Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: European Tour: DP World Tour Championship Preview

European Tour: DP World Tour Championship Preview

Tommy Fleetwood

Damien Kayat previews what should be a fascinating DP World Tour Championship preview taking place Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai. 

Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

The strangest European Tour season ever comes to a belated conclusion this week with the DP World Tour Championship. This will amazingly be the 38th event of this unusually stuffed calendar year. Major props have to be given to Keith Pelley and co for their incredible flexibility throughout this challenging time. Many inaugural events were staged to purely facilitate a successful campaign. It’s quite comforting to finally end on this traditional bastion of European excellence. This event was first staged 11 years back in an attempt to replicate the uber-successful FedEx Cup format. It is obviously a limited-field event with 65 players. There is a vastly improved field this week (though the likes of Jon Rahm and Rory McIlroy are conspicuously absent).

The tour moves from the Fire Course to the Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estate. It almost sounds like something from an old episode of Captain Planet (don’t show your age Damien). This week’s test is considered more severe than the Fire Course, though scoring over the past 11 years has been generally low. There is trouble out there in strategically located water hazards and bunkers. But avoiding those perils should make scoring fairly routine. This large desert track has forgiving fairways and easily accessible Bermuda greens. Like most desert courses, this one requires length of the tee and a sure-handed putting stroke. Only two winners of this event have ever ranked outside the top 8 for driving distance. 

Patrick Reed and Colin Morikawa will both look to become the first-ever American winner of the European Order of Merit. For Reed, it would represent the realisation of a long-held dream: he finished runner-up here in 2018. Tyrell Hatton has enjoyed a stellar campaign and also has a runner-up finish in this event. Tommy Fleetwood has endured a fairly miserable campaign and could use some late-season success to build for next year. US PGA alumni Sungjae Im and Viktor Hovland will bring some added gloss to proceedings. And you can’t rule out traditional European heavyweights such as Matthew Fitzpatrick and Bernd Wiesberger. And don’t discount Christiaan Bezuidenhout. The South African has won his last two European Tour starts and impressed here last season. This should prove a suitably epic finale to what has been an arduous and complex season. 

Past Winners
2019: Jon Rahm (-19)
2018: Danny Willett (-18)
2017: Jon Rahm (-19)
2016: Matthew Fitzpatrick (-16)
2015: Rory McIlroy (-21)

To Win Outright:
Patrick Reed 8/1 | Tyrell Hatton 12/1 | Collin Morikawa 14/1 | Tommy Fleetwood 14/1 | Viktor Hovland 14/1

Value Bets

Victor Perez: To Win 40/1 | To Place 17/2
It was clear that Perez would have a fondness for desert golf when he played on the Challenge Tour. He had a tie for 7th and a runner-up finish at All Hamra. He would then go on to make the cut in both the Abu Dhabi Championship and Dubai Desert Classic. He finished in a tie for 20th here previously. He then opened this season’s campaign with three near-misses in the Middle-East. He finished 2nd in Abu Dhabi and led at the halfway mark at the Saudi International. He also entered the final round at the Emirates GC just a shot back. He recently finished solo 2nd at Wentworth and he looks like an excellent dark horse this week. 

Tom Lewis: To Win 66/1 | To Place 14/1
Englishman Tom Lewis will be hugely motivated this week after his Covid diagnosis from last week. Lewis was asymptomatic but was forced withdraw on the eve of last week’s Golf in Dubai event. He has since tested negative and will be looking to make amends this week. Lewis has excellent course form, with finishes of 7th and 6th in the last two editions of this event. He also has excellent alternative desert form. He was 3rd in last year’s Saudi International and 3rd in this year’s Dubai Desert Classic.  He should be a factor this week (he was runner-up at the WGC St Jude Invitational in August, highlighting his ability to perform in top fields). 

The Man to Beat: Matt Wallace: To Win 25/1 | To Place 11/2
I’m going for the ‘Horses for adjacent Courses’ approach this week. Matt Wallace narrowly missed out last week at the Fire Course. This is only heightened by history: Wallace finished runner-up on this very course in 2018. His stats from last week make for good reading. He was 5th for SG: Approach and 7th for SG: Putting. Wallace is in excellent form, with two runner-up finishes in his last five events. The four-time European Tour winner seems to have chilled out somewhat of late and could be a major contender this week. 

Written by Damien Kayat.

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