The money list: Best bets for the DP World Tour Championship
After nailing a 16/1 winner last week, we're back with our picks for the final event of the European Tour season.
The DP World Tour Championship has been held at the Earth Course at the Jumeirah Golf Estates since the tournament’s inception in 2009.
The par-72 course is a monster at 7,675 yards, and is ideal for the longest hitters on the European Tour.
Seven of the eight winners have ranked inside the top eight for driving distance, with last year’s winner Matthew Fitzpatrick the exception.
It’s just as important to be accurate around this track, with five of the eight winners ranking fourth or better in GIR.
Three of the last five winners have finished better than 20 under par, so birdie average is also worth looking out for.
Back to win
Matthew Fitzpatrick –
Fitzpatrick is the defending champion at the Earth Course and is in the kind of form that suggests he can go back to back this week.
The 23-year-old has finished inside the top 15 in seven successive tournaments, the first of which was his win at the European Masters in September.
Fitzpatrick isn’t a big hitter, but the Englishman proved last year that his accuracy and all-round game can compensate for his shortcomings off the tee.
A top-10 place looks a certainty at an event in which he’s never finished lower than fourth, and he’s proven that he is capable of winning even against such a strong field.
Rafael Cabrera Bello –
Cabrera Bello finished a disappointing 42nd at the Nedbank Challenge last week, but placed 11th or better in his three starts prior to that event.
The Spaniard is playing well and his game is nicely suited to the Earth Course.
A previous winner and runner-up at the Dubai Desert Classic, Cabrera Bello thrives in the Middle East and is poised to better his best finish of ninth in this event.
He got over the hump with his first win in five years at the Scottish Open four months ago, and should at the very least contend this weekend.
Peter Uihlein –
Uihlein pulled out of last week’s Nedbank on day one through illness, ending a run of three consecutive top-15 finishes.
The American has been in fine form since he dropped down to the Web.com Tour and won the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship at the start of September.
He’s had an excellent season on the European Tour this season, ranking ninth in stroke average, 27th in driving distance and 22nd in putts per GIR, and his length and accuracy will be a huge advantage at this course.
Uihlein finished 22nd in his last start here in 2015, and is a good bet to at least place inside the top five this weekend.
Lee Westwood –
A T6 in South Africa last weekend was the latest in a strong run of results for Westwood, who’s now finished inside the top 20 in five of his last eight starts.
The 44-year-old has also had plenty of success at this event in the past, having won it in 2009 and finished fifth or better on two occasions since.
It’s no surprise that Westwood plays well at the Earth Course given that he ranks 33rd in GIR on the European Tour, and he led early on last year after shooting 66 in the first round.
This course tends to reward front runners, and another fast start would give the Englishman a real chance of winning for the first time since 2014.