After 47 events, which have taken in six different continents the 2018/19 European Tour season will come to an end this week with a return to Dubai for the DP World Tour Championship. Meanwhile, over on the PGA Tour we have the final event of the calendar year, The RSM Classic.
There are two different prizes up for grabs in Dubai, the trophy for winning this week’s DP World Tour Championship & The Race To Dubai title to decide Europe’s leading golfer.
It is important to factor in how those at the front of affairs in the Race To Dubai need to perform to secure this title, as that will inevitably have an influence on their mind-set for the week.
The current No 1 in the rankings Bernd Wiesberger holds his destiny very much in his own hands and is a warm order to take home the title. However, if the Austrian does stumble and finish down the field four others, Tommy Fleetwood, Jon Rahm, PP Ambassador Shane Lowry and Matt Fitzpatrick, could steal the trophy from him with a top two or three finish.
Rory McIlroy however who sits sixth in the standings cannot now add the Race To Dubai trophy to his Fedex Cup title.
The drama will unfold on the Greg Norman-designed par 72 Earth Course at the Jumeirah Golf Estates.
Measuring 7,677yds and with a couple of monster par fives, distance off the tee is certainly an advantage here and the courses main defence is its large, undulating, lightning-fast greens.
Rory, who is in his best form in years, has triumphed twice at this venue and Rahm, who was victorious last time out, also has a win (2017) and a fourth-place finish in two previous visits to the track. It is the latter who heads up our team at a price that offers an each-way safety net for those who want it as Paddy is paying the first 7 places.
Rested since his win in Spain six weeks ago the Spaniard has already shown over his career that he performs well fresh and the course is a perfect fit for his game.
It would be a huge shock if he at least doesn’t make the frame.
With one from the top of the market already on side, while I am keen on the chances of a strong performance from the likes of Patrick Reed @ 16/1 and last week’s winner of the Nedbank Challenge in South Africa, Tommy Fleetwood @ 14/1.
I am going to complete our team for Dubai with a couple of bigger priced each-way selections, where we can hopefully benefit from Paddy paying to a market leading 7 places.
The first of these is the in-form Victor Perez @ 50/1. The Frenchman has been a revelation in his first full season on tour and he has shown of late (second last time out in Turkey), that he is at his best on a low-scoring test, which is expected this week.
I can see another bold showing from Perez on the horizon.
Finally to complete our last European Tour team of the season, I will side with Tom Lewis @ 60/1. Seventh here on debut last year, the Englishman has been in really solid form of late and having also performed very nicely in the Middle East earlier this year. He should relish another trip back to the region.
Turning our attention to the PGA Tour and we’re at the Sea Island Resort in Georgia for the RSM Classic where Paddy is paying 8 places each-way.
The event rotates two short coastal courses over the first two days, including the 7,000 yard, par 70 Seaside Course, which is also used for the final two rounds.
My two for this are Billy Horschel @ 16/1 and Russell Henley @ 40/1. Horschel played very nicely to finish eighth in Mexico last week and having been second here in 2016, this looks an ideal venue for him to get back to winning ways.
Henley meanwhile boasts a great track record with three top 10s, and having been the victim of a bizarre eight shot penalty last week, which saw him go from being right in the hunt to missing the halfway cut, he will be determined to bounce back with a big performance.
*Prices correct at time of publication