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Omega Dubai Desert Classic – Emirates Golf Club

Tigers Back… 

I would say by now you should be thoroughly bored of Tiger talk and now itching to see him crack on and rip it up… but lets be honest about things none of us can get enough of Tiger and to save me from a potential sacking from DB for not mentioning him 😉  for this very rare occasion I’m gonna give you my quick thoughts on him as a play for your PGA Tour DraftKings line ups.

Personally I will only be having a small ownership of him, mainly put off by his price I find it hard to find value in him as a play, especially with other high point scoring players within the field at much lower prices. We have all heard how well he’s swinging and striking it but whilst in competition around the green I need to see if he still has that magic and confidence with those delicate little shots. However with all that said and being the huge fan of his that I am I simply can’t help myself and have to throw him in at least 1 line up.

Now this is just my opinion, I could be very wrong and if I’m completely honest I truly hope I am wrong and he destroys the field, but I think anything inside the top 25 would be a fantastic start to his full tournament/field campaign and road towards the Masters.

Either way I couldn’t be happier to see the great man himself tee it up at this iconic location almost exactly a year after he famously withdrew before starting day 2 of the 2017 Dubai Desert Classic.

Like many I plan to watch every second of golf both sides of the pond and even if that means I’m thoroughly sleep deprived come the end of the week I would miss either of these events.

Re-Cap from Abu Dhabi.

Great weeks golf and great week for the readers, loved seeing those screenshots of point busting line ups and healthy returns.. All helped considerably with a core consisting of 1st, 2nd and 3rd placings. Unfortunately for myself I didn’t capitalise like many of you as too many of my good line ups had one of the 3 of 18 that narrowly missed the cut but regardless of that any week where I sneak over the breakeven point I’m always happy.

Anyway lets hope that form follows into this week and I can join some of you at the top of those contests and sweat it out until that final putt on Sunday.

Next Up.

After that incredibly exciting week in Abu Dhabi the European Tour progress on to The Emirates Golf Club in Dubai where yet again a very strong field compete for the prize described as the major of the Middle East.

The Omega Dubai Desert Classic is the European Tour’s longest running event in the Middle East and the history of this tournament and venue have been closely interwoven with the tour since the event’s inaugural edition in 1989, won by former Ryder Cup player and Captain Mark James. Since then, the roll of honour includes ten different Major Champions: Seve Ballesteros (1992), Ernie Els (1994, 2002, 2005), Fred Couples (1995), José María Olazábal (1998), Mark O’Meara (2004), Tiger Woods (2006, 2008), Henrik Stenson (2007), Rory McIlroy (2009, 2015), Danny Willett (2016) and Sergio Garcia (2017).

Incredibly this event in its last 2 years has had it’s winners go on to winner the Masters only few months later and maybe that little bit of extra confidence gained from winning on super pure/quick greens (Although completely opposite in undulation severity) and a course that puts emphasis on strategy and ball striking stands as outstanding preparation. Can that feat be replicated once again, I would be surprised if it is but just in case lightning strikes 3 times in the same place I’m throwing a little down on Rory, Fitzy and Fleetwood.

Course Details.

Par: 72

Yardage: 7328

Design and Layout: Opened in 1988 and designed by Karl Litten The Majilis Course at Emirates Golf Club is very much a classic desert layout. Exposed to any present winds, fairways lined with a few shrubs and trees but mainly native desert areas, plenty of water in play and a course from tee box to green manicured and presented to the very highest of standards.

Greens: Regarded as some of the very best surfaces on the European Tour these relatively flat Tiff Eagle Bermuda Greens can be presented with speeds close to 14′, however I believe come Thursday morning they will be running something nearer to 13′.

Fairways: Sweeping contours with dog legs featuring on most holes.

Rough: Bermuda overseeded with perennial Rye, will reduce control of spin on green but very playable.. 

Hazards: Water features on 10 holes, desert frames the course and the bunkering here can present a very tough challenge even for the worlds best.

Conditioning: Perfect!!

Key Stats and Attributes.

Distance off the tee: For big hitters like Rory this could offer a decent advantage, there will be a number of holes where players of this elk can cut corners and hit much shorter clubs in, even if that is from off the fairway.

Greens In Regulation: This has been the stand out stat over the years and contributes heavily towards bogey avoidance and birdie or better performance. The greens here are relatively flat and fairly firm, however the biggest defence often being their speed.  Players will rarely make mistakes once on these pure greens and plenty a scoring chance will be converted, however what looks like a relatively simple chip  or bunker shot can be made to look difficult if contact and pace isn’t judged perfectly, hence the importance to find the dance floor on this course and save the struggle of a tough par conversion from 6ft+ on a slippery surface..

Course History: There has been plenty to delve into here with this being the 29th edition of the event. There are certain players that obviously love this track and those that may well enjoy it but just don’t perform well for whatever reason.

Recent Form: With the season still being reasonably fresh its always hard to guess who is ready to pop, but we certainly got some great indicators from last weeks outing in Abu Dhabi. Big names have been stepping up and once again I think a good mix of experience and form could play very well once again.

Value and ownership: Personally I’m going to be a little less worried about ownership and not be afraid to use those players that seem like incredible value to my advantage.. Ross Fisher and Fitzpatrick were a perfect example of this last week and I’m hoping this week I can find the same core that finds success.

Re-Cap of 2017.

Tiger famously withdraws before round 2. 

Fleetwood disappoints after victory at Abu Dhabi with a MC.

Desert storms and strong wind bring down a few trees, suspend play and play a huge roll in the outcome of the weekend cut and positioning of the leader board.

Stenson and Garcia battle it out with Garcia putting on a masterclass of ball striking to win by 3.

New Addition to 2018

Due to the event being played a week earlier than last year and the risk of play not being completed by a full field of 132 over the first 2 days, sponsors have installed floodlighting on the 9th and 18th holes to ensure that play can be completed fairly by those out last and also add an extra little atmosphere and extravagance to this weeks show.

18 players will have their first experience of this event including Pat Perez who as an affiliate member to the tour makes a very welcome appearance on a course that should suit much better than others he has recently experience outside of the USA.

My Picks.

$10,000 +

Rory McIlroy $11,800

Henrik Stenson $10,300.

$9,000 – $10,000

Matt Fitzpatrick $9,700.

Tyrrell Hatton $9,600

Ross Fisher $9,400

$8,000 – $9,000

Bernd Weisberger $9,000

Pat Perez $8,800

Dean Burmester $8,300

$7,000 – $7,500

Stephen Gallacher $8,000

George Coetzee $7,800

Sean Crocker $7,700.

$7,500 – $7,000

Kiradech Aphibarnrat $7,500

Chris Paisley $7,400

Martin Kaymer $7,400

Dylan Fittelli $7,200

Andy Sullivan $7,200.

Alex Levy $7,100

$7,000 or less

Ian Poulter $7,000

Miguel Jimenez $7,000

Jorge Campillo $6,900

Andrew “Beef!” Johnson $6,900

David Lipsky $6,800

Sam Brazel $6,800


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