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BlogDubai Classic Preview and Picks

Omega Dubai Desert Classic

January 23rd – 26th, 2020

Emirates G.C.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Par: 72 / Yardage: 7,328

Purse: $3.25 million

with $530,210 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Bryson DeChambeau

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

This week’s field includes:

The field includes 30 of the top 100 and 16 of the top 50 in the latest Official World Rankings, with one top-10 in the field: #10 Tommy Fleetwood, #14 Louis Oosthuizen, #17 Bryson DeChambeau, #19 Shane Lowry, #22 Bernd Wiesberger, #24 Matthew Fitzpatrick, #26 Henrik Stenson, #29 Lee Westwood, #31 Danny Willett, #36 Shugo Imahira, #37 Matt Wallace, #38 Jazz Janewattananond, #41 Victor Perez, #42 Sergio Garcia, #43 Rafael Cabrera Bello and #50 Ian Poulter.

Last year 14 top-50 players were in the field.

The field includes 17 of the Top-25 on the final Race to Dubai standings for 2020.  Those players are #1 Lee Westwood, #2 Branden Grace, #3 Victor Perez, #3 Tommy Fleetwood, #3 Matthew Fitzpatrick, #6 Louis Oosthuizen, #7 Pablo Larrazabal, #8 Rasmus Hojgaard,  #11 Renato Paratore, #12 Shaun Norris, #13 Ross Fisher,  #17 Bernd Wiesberger, #17 Martin Kaymer, #17 Scott Jamieson, #17 Sergio Garcia, #23 Jack Singh Brar and #25 Zander Lombard.

The field includes 11 past champions: Bryson DeChambeau – 2019, Haotong Li – 2018, Sergio Garcia -2017, Danny Willett – 2016,  Stephen Gallacher – 2014 & ’13, Rafael Cabrera-Bello – 2012, Alvaro Quiro – 2011, Miguel Angel Jimenez – 2010, Henrik Stenson – 2007, Thomas Bjorn – 2001 and David Howell – 1999.

A perfect way for fantasy golfers to check on the past performance of all the players in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic field is our performance chart listed by the 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 the Omega Dubai Desert Classic in the last five years or check out our sortable 8-year glance at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.

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 Omega Dubai Desert Classic

Player Abu Dhabi South African Sentry TofC Australian PGA Mauritius Open Dunhill Champ. DP World, Dubai Nedbank Challenge RSM Classic Turkish Airlines Mayakoba Classic WGC HSBC Champions Portugal Masters
Louis Oosthuizen
(235 pts)
5
(70)
2
(100)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T20
(15)
T6
(20)
DNP DNP DNP 3
(30)
DNP
Tommy Fleetwood
(194 pts)
T2
(100)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP 2
(50)
Win
(44)
DNP DNP DNP T53
(0)
DNP
Victor Perez
(175 pts)
T2
(100)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T20
(15)
DNP DNP T2
(33.33)
DNP T4
(26.67)
DNP
Lee Westwood
(171.33 pts)
Win
(132)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T38
(6)
T6
(20)
DNP T10
(13.33)
DNP DNP T56
(0)
Matthew Fitzpatrick
(154.17 pts)
T2
(100)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP 9
(22.5)
T10
(13.33)
DNP DNP DNP 7
(18.33)
DNP
Andy Sullivan
(125.67 pts)
T21
(29)
T6
(60)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T10
(20)
61
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T8
(16.67)
Erik Van Rooyen
(121 pts)
T12
(38)
T22
(28)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T28
(11)
T30
(6.67)
DNP T2
(33.33)
DNP T38
(4)
DNP
Thomas Detry
(95.67 pts)
T55
(0)
T28
(22)
DNP DNP T4
(26.67)
DNP T28
(11)
T3
(30)
DNP T32
(6)
DNP DNP DNP
Paul Waring
(92.67 pts)
T12
(38)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T14
(18)
T24
(8.67)
DNP 16
(11.33)
DNP T8
(16.67)
DNP
Bernd Wiesberger
(91.67 pts)
T8
(50)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T28
(11)
T3
(30)
DNP 49
(0.33)
DNP T49
(0.33)
DNP
Renato Paratore
(87 pts)
T21
(29)
DNP DNP DNP T2
(33.33)
T19
(10.33)
DNP DNP DNP T36
(4.67)
DNP DNP T21
(9.67)
George Coetzee
(87 pts)
CUT
(-10)
T6
(60)
DNP DNP T21
(9.67)
T24
(8.67)
DNP T30
(6.67)
DNP 66
(0)
DNP DNP T14
(12)
Matthias Schwab
(83 pts)
T42
(8)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T20
(15)
DNP DNP T2
(33.33)
DNP T4
(26.67)
DNP
Sergio Garcia
(80 pts)
T8
(50)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T6
(30)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T53
(0)
DNP
Thomas Pieters
(80 pts)
T30
(20)
DNP DNP DNP T13
(12.33)
DNP T6
(30)
T30
(6.67)
DNP T17
(11)
DNP DNP DNP
Gavin Green
(74 pts)
T21
(29)
T15
(35)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T21
(9.67)
DNP T50
(0.33)
DNP DNP DNP
Shaun Norris
(74 pts)
T6
(60)
T36
(14)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Ross Fisher
(73.67 pts)
T6
(60)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T69
(0)
DNP DNP DNP T10
(13.33)
DNP DNP T49
(0.33)
Martin Kaymer
(73.33 pts)
T8
(50)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T21
(9.67)
DNP T38
(4)
DNP DNP T21
(9.67)
Scott Jamieson
(65.33 pts)
T8
(50)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T44
(2)
DNP T10
(13.33)
DNP DNP DNP
Mike Lorenzo-Vera
(65 pts)
T34
(16)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP 3
(45)
T52
(0)
DNP DNP DNP T38
(4)
DNP
Brandon Stone
(64.67 pts)
T21
(29)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T13
(12.33)
T59
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T2
(33.33)
Benjamin Hebert
(64.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP T4
(26.67)
DNP T38
(6)
T24
(8.67)
DNP T2
(33.33)
DNP T65
(0)
DNP
Kurt Kitayama
(64.33 pts)
T34
(16)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP 48
(1)
T30
(6.67)
DNP T2
(33.33)
DNP T28
(7.33)
DNP
Wade Ormsby
(64 pts)
T51
(0)
DNP DNP T3
(60)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T38
(4)
DNP DNP DNP
Robert MacIntyre
(64 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T14
(18)
T8
(16.67)
DNP T7
(18.33)
DNP T17
(11)
DNP
Rafael Cabrera-Bello
(64 pts)
T12
(38)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T20
(15)
T17
(11)
DNP DNP DNP T57
(0)
DNP
Jack Singh Brar
(63.33 pts)
T12
(38)
DNP DNP DNP T38
(4)
T36
(4.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T8
(16.67)
Jayden Trey Schaper
(62.67 pts)
DNP T6
(60)
DNP DNP DNP T42
(2.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Marcus Kinhult
(61.33 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T16
(17)
2
(33.33)
DNP T17
(11)
DNP DNP DNP
Zander Lombard
(60 pts)
T34
(16)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T26
(8)
T7
(18.33)
DNP T8
(16.67)
DNP T17
(11)
DNP 72
(0)
DNP
Jorge Campillo
(57 pts)
T34
(16)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T18
(16)
T13
(12.33)
DNP T28
(7.33)
DNP T34
(5.33)
DNP
Jason Scrivener
(56.33 pts)
T59
(0)
DNP DNP WD
(-3.33)
DNP DNP T10
(20)
T3
(30)
DNP T21
(9.67)
DNP DNP DNP
Tom Lewis
(55 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T6
(30)
T13
(12.33)
DNP T32
(6)
DNP DNP T8
(16.67)
Romain Langasque
(52 pts)
T34
(16)
DNP DNP DNP T26
(8)
DNP T40
(5)
T30
(6.67)
DNP 9
(15)
DNP T46
(1.33)
DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

Who’s Not Hot in the field for the Omega Dubai Desert Classic

Player Abu Dhabi South African Sentry TofC Australian PGA Mauritius Open Dunhill Champ. DP World, Dubai Nedbank Challenge RSM Classic Turkish Airlines Mayakoba Classic WGC HSBC Champions Portugal Masters
Raphael Jacquelin
(-26.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Richard McEvoy
(-26.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T49
(0.33)
David Howell
(-25 pts)
73
(0)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
WD
(-1.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Callum Shinkwin
(-23.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
James Morrison
(-20 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP T55
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Chris Wood
(-20 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP 68
(0)
Dean Burmester
(-14.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T14
(12)
Viktor Hovland
(-13.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP
Maximilian Kieffer
(-13.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Alexander Levy
(-13.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)

How Player Rankings are Computed

The Buzz:

This event has always been one of the richest on the European Tour ever since it was first played in 1989.  Dubai is known for its wealth, it’s skyline is something out of a futuristic science fiction movie and you can buy just about anything known to humans, with the exception of alcohol which is scarce because of religious beliefs.  Over the course of the last 30 years, this event has taken a bite on whatever west coast event is played on the PGA Tour, those that run Dubai would pay top dollar for the best players in the world.  But things have changed in the last six years, Abu Dhabi seems to have more money, is double the purse and a Rolex event and is doing a better job of getting better fields.  But even next week with Saudi International it seems that Dubai just isn’t at the same level in paying for star players.  For the first time ever last year, there were no top-ten players, that is different this year as #10 Tommy Fleetwood is in the field.   As for American’s in the field, Bryson DeChambeau is the best American player in a field and that is because he is the defending champion.  Other marquee names in the field are Sergio Garia, Ian Poulter, Henrik Stenson, and last week’s winner Lee Westwood.

Course Information 
  • Played at the Emirates Golf Club
  • Doha, Qatar – Par:  72 / Yardage: 7,353
  • Emirates Golf Club, not only hosts the Omega Dubai Desert Classic but also will hole for woman the Omega Dubai Moonlight Classic in May.  It was the first all-grass championship golf course in the Middle East when it opened in 1988. The club is part of a 54 hole facility with the Faldo Course and the Creek Course, which held this tournament in 1999 and 2000.
  • The Emirates course was designed by Florida architect Karl Litten and lie amongst a plethora of sand dunes, on a site originally donated by Sheikh Mohammed Rashid Al Maktoum, on whose instructions was that the desert flora was maintained in its natural state. Within a year of opening, the newly christened Majlis hosted the inaugural Dubai Desert Classic in February 1989.  The sprinklers on the Majlis course keep the Bermuda grass growing, alongside the indigenous desert flora, giving a picturesque contrast. The lush fairways and large greens provide a formidable test of golf, guaranteeing a magnificent finish on the 18th hole, a long dog-leg, which has seen as many inspirational finishes as watery disasters in its 20-year history.  Other course highlights include the par-three 7th and the grueling par four 8th.
  • There are 5 lakes dotted around the course with water coming into play on seven holes.  There are only 41 bunkers on the course but something a bit unique, five greens with no bunkers guarding them.  There isn’t that much rough but if you hit it off the fairway you could find yourself in desert scrub which is sometimes harder to hit out of than rough.  The course is always in great shape and in a way follows the same creed as Augusta National in which the staff works hard to maintain this course in a manner that many feel it’s always the best-manicured course on the European Tour.
  • Just like last week in Abu Dhabi, the key to playing the course is to have windless conditions.  If by chance the area is hit by the Shamal winds it makes the course very tough, but this event has never suffered any weather problems.  In looking at the weather forecast, there is only a 10% percent chance of rain with temperatures in the low 80s, but each day is going to be windy with the weekend seeing winds up to 25 mph

DraftKings Tips

Looking for some good picks at Abu Dhabi

*Of the 132 in the field, 108 have played at least once at Dubai.

Here are the players that have played in two or more Dubai’s and had the most under par totals since 2015:
  • Henrik Stenson is 62 under in 18 rounds, playing 5 years
  • Bernd Wiesberger is 45 under in 18 rounds, playing 5 years
  • Rafael Cabrera-Bello is 45 under in 16 rounds, playing 5 years
  • Sergio Garcia is 45 under in 14 rounds, playing 4 years
  • Martin Kaymer is 44 under in 18 rounds, playing 5 years
  • Alvaro Quiros is 40 under in 16 rounds, playing 5 years
  • Haotong Li is 40 under in 12 rounds, playing 3 years
  • Ian Poulter is 39 under in 12 rounds, playing 3 years
  • Andy Sullivan is 37 under in 16 rounds, playing 5 years
  • Lee Westwood is 37 under in 16 rounds, playing 5 years
  • Haydn Porteous is 34 under in 14 rounds, playing 4 years
  • Jason Scrivener is 34 under in 12 rounds, playing 3 years
  • Stephen Gallacher is 34 under in 18 rounds, playing 5 years
  • Alexander Levy is 33 under in 18 rounds, playing 5 years
  • Andrew Johnston is 33 under in 16 rounds, playing 4 years
  • Ross Fisher is 33 under in 18 rounds, playing 5 years
  • Tommy Fleetwood is 33 under in 18 rounds, playing 5 years
*Here are the ones with the best under par totals averaging it per years played (2 or more starts)
  • Alexander Bjork is 28 under playing 2 years (-14.00)
  • Matt Wallace is 28 under playing 2 years (-14.00)
  • Haotong Li is 40 under playing 3 years (-13.33)
  • Ian Poulter is 39 under playing 3 years (-13.00)
  • Henrik Stenson is 62 under playing 5 years (-12.40)
  • Jason Scrivener is 34 under playing 3 years (-11.33)
  • Sergio Garcia is 45 under playing 4 years (-11.25)
  • Dean Burmester is 21 under playing 2 years (-10.50)
  • Bernd Wiesberger is 45 under playing 5 years (-9.00)
  • Rafael Cabrera-Bello is 45 under playing 5 years (-9.00)
  • Martin Kaymer is 44 under playing 5 years (-8.80)
  • Haydn Porteous is 34 under playing 4 years (-8.50)
  • Andrew Johnston is 33 under playing 4 years (-8.25)
  • Alvaro Quiros is 40 under playing 5 years (-8.00)
  • Shubhankar Sharma is 16 under playing 2 years (-8.00)
  • Thomas Aiken is 31 under playing 4 years (-7.75)
  • Chris Wood is 23 under playing 3 years (-7.67)
  • Andy Sullivan is 37 under playing 5 years (-7.40)
  • Lee Westwood is 37 under playing 5 years (-7.40)
  • Danny Willett is 28 under playing 4 years (-7.00)

Historical ParBreakers

Here is a look at those playing this week looking at those making the most eagles and birdies:

So it makes sense that the top players on this list are guys that will make lot’s of points this week

*Here are the guys that are very costly this week:
  • Tommy Fleetwood – $11,300
  • Matthew Fitzpatrick – $10,900
  • Louis Oosthuizen – $10,700
  • Sergio Garcia – $10,200
  • Henrik Stenson – $10,000
  • Bryce DeChambeau – $9,800
  • Bernd Wiesberger – $9,600
  • Shane Lowry – $9,500
  • Lee Westwood – $9,400
  • Victor Perez – $9,300
  • Jazz Janewattananond – $9,200
  • Thomas Pieters – $9,100
  • Haotong Li – $9,000

Hard choices to make because most of the marquee names are top dollars and in most cases are worth the high cost.  A good example is Tommy Fleetwood at $11,300, yes in his last three events he won Nedbank, and finished 2nd a the DP World Dubai and last week at Abu Dhabi.  On the surface, this looks like a superstar, but when you look at his record in Dubai, in 8 starts he only has two top-tens his best was T-6th in 2018 and last year was T-16th.  So you have to wonder if the course is ok for him.  As for Matthew Fitzpatrick at $10,900, he too has played well of late including a runner-up last week in Abu Dhabi but in five starts in Dubai, he only has one top-ten and that was a T-5th in 2017.  Last year he was T-16th and in 2018 missed the cut.  So you have to wonder about him also.  Then you have Louis Oosthuizen at $10,700, he too has played great of late, was 2nd at the Australian Open, 2nd in the South African Open and 5th last week in Abu Dhabi.  But he has been terrible in Dubai, he finished T-7th in 2009 but since then only played three times the last two he missed the cut in 2018 and 2016.  So you can’t bet $10,700 on him.  So your first good person is Sergio Garcia at $10,200 who has won at Dubai in 2017 and was T-3rd last year.  He has been Ok of late, was T-8th last week in Abu Dhabi and won the KLM back in October so you have your first true pick.  Henrik Stenson at $10,000 is another choice, he has played great in Dubai winning in 2007 but he was runner-up in 2017 and despite missing the cut last year was injured.  Over the course of his last five starts in Dubai even with the missed cut, he is 60 under par in Dubai so yes he is a good pick.  Now defending champion Bryce DeChambeau is $9,800 and frankly, you don’t want to take him.  He is messing with his weight and his swing, he missed the cut last week in Abu Dhabi and frankly we better wait and see what he comes up with before we venture a dime on him.  Bernd Wiesberger at $9,600 is a lot of money for a player who I can’t trust, last week he was in the running going into the last day but shot 72 and finished T-8th.  He once finished T-4th in Dubai in 2016 but missed the cut last year so it’s best not to mess around with him.  You may not want to mess around with Shane Lowry at $9,500, he missed the cut last week in Abu Dhabi now you can say he was jet lag from his trip from Hong Kong but I still wonder about him.  Lee Westwood at $9,400 is hot after his win last week and he has played well in Dubai, so yes he is worth the money.  Now many won’t know much about Victor Perez who is $9,300 and many will say he isn’t worth it, think twice he is worth it.  He came to know with his win at the Dunhill Links in September and since then was runner-up in the Turkish Open and last week in Abu Dhabi along with a T-4th at the WGC-HSBC Champions so I would say he is worth the money.  Another player to think about is Jazz Janewattananond at $9,200, he plays mostly on the Asian Tour and in the last month, he won the Indonesian Masters, the Thailand Masters and was 4th at the Hong Kong Open and 3rd at the Singapore Open.  He got his five minutes of fame back in May when he held his own in finishing 14th at the PGA Championship so have to say he is a toss-up but worth the cost, even though he has never played in Dubai.  Thomas Pieters is $9,100 and has to say not very excited over him, yes he won the Czech Masters in September but frankly, he hasn’t shown much since and he still hasn’t gotten into the top-ten in five Dubai starts.  Then you have Haotong Li at $9,000, yes he won in 2018 and was T-12th last year but hasn’t done much on the European Tour since I have to take a pass on him.

So we have to find a couple of good picks in the $7,500 to $8,900 range. 

Off the bat, I like Rafael Cabrera-Bello at $8,900.  He has been playing well of late and even though he missed the cut last year in Dubai, it was T-6th in 2018, T-11th in 2017 and T-2nd in 2016.  Now it may be time to be thinking of Martin Kaymer who is $8,800.  He played good in Abu Dhabi and has played well in Dubai, he has brought his game back and he is someone to watch in the future.  Another person to watch is Robert MacIntyre who is $8,400 and has played well of late.  He was T-14th in Abu Dhabi last week but before that had three top-tens in the last previous four starts.  He hasn’t played in Dubai, but the price is worth the gamble.  Paul Waring at $8,300 is another worth the gamble, he finished T-3rd last year and has been very solid for six months finishing T-12th at Abu Dhabi last week.  Another great buy is Matt Wallace at $7,800.  He was 2nd last year in Dubai and has been solid on the European Tour since September.  Also, like Ian Poulter at $7,700.  Yes, he missed the cut last week in Abu Dhabi, but finished T-3rd last year in Dubai and is cheap so worth the gamble.  My last gamble is Ross Fisher at $7,600, he has played solidly in Dubai and was T-6th last week in Abu Dhabi.

Who are the “Bargains” out there?

Our first “bargain” has to be Jason Scrivener at $7,400.  He finished T7th at Dubai last year and T-6th in 2018, he has been solid of late and worth the money.  I also like Shaun Norris at $7,300, in his first Dubai last year finished T-61st but he was T-6th in Abu Dhabi and had played great in Japan winning in October and since September has three runner-up finishes and a total of nine top-ten in 13 starts.  While we are looking very surprised to see Wade Ormsby at $7,300, he won the Hong Kong Open two weeks ago and was T-51st in Abu Dhabi, which has started eight times in Dubai without a top-25 which could be a concern, but you never know.  Now while we are seeing bargains, some more we have George Coetzee at $7,300, he has two top-tens at Dubai the last being a T-7th in 2017 he won in South Africa in November.  The last bargain is Lucas Herbert at $6,700, he finished T-7th last year in Dubai and has played Ok this year, he was T-67th in Abu Dhabi last week.

Here are some of the secrets of what it takes to play well at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic:

The key stat for the winner:
  • What is the key stat that helps players win in Dubai?  It seems that hitting lots of greens is very important.  Of the last ten winners going back to 2009, all of them were in the top-19 (except for 2018 winner Haotong Li was T-46th).  Last year Bryson DeChambeau was T-2nd hitting 58 of 72, in 2017 Sergio Garcia was first hitting 59. Rafael Cabrera-Bello in 2012 also led that stat hitting 61 the best of anyone.  Stephen Gallacher was 12th in both his wins in 2013 and 2014.  In 2015 Rory McIlroy hit 60 of 72 greens and ranked T-5th so it’s important that the winner hits lots of greens.  The following year Danny Willett was the worst of the pack, hitting 56 of 72 greens to rank T-19th.
Here are some more key stats to look to for this week:
  • The Dubai Desert Classic has been known as a tournament that produces low scores as the winner has had an average score of 17 under par.  Last year Bryson DeChambeau went low at 24 under, in 2018 Haotong Li went low at 23 under. In 2015 Rory McIlroy was 22 under while in 2016 Danny Willett was 19 under the same score that 2017 champion Sergio Garcia had.  Again watch the winds, that have a lot to do with the scoring.
  • You can’t call this course a long hitters paradise.  Yes, Alvaro Quiros won in 2011 averaging the best of those in the field and the same with Rory McIlroy in 2015.  In 2017 Garcia was T-2nd but the other winners have been in the middle in hitting it long.  Also hitting fairways is not very important and only one winner in the last seven years has been in the top-25 of this stat.  In 2015 Rory hit only 25 fairways and ranked T-65th while in 2016 champion Danny Willett ranked 10th in driving distance and he hit 31 fairways which ranked T-38th.  Last year Sergio Garcia had the best driving week of any champion hitting 39 fairways ranking T-2nd and driving it and average of 305 yards which ranked 3rd.  Last year DeChambeau was T-18th in fairways hit and T-26th in driving distance while in 2018 Li was T-14th in driving distance and T-43rd in fairways hit.
  • Mastering the par 5s is the key, last year DeChambeau played them the best at 14 under, in 2018 Haotong Li played them the best at 13 under.  2015 winner Rory McIlroy may have only been 10 under while in 2009 McIlory played them in 12 under.  In 2016 Danny Willett was 12 under on the par 5s while in 2017 Sergio was 9 under.
  • The only way that a winner goes over par in any single round is because of the wind.  Henrik Stenson in 2007 shot all four rounds in the 60s and it wasn’t until Sergio did it in 2017  Last year Haotong Li was in the 60s all four rounds.   Only 3 champions (Alvaro Quiros 73, 1st rd in 2011, Tiger Woods 73, 3rd rd in 2008 and Jose Coceres 73, 4th round in 2000) have had a single round over par and that was on a day of high winds.

Who to watch for at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic

Best Bets:

Sergio Garcia

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T3 T32 Win CUT T17 T20 T11 T19

Can’t remember the last time he was my favorite in a tournament but he has the best record coming into this event plus a great record in Dubai.

Lee Westwood

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T7 CUT T23 CUT T9 T5 T2 T15 2 T39 T10

Gained a lot of momentum with his win last week, think it can carry over for him to get a double dipper.

Victor Perez

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T29

Found himself with his win in St. Andrews he has played great including a runner-up last week in Abu Dhabi.

Best of the rest:

Tommy Fleetwood

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T16 T6 CUT T50 T47 CUT T10 T57

His game is great right now, in his last three starts has a win and two runner-ups. Only problem he has struggled on the Emirates course but has gotten better in his last two starts.

Matthew Fitzpatrick

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T16 CUT T5 T45 CUT

Has played well of late including a runner-up last week in Abu Dhabi but in five starts in Dubai he only has one top-ten and that was a T-5th in 2017. Last year he was T-16th and in 2018 missed the cut.

Henrik Stenson

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
CUT T6 2 T6 T13 T29 T26 T20 CUT T8 3 T6

Has a great record in Dubai, remember he was a winner just a month ago in the Bahamas so anything is possible.

Jazz Janewattananond

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
First time playing in this event

Has been great in Asia over the last month, but will his game carry over to Dubai.

Rafael Cabrera-Bello

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
CUT T6 T11 T2 CUT T41 T17 Win T20 CUT

He has been playing well of late and even though he missed the cut last year in Dubai, was T-6th in 2018, T-11th in 2017.

Solid contenders

Matt Wallace

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
2 T37

Was 2nd last year at Dubai and has been solid on the European Tour since September.

Shane Lowry

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T12 CUT CUT T66 CUT

Yes he missed the cut last week but it could have been jet lag after his trip from Hong Kong.

Jason Scrivener

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T7 T6 T39

Finished T7th at Dubai last year and T-6th in 2018.

Ross Fisher

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T24 T45 CUT T26 T20 CUT T66 T10 T11 T13 T10

Played solidly in Dubai and was T-6th last week in Abu Dhabi.

Ian Poulter

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T3 T6 T15 T39

Yes he missed the cut last week in Abu Dhabi, but finished T-3rd last year at Dubai.

Long shots that could come through:

Robert MacIntyre

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
First time playing in this event

Was T-14th in Abu Dhabi last week but before that had three top-tens in last previous four starts.

Shaun Norris

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T61

In his first Dubai last year finished T-61st but he was T-6th in Abu Dhabi last week and had played great in Japan winning in October and since September has three runner-up finishes and a total of nine top-ten in 13 starts.

Lucas Herbert

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T7

Finished T-7th last year in Dubai and has played Ok this year, he was T-67th in Abu Dhabi last week.

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
First time playing in this event

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