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BlogDP World Preview and Picks

DP World Tour Championship, Dubai

November 17th – 20th, 2016

Jumeirah Golf Estates

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Par: 72 / Yardage: 7,675

Purse: $8 million

with $1,341,563 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Rory McIlroy

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

This week’s field includes:

The field includes 32 of the top 100 and 19 of the top 50 in the latest Official World Rankings, with three top-ten players in the field, #2 Rory McIlroy, #4 Henrik Stenson and #9 Alex Noren.  The other top 50 players are #11 Danny Willett, #15 Sergio Garcia, #16 Branden Grace, #24 Louis Oosthuizen, #27 Charl Schwartzel, #33 Tyrrell Hatton, #36 Francesco Molinari, #37 Chris Wood, #40 Andy Sullivan, #42 Shane Lowry, #43 Byeong Hun An, #44 Thomas Pieters, #46 Bernd Wiesberger, #47 Lee Westwood, #49 Thongchai Jaidee, #50 Soren Kjeldsen.

Last year there were 19 top-50 players in the field

The field includes 60 players that are in the top-62 of the Race to Dubai money list.  Those not playing are #35 Russell Knox and #60 Graeme McDowell

The field includes 3 of the past champions who have won 5 of the 7 events played: Rory McIlroy (2015 & ’12)Henrik Stenson (2014, & ’13), and Lee Westwood (2009).

The field includes 24 players that have won 31 of the 46 European Tour events this year: Charl Schwartzel (Alfred Dunhill & Tshwane Open), Brandon Stone (BMW South African Open), Branden Grace (Qatar Masters), Danny Willett (Dubai Desert Classic & Masters), Marcus Fraser (Maybank Malaysian Open), Louis Oosthuizen (Handa Perth International), Scott Hend (True Thailand Classic), Andrew Johnston (Spanish Open), Soomin Lee (Shenzhen International), Li Haotong (Volvo China Open), Jeunghun Wang (Trophee Hassan & AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open), Rory McIlroy (Irish Open), Chris Wood (BMW PGA Championship), Matthew Fitzpatrick (Nordea Masters), Henrik Stenson (BMW International & British Open), Thongchai Jaidee (French Open), Alex Noren (Scottish Open, European Masters, British Masters & Nedbank Golf Challenge), Thomas Pieters (Made in Denmark), Joost Luiten (KLM Open), Francesco Molinari (Italian Open), Alexander Levy (Porsche European Open), Tyrrell Hatton (Dunhill Links), Padraig Harrington (Portugal Masters) and Thorbjorn Olesen (Turkish Airlines Open)

A perfect way for fantasy golfers to check on the past performance of all the players in the DP World Championship field is our performance chart listed by average finish. One last way to check who is the best is through a special formula worked out in Golfstats that gives us the best average performances at DP World Championship in the last five years or check out our brand new and sortable 8-year glance at the DP World Championship.

A good cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmakers in England.

Time to look at our who’s hot and who isn’t:

Who’s Hot in the field for the DP World Tour Championship

Player Nedbank Turkish Airlines HSBC Champions Portugal Masters British Masters Dunhill Links Tour Champ. Porsche European Italian Open BMW Champ. European Masters Deutsche Bank KLM Open
Alex Noren
(342 pts)
Win
(132)
DNP T12
(38)
T37
(8.67)
Win
(88)
T11
(26)
DNP DNP DNP DNP Win
(44)
DNP T34
(5.33)
Bernd Wiesberger
(258 pts)
DNP 4
(80)
T35
(15)
DNP 2
(66.67)
T7
(36.67)
DNP 5
(23.33)
DNP DNP T41
(3)
DNP 2
(33.33)
Richard Bland
(234 pts)
T20
(30)
T17
(33)
T30
(20)
DNP T4
(53.33)
T18
(21.33)
DNP T7
(18.33)
T5
(23.33)
DNP T5
(23.33)
DNP T16
(11.33)
David Horsey
(226.33 pts)
T44
(6)
T2
(100)
DNP T22
(18.67)
T12
(25.33)
T11
(26)
DNP T49
(0.33)
T5
(23.33)
DNP DNP DNP T4
(26.67)
Rory McIlroy
(216 pts)
DNP DNP T4
(80)
DNP DNP DNP Win
(66)
DNP DNP T42
(4)
DNP Win
(66)
DNP
Tyrrell Hatton
(208.33 pts)
T25
(25)
T10
(40)
T23
(27)
DNP T9
(30)
Win
(88)
DNP DNP T45
(1.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP
Andy Sullivan
(194.33 pts)
T3
(90)
T25
(25)
DNP 2
(66.67)
T41
(6)
DNP DNP DNP T20
(10)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP
Tommy Fleetwood
(193.67 pts)
T14
(36)
T22
(28)
DNP T37
(8.67)
T4
(53.33)
T15
(23.33)
DNP T13
(12.33)
T7
(18.33)
DNP T49
(0.33)
DNP T10
(13.33)
Alejandro Canizares
(190.33 pts)
T3
(90)
T22
(28)
DNP T31
(12.67)
T45
(3.33)
T41
(6)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T7
(18.33)
DNP T24
(8.67)
DNP T4
(26.67)
Ross Fisher
(186.67 pts)
T25
(25)
DNP T6
(60)
DNP T67
(0)
T2
(66.67)
DNP 2
(33.33)
DNP DNP T58
(0)
DNP T45
(1.67)
Joakim Lagergren
(169.33 pts)
T44
(6)
T6
(60)
DNP T17
(22)
T18
(21.33)
4
(53.33)
DNP T63
(0)
T53
(0)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T20
(10)
Alexander Levy
(156.67 pts)
T64
(0)
T25
(25)
T58
(0)
DNP T4
(53.33)
T63
(0)
DNP Win
(44)
T7
(18.33)
DNP T18
(10.67)
DNP T34
(5.33)
Henrik Stenson
(154.5 pts)
8
(50)
DNP T2
(100)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T41
(4.5)
DNP
Li Haotong
(151.33 pts)
T20
(30)
T2
(100)
T63
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T38
(4)
DNP T18
(10.67)
DNP T20
(10)
Jeunghun Wang
(137 pts)
2
(100)
T13
(37)
T70
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Ricardo Gouveia
(132.33 pts)
T3
(90)
T13
(37)
DNP T22
(18.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T57
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP
George Coetzee
(131.67 pts)
T25
(25)
5
(70)
T40
(10)
T31
(12.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
T25
(16.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T72
(0)
DNP T18
(10.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Renato Paratore
(130.33 pts)
T25
(25)
T25
(25)
DNP T73
(0)
T22
(18.67)
T7
(36.67)
DNP T20
(10)
71
(0)
DNP T7
(18.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Richard Sterne
(127.33 pts)
T20
(30)
T68
(0)
T60
(0)
DNP T9
(30)
T2
(66.67)
DNP T39
(3.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T49
(0.33)
DNP DNP
David Lipsky
(121 pts)
T49
(1)
T6
(60)
DNP T5
(46.67)
T54
(0)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T24
(8.67)
T16
(11.33)
DNP T58
(0)
DNP DNP
Thorbjorn Olesen
(120 pts)
63
(0)
Win
(132)
DNP T50
(0.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
T50
(0.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Nacho Elvira
(118.33 pts)
T25
(25)
9
(45)
DNP 9
(30)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T3
(30)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T45
(1.67)
Branden Grace
(116.83 pts)
T3
(90)
DNP T30
(20)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP T32
(9)
DNP T41
(4.5)
DNP
Thongchai Jaidee
(116 pts)
T16
(34)
T17
(33)
T30
(20)
DNP T22
(18.67)
DNP DNP T20
(10)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T29
(7)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Joost Luiten
(114.67 pts)
T14
(36)
DNP T16
(34)
DNP T45
(3.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP T38
(4)
DNP DNP DNP Win
(44)
Soren Kjeldsen
(112.67 pts)
T16
(34)
T31
(19)
T40
(10)
DNP T28
(14.67)
T7
(36.67)
DNP DNP WD
(-1.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Pablo Larrazabal
(104 pts)
T39
(11)
8
(50)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T33
(11.33)
T25
(16.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T7
(18.33)
DNP T20
(10)
Francesco Molinari
(104 pts)
DNP DNP T6
(60)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP Win
(44)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Padraig Harrington
(100.33 pts)
T55
(0)
T31
(19)
DNP Win
(88)
DNP T63
(0)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Lee Westwood
(97.67 pts)
DNP T52
(0)
29
(21)
DNP 3
(60)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP 4
(26.67)
DNP DNP
Mikko Ilonen
(96 pts)
T53
(0)
T10
(40)
DNP DNP T12
(25.33)
T18
(21.33)
DNP DNP T53
(0)
DNP T12
(12.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Raphael Jacquelin
(95.33 pts)
T11
(39)
T17
(33)
DNP T22
(18.67)
T49
(0.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T36
(4.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T12
(12.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Andrew Johnston
(91.67 pts)
T34
(16)
T22
(28)
T47
(3)
DNP T28
(14.67)
T63
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP 3
(30)
DNP DNP
Louis Oosthuizen
(91.5 pts)
9
(45)
DNP T45
(5)
DNP DNP T53
(0)
DNP DNP DNP T17
(16.5)
DNP T8
(25)
DNP
Charl Schwartzel
(91 pts)
T39
(11)
DNP T30
(20)
DNP DNP DNP T10
(20)
DNP DNP T4
(40)
DNP 70
(0)
DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

Who’s Not Hot in the field for the DP World Tour Championship

Player Nedbank Turkish Airlines HSBC Champions Portugal Masters British Masters Dunhill Links Tour Champ. Porsche European Italian Open BMW Champ. European Masters Deutsche Bank KLM Open
Brandon Stone
(3.33 pts)
69
(0)
T52
(0)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T68
(0)
DNP DNP DNP T10
(13.33)
Soomin Lee
(4.33 pts)
T60
(0)
DNP T70
(0)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T28
(7.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T49
(0.33)
DNP T10
(13.33)
Marcus Fraser
(4.67 pts)
T53
(0)
DNP T70
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T61
(0)
DNP T36
(4.67)
DNP T66
(0)
Felipe Aguilar
(8 pts)
DQ
(-5)
T31
(19)
DNP T44
(4)
T67
(0)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T30
(6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Romain Wattel
(8.33 pts)
T60
(0)
T62
(0)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
T18
(21.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T38
(4)
DNP T41
(3)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Julien Quesne
(32 pts)
T67
(0)
T52
(0)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T33
(11.33)
T50
(0.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T30
(6.67)
DNP T5
(23.33)
DNP DNP
Jaco Van Zyl
(33.67 pts)
10
(40)
T72
(0)
DNP DNP WD
(-3.33)
DNP DNP T49
(0.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Shane Lowry
(54.33 pts)
DNP DNP T23
(27)
DNP T41
(6)
T18
(21.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Rafael Cabrera-Bello
(56.33 pts)
T55
(0)
DNP T19
(31)
DNP DNP T31
(12.67)
DNP DNP T12
(12.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Sergio Garcia
(59.5 pts)
DNP DNP T9
(45)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T47
(1.5)
DNP T24
(13)
DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

The Buzz:

The final series has frankly been a disaster.  The original purpose of the Race to Dubai was to compete with the FedEx Cup in which there was a yearly point list that reached a point in which there would be four playoff events to see who was the winner of the Race to Dubai.  In previous years the race started in China with two events, one of the being the WGC-HSBC Champions.  Then it went to Turkey and ended in Dubai.  For years the biggest problem was that players that qualified for the Race to Dubai list but wasn’t part of the WGC-HSBC weren’t allowed to play.  This was a terrible flaw in the plan, how can you have playoff system in which a player qualified but wasn’t allowed into the tournament.  So the tour agreed for this year not to make the HSBC event part of the final series. Another problem arose when the BMW Masters, played in China decided not to hold the tournament, so the European Tour lost two of their four playoff events.  They decided to move the NedBank Challenge that was played in South Africa up a month and determined that there would be three playoff events, first the Turkish Airlines Open, then the Nedbank followed by the DP World Championship, Dubai.  Unfortunately in the last year Turkey has had a lot of terrorist problems including a car bomb that went off just down the road were the event was being played, so a lot of players dropped out.  Then the European Tour had the problem that some didn’t want to fly to South Africa for the NedBank, even though they had a charter go directly from London to Sun City, so you can see that you can’t really call it a playoff series if players don’t play.  Even the last event in Dubai, two players Russell Knox and Graeme McDowell decided not to play which again puts a black mark on the event.  The European Tour also lost Patrick Reed, one of the better American players who held dual memberships because Reed felt he wouldn’t be safe in Turkey and didn’t play.  This set off a chain reaction, since Reed had to play in all three playoff events to maintain his European Tour card, so with that not possible he was eliminated.

Making things even weirder, European Tour chief Keith Pelley decided to reinstate Reed for 2017 because of his victory in the 2014 WGC-Cadillac but it really didn’t matter for Dubai because Reed couldn’t play in it, even though last month it was on his schedule.  So it will be interesting to see what the European Tour does to try and beef up the series.  The answer is very complex because Pelley needs to get three events that put up a good chuck of money to sponsor this event and that was the reason for the NedBank coming into the fold.  But players really don’t want to travel from Turkey to South Africa and then Dubai.  One of the things we don’t understand is the European Tour charters jets to take players to these events, but that would mean that a player would go from London to Turkey, then back to London for a day before going to South Afica.  Then it’s back to London for a day before another charter takes them to Dubai.  So you can see the reasons for all of the problems, which are being worked on.  The schedule for the end of the European Tour hasn’t been finalize as they try to come up with a better solution.

Another problem with the Race to Dubai is that only four players could win the title.  On the PGA Tour they have worked out their system so that all 30 of those playing in the Tour Championship have a mathematic chance to win the FedEx Cup.  Realistically it’s only the top-ten, but the point is that everyone playing has some sort of chance.  But this week the odds are really high that the leader Henrik Stenson will win the race to Dubai.  Danny Willett, who is second has to win the DP World to have any chance of passing Stenson.  A win by Willett gives him the Race to Dubai.  In third place is Rory McIlroy and he has to win to stand any chance of reclaiming the Race to Dubai title and will need to rely on Henrik Stenson finishing outside the top 45, Danny Willett outside the top five and Alex Noren outside the top two.  You can see that the odds of Stenson finishing outside the top 45 is slim and done.  Now in fourth place and the last with any chance to win the Race to Dubai title is Alex Noren.  For him to do it he needs a minimum top two finish to clinch the title however can still lose the Race to Dubai by winning this weekend if Stenson claims second place.  Noren can also win with a second place finish if Henrik Stenson finishes outside the top eight and Danny Willett fails to make the top two.

So we can see another flaw in this fall series, it’s stupid to have a year end tournament in which those playing in it have no chance at the title, so this is nothing more than a money stab for the players.  This is something that wasn’t properly worked out when this series started in 2013 so hopefully with Keith Pelley in charge he can work up a better scenario for the coming years.

Here are some of the secrets of what it takes to play well at the DP World Championship:

Key stat for the winner:

Just look at the performance chart.  After it’s called up go to the top of the list and hit the link for top 10s and you can see that this event has been owned by five different players, Rory McIlroy, Lee Westwood, Charl Schwartzel, Branden Grace and Henrik Stenson.  Throw in guys like Louis Oosthuizen, Francesco Molinari, Shane Lowry, Sergio Garcia and Joost Luiten I can narrow down the 60 players in the field down to around ten.

Here are some more key stats to look to for this week:

Two important elements come across in the previous seven winners.  First is driving distance, six of the seven winners were in the top-ten while two (Rory McIlroy last year andAlvaro Quiros in 2011) led while Rory McIlroy in 2012 was 2nd.  Hitting greens is also very important, last year’s winner McIlroy was T-3rd while the previous years winner Henrik Stenson was T-4th and led that category in 2013 just like Lee Westwood in 2009.  In 2011 Alvaro Quiros was T2nd, so you have to hit the ball good and straight from tee to green

All of the par-5s are easy, last year McIlroy was 9 under on them and the year before Stenson played them in 10 under. The best was 12 under by Alvaro Quiros in 2011 while the worst was Robert Karlsson in 2010 when he played them in 7 under

Surprisingly all of the winners have played the par 4s well, last year McIlroy was 10 under while the best was Henrik Stenson at 14 under in 2013. Lee Westwood played them in 13 under in 2009 while the worst was Robert Karlsson at 7 under in 2010.

You will have no probably with the weather as each day is sunny and in the mid-80s.  There are zero chance of any rain in the next week, and the wind will be mild, so players can attack the course

 

Who to watch for at the DP World Tour Championship

Best Bets:

Rory McIlroy

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
Win T2 T5 Win T11 5 3

This is a really easy decision, he has played this course the best, in 28 rounds he is 109 under par and only has been out of the top-five once in seven starts. So unless something happens to him you know he will be in the running on the back nine on Sunday.

Henrik Stenson

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
T59 Win Win T7 T24 T23

Last year was an anomaly, he was hurt and tired. So have to think he will be in the running, he is well rested and does play well on the course.

Francesco Molinari

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
T4 T16 13 T34 T6 T6 T30

Has played great of late and has great results on the Earth Course.

Thomas Pieters

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
T22

Can’t forgot him, has had a good fall.

Best of the rest:

Alex Noren

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
T38 39 T37 6

May be the hottest player on the European Tour right now, but he hasn’t shown us much on the Earth Course other than a 6th place finish in 2009.

Andy Sullivan

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
2 T21

Has two top-three finishes in his last three European Tour starts. Also a good record on the Earth Course, was runner-up last year.

Charl Schwartzel

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
T4 T47 T3 5 T21 53

A good record in Dubai, he has the game to win on this course.

Branden Grace

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
3 T9 T52 6

Good record in this event, was T-3rd last week in South Africa.

Solid contenders

Sergio Garcia

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
T12 T9 T11 T21 T7

Has had a lot of time off, he has played good on the Earth Course.

Joost Luiten

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
T31 T9 4 T16 T51 T26

Has a pair of top-tens on the Earth Courst the last two years. Been solid on the European Tour this fall.

Matthew Fitzpatrick

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
T4

Has the game to do well, was close last year.

Bernd Wiesberger

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
T17 T16 T34 T42

Only thing that bothers me is he has never played well in this event, but he is playing good enough that he can change that.

Rafael Cabrera-Bello

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
T22 T9 T14 T40 T26 T30

Has been knocking on the door all year, is a good long shot for this week.

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
First time playing in this event

Long shots that could come through:

Ross Fisher

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
T46 T42 T26 T46 T13 T42

Has had a solid fall including three runner-up finishes.

Tyrrell Hatton

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
T13 T6

A win just six weeks ago, he can do well this week.

Alejandro Canizares

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
T22 T14 T36 46

He can do well on this course and was T-3rd last week in South Africa.

Just has not done well enough the last six months:

Danny Willett

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
T4 T21 T26 T55 58

Has been terrible since the BMW PGA Championship other than a runner-up at the Italian Open. Can’t see him getting his game back but one thing to think about, after opening up at the Nedbank with rounds of 75-74, he finishing with a 67-69 so maybe he found something last weekend.

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