Starts: 11th November
Course: Fire Course, Jumeriah Golf Estates, Dubai
Length: 7,480 yards
2020 Champion: Antoine Rozner
Overall Profit/Loss: -13.5pts
Pre-Event Bets: -8.5pts
1.5pts EW Dean Burmester 25/1 @ Ladbrokes (1/5 1-7)
1pt EW Sam Horsfield 35/1 @ Unibet (1/5 1-6)
0.75pts EW Joachim Lagergren 80/1 @ Unibet (1/5 1-6)
0.5pts EW Niklas Lemke 100/1 Betfair (1/5 1-7)
0.5pts EW Rikard Karlberg 300/1 @ William Hill (1/5 1-6)
In-Play Bets: -5pts
11 November 2021(-3pts)
0.5pts EW Robert MacIntyre 50/1 @ Bet365 (1/5 1-5)
0.5pts EW Guido Migliozzi 66/1 @ William Hill (1/5 1-5)
0.5pts EW Alvaro Quiros 80/1 @ Bet365 (1/5 1-5)
12 November 2021(-2pts)
1pt EW Kalle Samooja 12/1 @ Betfair (1/4 1-3)
Course Designer - Greg Norman
Fairways - Generous but trouble lurking if miss by a lot
Greens - High quality, meaning long putts are holeable
Water Hazards - In-play on three holes
Par 5's - 5th, 7th, 13th, 18th
Hosted Since - 2020
Premium on - Birdies and Tee to green stats
Very warm temperatures ranging from 21 degrees early in morning to peaks of 30 degrees. Wind picks up in the afternoon each day and morning starts are preferred.
Thurs - Sunny and moderate breeze. Wind peaks at 13mph late afternoon.
Fri - Sunny and moderate breeze. Wind peaks at 13mph late afternoon.
Sat - Sunny and gentle breeze. Wind peaks at 10mph late afternoon.
Sun - Sunny and gentle breeze. Wind peaks at 8mph late afternoon.
Significant Info To Be Aware Of
The Fire course is the sister course of the Earth Course on the Jumeirah Golf Estates, which has hosted the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai for many years.
Both are Greg Norman designs. The Fire Course is deemed the easier course and plays 300 yards shorter. Greg Norman also designed Al Mouj golf course in Oman, which has hosted on the European Tour since 2018 and plenty of times on the Challenge Tour. He wrote the following about the Fire Course;
"The Fire plays more like a links course, so there are more options for playing the ground game and using the contours, especially when the conditions are firm and fast".
This is the final week for players to qualify for the Race to Dubai finale next week where they must be in the top 50.
It is also the final week for players trying to retain their cards in the top 122 of the standings.
Continue to exercise caution in relation to Covid-19 related withdrawals.
Antoine Rozner won with -25 last year and four players were -23. Expect another shootout.
Nobody had any course form last year as it was a new course.
Rozner arrived in extremely consistent form, with top 40's in his last seven starts including a 3rd at Valderrama. Wallace and Sullivan both had recent top 5's however Laporta and Lorenzo-Vera weren't showing much form. Overall, it's preferred but not mandotary.
Rozner was ranked 203rd when he won last year. Laporta and Lorenzo-Vera were also ranked outside the top 100 so outsiders can perform well.
SG: Tee to green
The top 5 last year ranked 2-42-6-12-1. Despite it being a birdie fest, high class ball striking was the order of the day.
SG: Off The Tee
The top 5 ranked 1-14-4-63-16. Not essential to drive the ball brilliantly this week although winner Rozner did.
The top 5 ranked 1-11-58-23-33. Not essential to drive the ball far although again winner Rozner did.
The top 5 ranked 41-47-2-47-35. Accuracy off the tee was not important despite Laporta ranking 2nd.
The top 5 ranked 8-58-15-6-2. Strong iron play went a long way.
Greens In Regulation
The top 5 ranked 35-65-9-54-8. Not a key stat.
SG: Around The Green
The top 5 ranked 46-29-38-5-33. Most will be hitting lots of greens so not a key stat.
The top 5 ranked 13-1-14-5-31. A relatively hot putter is essential.
2nd and 11th are par 3's measuring 250+ yards. The par 3 8th is also tricky and they played as the three toughest holes in 2020.
The four par 5s (5th, 7th, 13th and 18th) need to be taken advantage of, along with the short par 4's 1st and 16th. Small note - the 5th and 13th are over 620 yards.
Fast or Slow Start
From last year's evidence, it is crucial to get off to a fast start. The top four after day one included the eventual winner and all placed in the top 7. Only Mike Lorenzo Vera placed after a slow start on round one (69).
Players looking to qualify for next week
Martin Kaymer (49th)
Martin holds one of the last two spots currently as he bids to fend off those behind him. He has had problems in recent years getting over the line, shown by his FOUR 2nd places and FOUR 3rd places since his last win in 2014. Luckily he won't have to do that this week and a strong performance should be expected for the man who has won three times in neighbouring Abu Dhabi. He has made his last four cuts and is well rested to go strong this week at 50/1.
Padraig Harrington (58th)
Padraig climbed 10 places in the standings last week thanks to a 12th place finish in Portugal. His place in the standings is largely thanks to his 4th at the PGA Championship and 6th in Dubai at the start of the year. The Irishman is still as competetive as they come and will be desperate to do enough to compete next week. He can be backed at 150/1.
Joakim Lagergren (53rd)
Dropped out of the top 50 last week as he pulled out for reasons unknown. The Swede continued his love affair with the Alfred Dunhill Links a few weeks ago, finishing 2nd. He is very much a horses for courses type so an 8th place last year here is interesting. A winner on the coast at the Sicilian Open in 2018 and 2nd in Qatar in 2017 prove his credentials and currently ranks number one putter on tour this season. At 80/1 he could be strong option.
Players fighting for survival
Ross Fisher (125th)
Ross is a five-time winner on tour, many of which prestigious events, but it has been a sharp decline for the Englishman this year. He finished 2020 ranked 217th in the world and is now 397th. He returns to a course this week that he lit up over 36 holes last year, hitting every green in regulation the first two days. He eventually fnished 7th and only one top 10 in Denmark has followed since. You can get 125/1 on him securing his card in style.
Stephen Gallacher (133rd)
Another man with banks of form in Dubai who has tumbled down the world rankings to 561st this year. A four-time winner, twice in Dubai, he will be optimistic of a big finish to save his card after 30th last week in Portugal. He will probably need a top 20 finish to do so which would be his best of the year. You can back him for a top 20 finish at 15/2.
Alvaro Quiros (143rd)
A missed cut last week was disappointing but there has been an upturn in the Spaniard's form of late and he will be hopeful of a big finish back in Dubai where he has won twice. He has not had a top 10 since 2019 but was 11th in Mallorca a few weeks ago. He will need to improve with the putter but the stats say his long game is where it needs to be to contend. He's available at 125/1 to win.
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AVIV Dubai Championship In-Play Blog
13 November 2021, 4.40pm (UK time)
It's all to play for in Dubai despite the leaders stretching their lead in the last couple of holes.
Last year, we saw Antoine Rozner come from four behind to win with a final round 64 and a winner coming from off the pace can't be ruled out. We saw two 63's recorded today and with eleven players grouped between 14 and 16 under par, we could well see someone make a move from off the pace.
JB Hansen (11/4) has been steady all week, only recording one bogey. He will be annoyed about parring the last but he played really well today and will take some beating. He won the Joburg Open with a final round 67 last November so he's at least shown he can convert.
Francesco Laporta is seeking his first win on the European Tour and finished strongly here last year with a 66. He won twice on the Challenge Tour in 2019 and this may be his best chance of a breakthrough. He's not for us at 7/2 with the quality of opposition though.
Rozner is one behind and will take heart from the fact he's got the job done from further back here. Aside from a shocking 7 on the 5th, he hit the ball well most of the day. His extra length off the tee is a major advantage here and he is the most likely winner in our eyes. We can't see enough juice in the 4/1 though and won't lose any sleep if it comes in at that price.
Kalle Samooja is one further back and Fleetwood, Min Woo Lee and Wiesberger have done just enough to keep themselves in it. It looks set to be an exciting final round whatever the outcome.
Round 4 Bet
- 1pt Each Way Kalle Samooja 12/1 @ Betfair (1/4 1-3)
Kalle finds himself 2 shots back going into the final round. He's a risk in that he has yet to win on the European Tour. Six of the top nine have wins on Tour but Kalle is a player we have earmarked to make the breakthrough soon. A final round 64 at last year's Cyprus Open was an impressive effort and only Callum Shinkwin could pip him. His iron play has improved every day this week and welike him to finish strong and make a run for the title. A winner on the Challenge Tour in 2018, he's ready to make the step up and win at a higher level.
12 November 2021, 4.20pm (UK time)
Last year's champion, Antoine Rozner, carded a bogey free 64 to take a one shot lead into the weekend at the AVIV Dubai Championship. The Frenchamn is now 7/2 favourite to take the title for the 2nd time.
Rozner is yet to drop a shot this week and given he's won twice in his last 24 starts, it's not an unreasonable price to convert.
Whilst Rozner is a worthy favourite, we should remember Andy Sullivan looked the likely winner here last year for the opening three rounds before Rozner fired a closing 64 to take the title. There are a number of high class players pursuing Rozner and with birdies plentiful, we wouldn't rush to take the 7/2.
Tommy Fleetwood is next in the betting at 11/2 and he's a definite danger when chasing. His last four European Tour wins have all come when he's trailing after 54 holes and we'd much prefer to wait and see how the third round plays out before considering whether to back him.
JB Hansen, Dean Burmester, Bernd Wiesberger are all within four shots of the the lead and we could well see significant changes on the leaderboard at the end of tomorrow. None of the prices appeal to us and we are prepared to let th 3rd round play out before assessing with 18 holes to go.
Conditions for the 3rd round will be sunny, with the wind peaking at 13mph late in the afternoon.
Round 3 Bet
- No bet
11 November 2021, 6.20pm (UK time)
|Five Players Tied||-6|
It's a case of de ja vu at the Dubai Championship as six of last year's top twelve are inside the top twelve so far this year.
However, it is a player who didn't play last year who leads the way after the opening 18 holes. Joachim B Hansen enjoys a two shot lead over the field after a bogey free 63 in the morning. The Dane is now a best price 9/1 to go on and win.
Hansen is in the midst of a hot run of form and we can expect him to continue near the top of the leaderboard over the remaining 54 holes. A first time winner at the end of 2020 at the Joburg Open, he's a player we rate.
We have three pre-event picks in the top 11 and we're very much hoping they can make progress over the next few days. One of those is Dean Burmester and he's now joint favourite with Hansen and Tommy Fleetwood.
Last year's Golf in Dubai Championship indicated that it is important to be up with the leaders after the opening round. Mike Lorenzo Vera recovered from an opening 69 to finish inside the top seven but the other six players in last year's top seven all opened with a 66 or better. We aren't looking past the group at -4.
Conditions for the 2nd round will be sunny, with the wind peaking at 11mph late in the afternoon.
Round 2 Bets
- 0.5pts Each Way Robert MacIntyre 50/1 @ Bet365 (1/5 1-5)
Robert bogeyed the par 5 last to spoil what was a promising opening round. That bogey has seen him drift out to 50/1 and we're happy to side with him even if he is five shots behind the leader. The Scotsman is capable of making plenty of birdies here and has an excellent record in Dubai (five appearances have yielded five top 25 finishes). He finished 19th here last year with a poor final round. He's a far more accomplished player now and can better that effort.
- 0.5pts Each Way Guido Migliozzi 66/1 @ William Hill (1/5 1-5)
Guido is on the same score as Robert MacIntyre and is an attractive price given his pedigree. A two time winner on Tour, he's winless in 2021 but has spent much of the year jetting back and forth to America. A 4th place finish at the US Open in June underlines his quality and he too can make progress over the remaining three rounds.
- 0.5pts Each Way Alvaro Quiros 80/1 @ Bet365 (1/5 1-5)
Alvaro opened with a bogey free 67 in Round 1 and like the other two, has a morning tee time for Round 2. He's somewhat of a Dubai specialist having won several times in the Emirate and has been showing promising form of late. We highlighted him in the preview as a player who has a lot to play for this week (see above) and we'll see a determined Alvaro this weekend.