With the European tour boys now on their 3rd and final event in this desert stretch, can Jeunghan Wang continue his fine form and pick up back to back wins for the second time on the European tour? Or, will the bookies hot favourite, Henrik Stenson, destroy the course and the rest of the field?
If it is to be one of these two, then either way its going to be a well fought battle against a star studded field and golf course that can offer up a bucket load of birdies or equally kick you in the nuts especially if the desert winds pick up!
One thing is for sure, you're going to be blessed for options drafting your teams. Plus, thanks to some exceptional form being displayed by so many players, we're in for one exciting week, especially with Tiger in town.
This stunning par 72 venue with its spectacular backdrop measures a solid 7328 yards, with desert featuring on all holes, narrowing fairways, sticky Bermuda rough and water on 10 holes. It's going to take solid straight hitting from the tee to stand any chance of a win here. And, with the greens getting as firm as they do, its going to be essential that the approach shot has plenty of spin. So this week more than most, fairways hit and yards from the tee will favour a lot of the teams I draft.
Once on the dance floor, the boys are going to be putting on quick tiff eagle Bermuda, currently running at 13’6” and as pure as you like. Not by any stretch the most undulating, but with clever pin placement and subtle breaks, proximity to the hole and birdie or better conversion will also play a big role.
Interesting one this week as far as typical Dubai weather goes and something to play close attention to, especially for favourable tee times. The current forecast suggests the winds will blow at their strongest on Friday and if correct and true to the usual pattern will pick up as the day progresses. Tee times haven’t been published yet, but I’ll be hoping my top picks have favourable times. Nothing worse than missing the cut or out of contention before it really got going!!
Form Players & Hot Picks
Jeunghan Wang - Won last week in Qatar, placed 11th in Abu Dhabi, 17th in the DP World tour champs, 2nd at Sun city and 17th at the Turkish Airlines, not only is he in exceptional form and pursuing his 2nd career back to back victory but clearly enjoying his desert golf.
Henrik Stenson - Huge difference in price between him and some of the other quality players in the field. However, lets face it if you looking for long off the tee, close proximity to the hole and birdie or better conversion you need not look any further. Not only that, Henrik took last week off and going into this event well prepared and hungry for a win.
Rafa Cabrera Bello - Looks incredibly comfortable playing in the heat of the desert and his strong game suits this course. 6th last week, 19th in Abu Dhabi (leading until minor back issue and looked like winning) and 2nd in Hong Kong. He has one of the best forms on these desert courses accompanied with world class ability.
Tyrrell Hatton - Playing with a level of calmness and confidence, making scoring look way too easy (last 7 events... Win, T9, T23, T10, T25, 2nd and T13th last event) Cant see it being too long before another win and based on form he should place well.
Tommy Fleetwood - As David and Pat know I picked Tommy for a win in Abu Dhabi, however I must admit I didn’t expect a MC at Qatar, fully expect him to return to usual form this week and place inside the top 10, dare I say it another win?
Thomas Aiken - Great form of late, has made changes to his game and working well. Got to be another T10.
Thorborn Olesen - Hits it big and based on past desert form in particular on Dubai courses has placed well, worth a punt.
Is there something in the letter 'T' this week or am I thinking its time for a well deserved cup of tea?
Jordan L Smith - Straight off the Challenge tour, he knows how to compete, win, and so far making the transition to the big time look easy... T6th last week and 3rd in South Africa, he’s definitely one to watch and with his all around solid game a contender this week
Bradley Dredge - Playing solid golf right now and the way he rolls the ball could comfortably do well on these greens
Peter Hanson - Based on form, conditions and course style a real sound pick this week.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat - Keeps knocking on the door for a win, 4th and 9th on last two desert outings.
Jaco Van Zyl - Lost in a playoff off last week, in great form and something about his games suggests big things.
David Lipsky - My go to US pick, consistent on making the cut with the odd Top 10 thrown in. Plus, he's cheap as chips.