The calendar year is winding down towards its curtain call and so are the various golf seasons around the globe too – albeit temporarily.
There are three high quality contests taking place around the globe this week, and each deserves the interest of punters given the unique set of parameters that have thrown up some interesting betting propositions.
First, we’ll take a look at the conclusion of the European Tour’s ‘Race to Dubai’ series.
DP World Tour Championship
The Race to Dubai series of events are the European take on the successful FedEx Cup series, and while the continent have got the prize money part right holding the respective events in Turkey, South Africa and Dubai, in the space of three weeks, will test even the most battle-hardened of international traveller. Consequently, many of the big names haven’t played all three tournaments and those that have will be feeling more than an air of the ‘last day of school’ atmosphere.
Messrs McIlroy and Stenson have made the trip out to Dubai for this event; no surprise really given that they have shared the trophy twice apiece in the last four renewals. But with the Irishman rather inactive of late and the Swede not playing his best last week at the Nedbank Challenge, the door is ajar for a new champion to have their name engraved on the trophy.
We really like the look of Branden Grace this week at around the 22/1 mark. He’s a proven winner in Europe, American and his South African homeland, and earlier in 2016 he triumphed in the Dubai Desert Classic; a fine precursor if ever there was one.
He looked back to his best in finishing third last week, and behind McIlroy and Stenson he really does look the most obvious candidate for success. At this kind of price, we can go in with an each way flutter with relish.
A bit of a purists event this one, but any tournament that can attract players of the calibre of Adam Scott and Jordan Spieth is worth a second look.
Scott, the multiple major winner, is the natural draw even though Spieth is favourite; the boy wonder has lost his putting stroke of late and is far too short at 3/1. Scott is a more realistic chance at 7/2 given his form is good and in two prior visits to the Royal Sydney Golf Club he has finished fifth and second.
Nobody else in the field truly appeals, with the Aussie contingent that usually participates on the PGA Tour available at prices in the region of 100/1 or so lower than you would typically find them across the pond. Ouch.
For anyone seeking an each way punt, perhaps Rich Green at 70/1 will suffice. He has won numerous times around the globe before, but goes on terrible runs of form too. A string of 10-10-20 at the Royal Sydney Club is worthy of consideration, however.
This is the typical PGA Tour event in the Fall season; a fairly weak field packed with local specialists looking to make their knowledge count.
The favourite is in-form Chris Kirk, a Georgia native (near to where this event is being held) but also a member of a group of golfers labelled ‘tough to get over the line’, i.e. he doesn’t win many.
We could say the same for others in the field: Kevin Chappell, Matt Kuchar, Zach Johnson, Bill Haas and co. Perhaps avoiding the outright market here is wise.
Instead, we’re giving a nod to two young players in decent form who practice regularly at Sea Island: Trey Mullinax (125/1) and Michael Thompson (150/1) in the First Round Leader market. Mullinax, in particular, looks a fine prospect.