THE European Tour will crown its final champion this week in Dubai before morphing into the DP World Tour, and it is fitting that the same sponsors are putting up the prize money – all £10million of it.
World No1 Jon Rahm’s withdrawal because of fatigue – after a gruelling season that included the Ryder Cup and the Olympics – is probably a pointer to the outcome in Dubai.
Rahm did not even take his place in Tokyo, but is still exhausted. And he won’t be alone among the top players in that respect.
That is one of the things that put me off the idea of supporting Rory McIlroy – although the Ryder Cup did not take too much out of him!
The other is his odds – 11-2 is just too short, even in a field of just 53 players.
McIlroy seems to perform better when the pressure is off at the moment, and It would be no great surprise to see him win for the third time this year. But the value surely lies elsewhere.
The same can be said of Matthew Fitzpatrick, whose two wins in this event are reflected by his skinny odds of 14-1. It is also asking a lot of world No 2 Collin Morikawa to justify odds of 8-1 on his debut here, so….
Hot shot: Patrick Reed – 30-1.
It has been a strange year for Captain America, who began brilliantly with a win at the Farmers Insurance, but ended up falling well short of making the Ryder Cup team.
His problems off the tee, and with his irons, meant he had to rely on his short game brilliance to remain competitive, but a share of second place in Bermuda last month showed he should never be written off.
Reed loves this course. He was a close third behind Fitzpatrick last year, and was runner-up in 2018.
At these odds, I like his chances of putting his name on the leaderboard again.
Mid price: Lucas Herbert – 50-1.
Consistency is hardly the young Aussie’s middle name. He has missed the cut in three of his last four starts, but claimed his maiden PGA Tour title in Bermuda when he did make it through to the weekend.
And with no 36 hole cut in Dubai, Herbert is guaranteed to be around for the weekend, and there is plenty of evidence to suggest he will not just be around to make up the numbers.
The 25 year old made his European Tour breakthrough at the Dubai Desert Classic last year – at the tougher Emirates course – and was an impressive winner of the Irish Open this year. When Herbert gets hot, he is really hot!
Long shot: Francesco Laporta, 80-1.
The Italian’s odds are pretty generous considering he shared the runner-up spot with Ryder Cup rookie Bernd Wiesberger on Sunday, over the neighbouring Fire course at Jumeirah – after finishing in the same position a year ago.
The action switches to the more demanding Earth lay-out this week, but Laporta will be high on confidence after rounds of 66-64-67-69 last week.
That performance did not come out of the blue. Laporta was seventh on his previous start in Portugal, and was fourth at both the Italian and Irish Opens.
He also finished an impressive sixth at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.
FREE BETS: GET OVER £2,000 IN NEW CUSTOMER DEALS
New customer sign up offers
Paddy Power: Bet £20 and get it back as Cash if it Loses – CLAIM HERE
£20 Risk Free: New customers only. Place your FIRST bet on any sportsbook market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £20. Only deposits made using Cards or Apple Pay will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply. Paddy’s Rewards Club: Get a £10 free bet when you place 5x bets of £10+. T&Cs apply. 18+ Begambleaware.org
Betfair: Get A £20 Free Bet when you place £50 worth of bets. Repeat up to 5 times – CLAIM HERE
New customers place £50 worth of bets to receive £20 in free bets. Repeat up to 5 times to receive maximum £100. Min odds 1.2 (1/5). Multiple bets included. Exchange bets excluded. Payment restrictions apply. T&Cs apply. 18+ begambleaware.org
William Hill: Bet 10 Get 40 – CLAIM HERE
18+. Play Safe. New customers using promo code M40 only. 1x per customer. Min £/€10 bet. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). Free bets of 2 x £/€15 issued after first qualifying bet settles. Max £/€10 Bonus. 35x wagering requirement. Max redeemable bonus: £25. Casino bonus expires after 72 hours. UK & Eire only. Additional T&Cs, including free-bet, game, location, payment method and stake contributions apply. Begambleaware.org
FREE BETS: GET OVER £2,000 IN SIGN UP OFFERS HERE
Commercial content notice: Taking one of the bookmaker offers featured in this article may result in a payment to The Sun. 18+. T&Cs apply. Begambleaware.org
Remember to gamble responsibly
A responsible gambler is someone who: