Starts: 18th November
Course: Earth Course, Jumeriah Golf Estates, Dubai
Length: 7,675 yards
2020 Champion: Matt Fitzpatrick
Overall Profit/Loss: -1.5pts
Pre-Event Bets: -9pts
1.25pts EW Thomas Pieters 28/1 @ William Hill (1/5 1-7)
1pt EW Laurie Canter 45/1 @ William Hill (1/5 1-7)
1pt EW Victor Perez 50/1 @ Skybet (1/5 1-6)
0.75pts EW Adri Arnaus 80/1 @ Sport Nation (1/4 1-5)
0.5pts EW Jason Scrivener 150/1 @ Betfred (1/5 1-7)
In-Play Bets: +7.5pts
18 November 2021(+7pts)
1pt EW Matt Fitzpatrick 40/1 @ Betfair (1/5 1-4)
19 November 2021(-2pts)
0.5pts Rasmus Hojgaard Win ONLY 125/1 @ Unibet
0.5pts Nicolai Hojgaard 100/1 Win ONLY 100/1 @ Betfair
1pt Martin Kaymer Win ONLY 25/1 @ Betfair
20 November 2021(+2.5pts)
2.5pts Francesco Laporta to beat Tapio Pulkannen EVENS @ BetVictor
Course Designer - Greg Norman
Fairways - Wide, undulating, well bunkered
Rough - Bermuda
Greens - Large, undulating, Bermuda, well bunkered, lots of run off areas. 12 on Stimpmeter
Water Hazards - 6,14,16,17, 18
Par 5's - 2nd, 7th, 14th, 18th
Hosted Since - 2009
Premium on - Driving distance, ball striking
Warm and sunny all four days with peaks of 33 degrees. Wind picks up in the afternoon each day which favours the morning starters slightly with softer greens.
Thurs - Sunny and gentle breeze. Wind peaks at 11mph late afternoon.
Fri - Sunny and gentle breeze. Wind peaks at 12mph late afternoon.
Sat - Sunny and gentle breeze. Wind peaks at 12mph late afternoon.
Sun - Sunny and gentle breeze. Wind peaks at 11mph late afternoon.
Significant Info To Be Aware Of
The other course on the Estate, the Fire course, was used last week and is also designed by Norman. This weeks course is tougher though we should still expect a low winning score.
There are various permutations on who can win the season long Race to Dubai, which may have an impact on player performance. We will try to keep on eye on how this affects things as the week progresses.
Continue to exercise caution in relation to Covid-19 related withdrawals.
Since 2015, the winning score has ranged from -15 to -21. We expect a similar figure this week.
Nine of the last ten winners have had a previous top 10 at the Earth Course. Jon Rahm is the only debutant to win since Robert Karlsson in 2010. Desert form is also preferred.
9 of the last 12 winners had a top 10 in their previous 3 starts. Last years winner Fitzpatrick wasn't in great from although 2019 winner Rahm had won his previous start.
All 12 winners at the Earth Course have been European, however, there are examples of non Europeans having a good record so needs taken with a pinch of salt.
Strokes Gained stats are available since 2017. One thing they don't show is the importance of driving distance on the Earth Course, so we have included that also.
Every winner since 2009 has ranked 16th or better for distance. 9/12 of these were inside the top 10. In 2019, 6 of the top 8 ranked 8th or better in distance. Extremely favourable to be a big hitter around here.
SG: Off The Tee
Four of the top six ranked in the top 10 for this category last year. 2019 winner Rahm was 4th and runner up Fleetwood was 5th. McIlroy who finished 4th was 2nd off the tee. Strong drivers prosper here.
Last year's winner Fitzpatrick was only 33rd but the rest of the top 6 ranked inside the top 10 for approach. 2019 winner Rahm was 4th and runner up Fleetwood was 2nd. Lorenzo Vera who finished 3rd was 5th for approach. Strong Iron Play is usually required.
SG: Around The Greens
Fitzpatrick was 7th and Reed was 1st last year but the rest of the top 6 were outside of the top 10. In 2019, Rahm and Lorenzo Vera were top 5 for this category but Fleetwood was 22nd. Sharp short game preferred but not essential.
Fitzpatrick won last year with hot putting but in 2019, Rahm and Fleetwood ranked 9th and 16th, preference is on ball striking for the Earth Course.
Par 4 9th was the toughest last year, followed by the par 3 4th which measures 245 yards. 4's 8th and 12th were the two toughest holes in 2019, both playing over 4.2 on average.
The four par 5s (2nd, 7th, 14th and 18th) played the easiest four holes last year and need to be taken advantage of, along with the par 4 15th.
Fast or Slow start
Fitzpatrick was 2nd after round one last year. The top 4 in 2019 were all in the top 4 after 18 holes! The top 3 in 2018 were all in the top 10 after 18 holes. You don't want to be too far behind at the Earth Course. Backing players with hot starts in-play could be advantageous.
DP World Tour Championship In-Play Blog
20 November 2021, 9.45pm (UK time)
|Four Players Tied||-11|
A birdie at the last was enough to give Rory McIlroy a one shot lead going into the final round of the DP World Tour Championship.
The world number eight is now a best price 5/6 to convert and make it back to back wins, following his win at the CJ Cup. In McIlroy's favour is the fact round three leaders have an excellent record here, the last three winners having held the lead going into the final round.
Those trailing McIlroy will take heart from the fact that he's failed to convert his last two 54 hole leads. His last lead, also in the Middle East, came at the start of 2021 and he was easily outplayed by Tyrrell Hatton. However, he's won twice since then and appears much more settled in his approach to the game and in managing his expectations.
McIlroy should win this. But are we keen to back him at 5/6? No, not really.
Those tucked in behind McIlroy will ensure he's pushed all the way. Sam Horsfield (7/1) has been threatening a win all season and can easily post a low round if the putter behaves. This would be the biggest win of his career though and he's yet to defeat someone like Rory.
Like Horsfield, Alexander Bjork (20/1) and Robert MacIntyre (9/1) both possess sufficient firepower to post a score and snatch this. Bjork shot a final round 65 to claim his sole European Tour win. MacIntyre shot his lowest round of the week to win his sole European Tour win.
Race To Dubai winner in waiting, Collin Morikawa (15/2), is also a huge threat. He failed to birdie any of his closing 12 holes in round three but he too is a danger once he gets going.
The players will enjoy ideal golfing conditions again tomorrow with sunshine and winds around 7mph forecast.
Round 4 Bet
- 2.5pts Francesco Laporta to beat Tapio Pulkannen EVENS @ BetVictor
It was tempting to place a bet on Alexander Bjork at the odds available but he's relied heavily on his putter this week and there's a question mark over whether that club will remain hot once the pressure is applied. Instead we look towards a two ball bet. Francesco Laporta has had an excellent few weeks of late and we were surprised to be able to back him at evens to win this 2 ball. The putter hasn't co-operated so far this week for the Italian but his long game has been solid enough over the opening three rounds (28th SG: Tee To Green). Laporta's opponent has been going backwards this week, having shot 74 and 76 after an opening 67. Pulkannen ranks last this week in SG: Off The Tee and is losing strokes with his approach play too. Laporta is the better player in general and can win this 2 ball tomorrow.
19 November 2021, 7pm (UK time)
|Two Players Tied||-8|
A double bogey at his final hole saw Rory McIlroy drop out of the lead and one behind Shane Lowry, John Catlin and Sam Horsfield. Race to Dubai favourite Collin Morikawa is one back of McIlroy.
A number of wayward drives cost Rory in the end as he only hit 35.7% of fairways. As a result, he found less greens too and his short game actually stopped the day from being a disaster. You would have to expect an improvement tomorrow but there was enough concern with the driver for us not to touch 11/4.
Lowry is now regarded as next likely to win but again odds of 4/1 make no appeal. He holed two long putts and had a chip in eagle and should find it difficult to back that 65.
Similarly John Catlin will do well to hang in there after a 65 and Sam Horsfield made a mess of his closing holes once he took the lead. Neither inspire us to pull the trigger at 11/1 and 8/1 respectively.
Alexander Bjork is going under the radar only one shot back but it would be asking a lot for him to win here. Morikawa will count himself very lucky to be two back after miraculously avoiding the water on 17 when his ball struck a hazard marker to stay safe. He was well out of sorts today and something like that will give him belief that it is his week. He is no value at 5/1 with Rory ahead of him though.
Rory's double on 18 has brought a lot of names back into this and the group at 5 under par in particular will be looking to make their move. Matt Fitzpatrick, Paul Casey and Thomas Pieters were all seemingly out of it but now a quick start tomorrow puts them right in the thick of it.
We are happy to take a chance there is a bit of movement in the leaderboard tomorrow and will add a few plays.
Round 3 Bets
- 1pt Martin Kaymer Win ONLY 25/1 @ Betfair
As mentioned in our pre-event tips, it was a very close call between Victor Perez and Martin Kaymer for our final selection this week and we clearly made the wrong choice! Martin is doing everything nice this week, hitting fairways and greens for fun. He seems in a good place mentally and should really be leading if not for a silly finish on 18. He has the pedigree to win here and we are more than happy to get on at 25/1. Note the place terms aren't great so we will take our chances he can go all the way.
- 0.5pts Nicolai Hojgaard 100/1 Win ONLY 100/1 @ Betfair
- 0.5pts Rasmus Hojgaard Win ONLY 125/1 @ Unibet
The Hojgaards are both five shots back and will be hoping to make their move tomorrow. Their talent is well documented and the price seems disrespectful for players of their ability. Lowry was five back today and now shares the lead and it's not impossible for one of them to do the same.
18 November 2021, 1.40pm (UK time)
|Ten Players Tied||-4|
Rory McIlroy flew out the traps this morning, playing the first eight holes in 6 under par. A birdie at the last ensured he takes a two shot lead into tomorrow following a stuttering finish from Collin Morikawa.
Rory is now 13/8 to convert and quite rightly so. He has appeared a different man since his Ryder Cup breakdown and has brought a fresh attitude to his play since.
Two things would put us off touching that price though, firstly Morikawa is still only three back, and Bezuidenhout isn't short of quality only two back. Secondly, he shot a 64 in the first round here in 2019 only to follow it up with a 75 and eventually finish 4th.
As mentioned earlier, Morikawa finished slow, playing his last three holes in one over par but remains the most likely challenger. A seven shot lead over Billy Horschel takes some pressure off the Race to Dubai and he will most likely be in a position to win unless Rory does something special.
Bezuidenhout was too short priced for us to take before the off but he shares Valderrama and Wentworth form that past winners Matt Fitzpatrick, Jon Rahm and Danny Willett all share. He is the best of the rest that is up with the pace and is tempting at 14/1.
Up with the pace is the place to be here, so it is a long way back for some of the challengers. There is one man we think has been overpriced and the price is unlikely to hold for long.
Round 2 Bet
- 1pt Each Way Matt Fitzpatrick 40/1 @ Betfair (1/5 1-4)
Matt is a course specialist with two wins including last year. He has five top 12 finishes in his six starts. He has opened with a 70 and trails by five due to finding the water at the 18th hole. He is more than capable of working his way into this tournament, like he did at Valderrama a few weeks ago. He is one of the few players we believe could take on Rory and Morikawa if he can get himself into position over the weekend. Take anything over 33's if you miss the 40/1.