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Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Dubai World Championship 2012


The season’s finale is finally upon us and the top 60 players on the European Tour have rightly qualified for the World Championships to be played on the Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai. This is the 3rd instalment of the Race to Dubai showpiece where Alvaro Quiros & Lee Westwood have won the previous two years. Big hitters are well suited to this course but the approach shots on undulating greens will be vital too. It’s a top field so expect a top tournament to complete a rather successful one for the European Tour that saw European players dominate the World Rankings and regain the Ryder Cup in spectacular fashion. If you are reading this post today and wondering where I’ve been, I had been quite busy at work and spending more and more time with my family at the weekends. My 3 & 5 year old girls aren’t into golf…yet!

 I do hope to kick on and get the blog updated on a weekly basis going forward, its not been a great year tipping wise(I’m putting this down to work commitments- sure it couldn’t be my fault) but the new season will be full of winners. In the meanwhile don't forget I can be followed on twitter at @birdieclubtips . The aim is to finish this one with a bang!

 

            So, onto this week’s event itself and the players will tee it up on Thursday with the lowest ranked player in the R2D standings hitting off first culminating in the last pairing of Peter Hanson & Rory McIlroy. The latter rightly goes off the tournament favourite after a fantastic year in which he won his second Major despite a missed cut last week, which is to be taken with a pinch of salt. He will be up for this here no doubt at all. But he is not backable at 6/1 for me. With a reduced field (just 57 playing) there is some surprising value to be had and as I write some of that value has disappeared since yesterdays prices but nonetheless some value still remains.

Last week in South Africa, Martin Kaymer produced solid golf the weekend to finish 3rd and there is evidence that a real return to winning ways is imminent. He was 22/1 yesterday but has come into 16s today. At 22s I was keen but will pass at 16s regrettably. Westwood at 14s for me would be better value than the German, proven winner in this field and of course, winner here in 2010. At slightly better odds are Justin Rose & Peter Hanson at 20s which again are better value than Kaymer’s, purely because of recent form. In fact, Hanson has real form going into this and has top results on this course the past couple of years too, but despite holding McIlroy off recently at the BMW Masters in October, I have reservations if he has the bottle to see them off again come Sunday afternoon for a win. Instead I’ll put up my first tip in the shape of a non-European who finished well last week in his native homeland. George Coetzee. He can be backed at 30/1 which just about holds an interest for me. The big hitting South African has improved throughout the season and is due a big one. He certainly is one to watch out for next season and over the New Year back on home soil, but the course will suit him and he makes my staking plan this week.

Second on the list is one of my old favourites, Alex Noren who has proven that these type of courses plays into his hands. Strength is his main asset but approaches to the greens when on song can be deadly and if he hits it well this week he could go under the radar. I backed him yesterday at 90.0 on Betfair but he is widely available at 66/1 in the bookies and this for me is just too big in a 57 man field. He comes well rested so hopefully his opening round playing alongside Danny Willett will see him open with a score to build on for the remainder of the tournament.

I was undecided before writing this post as to whether to side with Thomas Aiken or Shane Lowry for my final tip. Of course, we are betting folk, and rather than make the decision, I have decided to back both of them. The Irishman got his first professional win last month in Portugal and is playing exceptionally well. He had top 10 here before so likes the place and is great each way value at 60/1. (If you are following these with me on Thursday, amazingly they go out one after the other- would be nice if I was there). Thomas Aiken hasn’t really produced the goods that I was expecting the past 3 years or so but can be awfully streaky. He also finished well last week (top5) but has a tendency to play better at home but also shows a tendency to play well in the big events, so I had to include him too. He can be backed now each way at 80/1.

 

TIP 1: 1 pt e/w G.Coetzee @ 30/1

TIP 2: 1 pt e/w A.Noren @ 66/1

TIP3: 1 pt e/w S.Lowry @ 60/1

TIP 4: 1 pt e/w T.Aiken @ 80/1