The DP World Tour Championship brings the curtain down on the European Tour season, as the top 60 players on the Race to Dubai compete for the overall title at the Jumeirah Golf Estates course. At 7,675 yards this course strongly favours those who can generate great distance off the tee and the wide fairways, large greens and absence of water hazards also play into the hands of the big hitters.
Alvaro Quiros and Robert Karlsson were the 2010 and 2011 champions before Rory McIlroy and Henrik Stenson took charge, winning two titles apiece. Matthew Fitzpatrick was the 2016 winner, while the defending champion is Jon Rahm, who topped a congested leaderboard by a single shot last year.
Injury prevented McIlroy from taking his place in the field 12 months ago, but he’s back this week and most bookmakers rate him as the marginal favourite. Bet365 are offering best odds of 11/1* about the world number seven. Sergio Garcia has finished the season in magnificent form, winning the Andalucia Masters for the third time and finishing as runner-up in Sun City last weekend and the Spaniard is the second favourite at 12/1* with Betfred.
Rahm is a 14/1* chance with William Hill and Paddy Power to repeat his success of last year, while his fellow Ryder Cup star Tommy Fleetwood is available at the same odds across the board. Xander Schauffele is seen as the leading American in this top class field and he can be backed at best odds of 16/1* with a host of firms.
There aren’t many players around the world who can boast better form than Li Haotong right now, with the Chinese star arriving for his third visit to Jumeirah on a hot streak that has seen him finish no worse than 11th in his last five starts. He has posted three top fives in that time, including in South Africa last weekend, while he was runner-up in Turkey prior to that. He was 30th on his debut here two years ago, before improving to a share of 13th last time and he will be confident of continuing that upwards trajectory. The world number 41 is available at odds of 20/1* with all firms except Bet365.
Shane Lowry’s form is sometimes patchy – he has missed seven cuts this year – but he’s played well over the last few months and that should stand him in good stead for his seventh appearance at this season-ending tournament. He was runner-up to Garcia in Andalucia last month, sixth in Portugal and 14th in Turkey a few weeks back. He has a good record here, with his six previous outings producing three finishes of eighth or better. That includes finishing one shot behind Rahm in second place last year. The Irishman can be backed at 33/1* with Bet365, Ladbrokes, William Hill, Coral and Betfred, although the latter bookmaker’s place terms differ from the others.
|*All odds quoted are subject to change|