brandon Stone with four shots to spare.
The former ranked 3rd best player in the world is currently 27th in the rankings and I believe he will bring with him all his experience & expertise to this stunning Emirates desert layout yet again this time round.
It’s always a hard task to defend any title but if anyone can then it’s Casey who has done it before when successfully defending The Valspar Championship over on the PGA Tour in 2018 & 2019.
It’s fair to say that Casey doesn’t play as much golf as most these days on the Tours but he does have the luxury to pick from both on either side off the pond.
In his last five tournaments the Englishman has finished inside the Top 10 on three occasions; 9th last time out at the DP World Tour Championship, 5th at the WGC FedEx St Jude Invitational and 7th at the US Open.
It's Casey’s first tournament of the year but he rarely turns up rusty so I’m willing to suggest Casey can get his 2022 off to the perfect start with yet another victory in the sunshine in Dubai.
For my next selection I’m going to to look for some good old value and for that reason Im going to advise Adri Arnaus 70/1 EW Bet365.
The 27 year old Spaniard from Barcelona is yet to break his duck on the DP World Tour but has come close on more than a few occasions.
He has four runner-up prizes which includes 2nd at the Acciona Open de Espana in 2021, 2nd at the D+D Real Czech Masters, 2nd at the Magical Kenya Open and 2nd at the Andalucia Masters, all in 2019.
The Spaniard has tasted victory on the Challenge Tour so knows what it takes to win an event. The last three events that Arnaus has played have all resulted in Top 20 finishing positions with two of those being Top 10s.
He was 20th last time out at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, 9th at the DP World Tour Championship and 8th at The Portugal Masters.
I’m in the thinking that Adri Arnaus will get what he deserves this year and his maiden DP World Tour Title will be in the bag anytime soon, possibly this weekend when he’s crowned as the champ in Dubai.
For my next pick I’m going to have to stick with our homegrown talent Robert MacIntyre 55/1 EW Bet365.
I know that I can’t allow my heart to rule my head when selecting the young talented 25 year old Scot from Oban but he will win another tournament sooner rather than later.
He got off to a good start at last week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship but faltered quickly in the tricky windy conditions. Bob went from -3 and in contention on the Thursday to + 5 and missing the cut on the Friday.
If Bob can get off to a steady start again this week then he can use his early Friday morning tee off and take advantage of the conditions with the wind picking up on Friday afternoon.
Already a winner on the DP World Tour when victorious at the Aphrodite Hills Cyprus Showdown, this kid as I’ve mentioned before, has a bright future ahead.
He’ll be looking to find some form for his return to Augusta at The Masters in April where he finished 12th last year. It’s as simple as this, if Bob MacIntyre shows up producing his best golf consistently over the next four days then he could easily be crowned a double winner on the DP World Tour this coming Sunday afternoon.
Bernd Wiesberger v Tommy Fleetwood
For my final selection this week it’s the customary 72 hole matchbet and I’m going to choose Bernd Wiesberger 9/10 Betfair over Tommy Fleetwood.