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BlogDubai Desert Classic Preview and Picks

Omega Dubai Desert Classic

January 28th – 31st, 2021

Emirates G.C.

Dubai, UAE

Par: 72 / Yardage: 7,353

Purse: $3.25 million

with $541,660 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Lucas Herbert

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

This week’s field includes:

The field includes 28 of the top 100 and 13 of the top 50 in the latest Official World Rankings, with two top-10s in the field: #4 Collin Morikawa and #5 Tyrrell Hatton.  Here is the rest of the top-100 in the field  #18 Matthew Fitzpatrick, #19 Tommy Fleetwood, #27 Paul Casey, #34 Victor Perez, #35 Christiaan Bezuidenhout, #36 Shane Lowry, #37 Lee Westwood, #38 Justin Rose, #42 Bernd Wiesberger, #45 Sergio Garcia, #49 Matt Wallace, #51 Ian Poulter, #53 Andy Sullivan, #66 Danny Willett, #68 Lucas Herbert, #69 Sami Valimaki, #70 Henrik Stenson, #74 Aaron Rai, #81 Thomas Pieters, #83 Rafa Cabrera Bello, #84 Martin Kaymer, #86 Thomas Detry, #90 George Coetzee, #92 Rasmus Hojgaard, #93 Jazz Janewattananond and #94 Garrick Higgo.

Last year 16 top-50 players were in the field.

The field includes 19 of the Top-25 on the final Race to Dubai standings for 2020.  Those players are #1 Lee Westwood, #2 Matthew Fitzpatrick, #4 Tommy Fleetwood, #5 Collin Morikawa,  #6 Victor Perez, #7 Christiaan Bezuidenhout, #8 Aaron Rai, #9 Tyrrell Hatton, #11 Sami Valimaki, #12 Andy Sullivan, #14 Lucas Herbert, #16 Rasmus Hojgaard, #17 Paul Casey, #18 Thomas Detry, #19 Laurie Canter,  #21 Renato Paratore, #23 Robert Macintyre, #24 Martin Kaymer and #25 Adrian Otaegui.

The field includes 12 past champions: Lucas Herbert – 2020, 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, Ernie Els – 2005, ’02 & 1994, 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 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 American Express Sony Open Sentry T of C. Mayakoba Golf Classic RSM Classic DP World, Dubai South African Open Golf in Dubai Alfred Dunhill Joburg Open Masters
Tyrrell Hatton
(159.33 pts)
Win
(132)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T23
(9)
T8
(25)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
Collin Morikawa
(134 pts)
DNP DNP T7
(55)
T7
(55)
DNP DNP T10
(20)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T44
(4)
Matt Wallace
(105.83 pts)
T7
(55)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T37
(4.33)
T29
(10.5)
DNP T2
(33.33)
DNP DNP T46
(2.67)
Tommy Fleetwood
(100 pts)
T7
(55)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T37
(4.33)
T10
(20)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T19
(20.67)
Jason Scrivener
(100 pts)
2
(100)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Antoine Rozner
(99.67 pts)
T16
(34)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T36
(7)
T51
(0)
Win
(44)
T36
(4.67)
T20
(10)
DNP
Marc Warren
(97.33 pts)
T5
(70)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T32
(9)
T45
(1.67)
T8
(16.67)
DNP DNP DNP
Andy Sullivan
(95 pts)
T25
(25)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T10
(20)
T6
(20)
T2
(33.33)
DNP DNP DNP
George Coetzee
(78.17 pts)
11
(39)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T29
(10.5)
T6
(20)
DNP T24
(8.67)
DNP DNP
Rafael Cabrera-Bello
(76.67 pts)
4
(80)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T54
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T51
(0)
Bernd Wiesberger
(75.33 pts)
T25
(25)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T4
(26.67)
T36
(7)
DNP T8
(16.67)
DNP DNP 58
(0)
David Lipsky
(70 pts)
T5
(70)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Christiaan Bezuidenhout
(69 pts)
T12
(38)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T14
(18)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T15
(11.67)
T38
(8)
Danny Willett
(63 pts)
T16
(34)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T32
(9)
DNP T30
(6.67)
DNP DNP T25
(16.67)
Paul Casey
(58 pts)
DNP T8
(50)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T38
(8)
Robert MacIntyre
(57.83 pts)
T16
(34)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T23
(13.5)
DNP T19
(10.33)
DNP DNP DNP
Matthew Fitzpatrick
(55.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Win
(66)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T46
(2.67)
Chris Paisley
(55 pts)
T7
(55)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T57
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Lee Westwood
(54.67 pts)
T62
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
2
(50)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T38
(8)
Adri Arnaus
(51.33 pts)
T12
(38)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T10
(20)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Fabrizio Zanotti
(48.33 pts)
T7
(55)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Scott Jamieson
(45 pts)
T16
(34)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T48
(1)
DNP DNP DNP T20
(10)
DNP
Mike Lorenzo-Vera
(42.33 pts)
T41
(9)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T2
(33.33)
DNP DNP DNP
Wilco Nienaber
(42.17 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T23
(13.5)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T24
(8.67)
2
(33.33)
DNP
Sergio Garcia
(42 pts)
DNP DNP T47
(3)
T11
(39)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Mikko Korhonen
(41.67 pts)
15
(35)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T30
(6.67)
DNP DNP DNP
Stephen Gallacher
(40.67 pts)
T16
(34)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T30
(6.67)
DNP DNP DNP
Joachim B. Hansen
(39.17 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T43
(3.5)
T45
(1.67)
DNP DNP Win
(44)
DNP
Wade Ormsby
(38 pts)
T12
(38)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Pablo Larrazabal
(35 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T48
(1)
DNP DNP Win
(44)
DNP DNP
Victor Perez
(34.17 pts)
T46
(4)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP 7
(27.5)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T46
(2.67)
Romain Langasque
(34 pts)
T16
(34)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Sami Valimaki
(34 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T5
(35)
T51
(0)
T13
(12.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP
Kristoffer Broberg
(34 pts)
T16
(34)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Nacho Elvira
(34 pts)
T16
(34)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Laurie Canter
(33.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T5
(35)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T14
(12)
DNP DNP
Jayden Trey Schaper
(33.33 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T6
(20)
DNP T42
(2.67)
T18
(10.67)
DNP
Benjamin Hebert
(30.67 pts)
T16
(34)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T61
(0)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP
Richard Sterne
(30.33 pts)
T25
(25)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T14
(12)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Connor Syme
(29.33 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T36
(7)
T22
(9.33)
DNP T11
(13)
DNP DNP
Jazz Janewattananond
(29.33 pts)
T25
(25)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T57
(0)
DNP T37
(4.33)
DNP DNP T51
(0)
Brandon Stone
(26.83 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T23
(13.5)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T59
(0)
T4
(26.67)
DNP
Callum Shinkwin
(25.33 pts)
T35
(15)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T36
(7)
CUT
(-3.33)
T30
(6.67)
DNP DNP DNP
Aaron Rai
(25.33 pts)
T25
(25)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T51
(0)
DNP T50
(0.33)
DNP DNP DNP
Victor Dubuisson
(25 pts)
T25
(25)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

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

Player Abu Dhabi American Express Sony Open Sentry T of C. Mayakoba Golf Classic RSM Classic DP World, Dubai South African Open Golf in Dubai Alfred Dunhill Joburg Open Masters
Graeme McDowell
(-22.5 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T59
(0)
WD
(-2.5)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
Oliver Fisher
(-20 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Raphael Jacquelin
(-20 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
David Law
(-16.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T59
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Chris Wood
(-16.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP
David Howell
(-15 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP WD
(-1.67)
DNP DNP
Richard McEvoy
(-14 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T42
(2.67)
DNP
Shubhankar Sharma
(-13.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Guido Migliozzi
(-13.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP
Ross Mcgowan
(-13.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T73
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP

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. Its skyline is something out of a futuristic science fiction movie. You can buy just about anything known to humans, except for alcohol, which is scarce because of religious beliefs.  Over 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 seven years, Abu Dhabi has more money to spend, plus its purse is double that of Dubai and a Rolex event, so it’s doing a better job of getting better fields.  But even next week with the Saudi International, it seems that Dubai isn’t at the same level in paying for star players.  The field this year is probably the best it’s had in a while.   As for American’s in the field, PGA Champion Collin Morikawa is the best American player in the field.  Other marquee names in the field are Tommy Fleetwood, Paul Casey, Justin Rose, Shane Lowry, Lee Westwood, Sergio Garia, Ian Poulter, Henrik Stenson, and last week’s winner Tyrrell Hatton.

  • Course Information 
  • Played at the Emirates Golf Club
  • Doha, Qatar – Par:  72 / Yardage: 7,353

Emirates Golf Club hosted the Omega Dubai Desert Classic and held for women the Omega Dubai Moonlight Classic last November, won by Minjee Lee.  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 lies amongst a plethora of sand dunes, on a site donated initially by Sheikh Mohammed Rashid Al Maktoum. The instructions were 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 Majlis course’s sprinklers keep the Bermuda grass growing, alongside the indigenous desert flora, giving a dramatic contrast. The lush fairways and large greens provide a formidable golf test, 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 five 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, follow 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 the Shamal winds hit the area by chance, 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 5% percent chance of rain with temperatures in the low 80s, but each day will be windy, with the weekend seeing winds up to 15 mph.

DraftKings Tips

Looking for some good picks at Abu Dhabi

*Of the 132 in the field, 114 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:

  • Haotong Li is 30 under in 14 rounds playing 4 years.
  • Lucas Herbert is 24 under in 8 rounds playing 2 years.
  • Thorbjorn Olesen is 46 under in 18 rounds playing 5 years.
  • Matt Wallace is 19 under in 10 rounds playing 3 years.
  • Ernie Els is 33 under in 14 rounds playing 4 years.
  • Thomas Pieters is 29 under in 22 rounds playing 6 years.
  • Sergio Garcia is 47 under in 18 rounds playing 5 years.
  • Lee Westwood is 32 under in 20 rounds playing 6 years.
  • Tyrrell Hatton is 60 under in 20 rounds playing 5 years.
  • Tapio Pulkkanen is 11 under in 8 rounds playing 2 years.
  • Ian Poulter is 42 under in 16 rounds playing 4 years.
  • George Coetzee is 14 under in 18 rounds playing 6 years.
  • Grant Forrest is 3 under in 4 rounds playing 1 year.
  • Kalle Samooja is 14 under in 8 rounds playing 2 years.
  • Dean Burmester is 28 under in 12 rounds playing 3 years.
  • Alvaro Quiros is 35 under in 18 rounds playing 6 years.
  • Scott Hend is 22 under in 20 rounds playing 6 years.
  • Henrik Stenson is 60 under in 22 rounds playing 6 years.
  • Alexander Bjork is 24 under in 12 rounds playing 3 years.
  • Rafael Cabrera-Bello is 40 under in 18 rounds playing 6 years.
  • Christiaan Bezuidenhout is 10 under in 8 rounds playing 2 years.
  • Adri Arnaus is 17 under in 8 rounds playing 2 years.
  • Chris Paisley is 17 under in 16 rounds playing 5 years.
  • Shane Lowry is 18 under in 8 rounds playing 2 years.
  • Haydn Porteous is 30 under in 16 rounds playing 5 years.
  • Matthew Fitzpatrick is 25 under in 20 rounds playing 6 years.
  • Martin Kaymer is 47 under in 22 rounds playing 6 years.
*Here are the ones with the best under par totals averaging it per years played (2 or more starts)
  • Lucas Herbert is 24 under playing 2 years (-12.0)
  • Tyrrell Hatton is 60 under playing 5 years (-12.0)
  • Ian Poulter is 42 under playing 4 years (-10.5)
  • Henrik Stenson is 60 under playing 6 years (-10.0)
  • Sergio Garcia is 47 under playing 5 years (-9.4)
  • Dean Burmester is 28 under playing 3 years (-9.3)
  • Thorbjorn Olesen is 46 under playing 5 years (-9.2)
  • Shane Lowry is 18 under playing 2 years (-9.0)
  • Adri Arnaus is 17 under playing 2 years (-8.5)
  • Ernie Els is 33 under playing 4 years (-8.3)
  • Alexander Bjork is 24 under playing 3 years (-8.0)
  • Martin Kaymer is 47 under playing 6 years (-7.8)
  • Haotong Li is 30 under playing 4 years (-7.5)
  • Kalle Samooja is 14 under playing 2 years (-7.0)
  • Bernd Wiesberger is 41 under playing 6 years (-6.8)
  • Jason Scrivener is 27 under playing 4 years (-6.8)
  • Rafael Cabrera-Bello is 40 under playing 6 years (-6.7)
  • Justin Harding is 13 under playing 2 years (-6.5)
  • Victor Perez is 13 under playing 2 years (-6.5)
  • Romain Langasque is 13 under playing 2 years (-6.5)
  • Matt Wallace is 19 under playing 3 years (-6.3)
  • Tommy Fleetwood is 37 under playing 6 years (-6.2)
  • Haydn Porteous is 30 under playing 5 years (-6.0)
  • Andrew Johnston is 30 under playing 5 years (-6.0)
  • Alvaro Quiros is 35 under playing 6 years (-5.8)
  • Wu Ashun is 23 under playing 4 years (-5.8)
  • Tapio Pulkkanen is 11 under playing 2 years (-5.5)
  • Lee Westwood is 32 under playing 6 years (-5.3)
  • Andy Sullivan is 32 under playing 6 years (-5.3)
  • Christiaan Bezuidenhout is 10 under playing 2 years (-5.0)
  • Danny Willett is 25 under playing 5 years (-5.0)
  • Ross Fisher is 30 under playing 6 years (-5.0)
  • Thomas Pieters is 29 under playing 6 years (-4.8)
  • Stephen Gallacher is 28 under playing 6 years (-4.7)
  • David Lipsky is 28 under playing 6 years (-4.7)
  • Matthew Fitzpatrick is 25 under playing 6 years (-4.2)

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, our guys, will make lots of points this week.

DraftKings Tips

*Here are the guys that are very costly this week:

  • Tyrrell Hatton – $11,400
  • Collin Morikawa – $11,000
  • Tommy Fleetwood – $10,700
  • Christiaan Bezuidenhout – $10,400
  • Matthew Fitzpatrick – $10,100
  • Sergio Garcia – $9,900
  • Paul Casey – $9,700
  • Matt Wallace – $9,500
  • Shane Lowry – $9,300
  • Justin Rose – $9,100
  • Robert MacIntyre – $9,000

Hard choices to make because most of the top price players are marquee names and cost top dollars, and you have to go through the names to weed out who the top players were.  Last week in Abu Dhabi, Rory McIlroy, Tyrell Hatton, and Tommy Fleetwood finished high, but the rest of those over 9,000 points was a bust.  So we have to figure out who is just about guaranteed to do well and who will be a bust.  At the top of the list, Tyrrell Hattan at $11,400 is an excellent pick.  In his last 20 starts going back to November of 2019, he has won four times and finished in the top-ten, 11 times.  Yes, he has missed the cut three times at the PGA Championship, U.S. Open, and Masters, but other than that, his game is near perfect, only Dustin Johnson can be called better.  At Dubai, he finished T-3rd in 2018 and 2017, plus was T-8th in 2016, so he is a pick and probably will have a lot of people take him.  On the other end of the scale, we have a big choice in Collin Morikawa at $11,000.  In his last three starts was T-10th at DP World Dubai and was T-7th at Sentry T of C and Sony Open.  The only disadvantage for him, he has never played in this event.  But with his game getting sharp have to say he is another pick for you.  Tommy Fleetwood is $10,700, and frankly, I am taking a pass on him.  He finished T-7th at Abu Dhabi, but his game has struggled since finishing 2nd at the Scottish Open in September.  I also don’t like that Fleetwood seems to work on the Emirates course. In nine starts, only has two top-tens, the best a T-6th in 2018.  Last year he was T-11th.  At $10,400, Christiaan Bezuidenhout is high because he was runner-up last year and won twice in South Africa at the end of November.  He was T-12th the previous week in Abu Dhabi, and I am taking a pass on him.  Matthew Fitzpatrick at $10,100 is an easy no, he missed the cut last week and in six starts in Dubai only has one top-ten, a T-5th way back in 2017.  At $9,900, Sergio Garcia is way too high, yes he won at Dubai in 2017 and was T-3rd in 2019, but has struggled since winning the Sanderson Farms in the early part of October.  Paul Casey at $9,700 is too much money, his last start in Dubai was in 2014, he was T-9th.  His best in seven starts was T-4th in 2009.  Matt Wallace at $9,500 is also a no go because of his hight cost, yes he was 2nd in 2019 but missed the cut last year.  Shane Lowry is $9,300, and all I can say is a big no.  Since winning the Open Championship over 18 months ago, this man has struggled in Dubai and has only two top-ten finishes.  Last week he packed his bags early in missing the Abu Dhabi cut.  Now Justin Rose at $9,100, you can probably hear my face booming for Northern Virginia saying absolutely say no to Rose.  Now we won’t scream no as loud for Robert MacIntyre at $9,000, but it’s easy to say his price is way too much, just say no.

Two weeks ago, we introduced a new feature in which we help you decide which guys cut the most in a tournament.  The importance of picking six players that play 72 holes is vital in playing well in Draftkings, and this list will help.  It’s a look going back to 2010 on player performance at the Dubai Classic to see who has made the most cuts.  Of course, these players have a reputation for making many cuts, and some of these players are priced low, which is helpful.  To get on this list, you have to make at least three Dubai starts.:

  • Ian Poulter made 4 cuts in 4 for a 100.0%.  His DraftKings cost is 8,200
  • Jason Scrivener made 4 cuts in 4 for 100.0%.  His DraftKings cost is 7,800
  • Nino Bertasio made 4 cuts in 4 for 100.0%.  His DraftKings cost is 6,200
  • Alexander Bjork made 3 cuts in 3 for 100.0%.  His DraftKings cost is 7,100
  • Dean Burmester made 3 cuts in 3 for 100.0%.  His DraftKings cost is 7,500
  • Joachim B. Hansen made 3 cuts in 3 for a 100.0%.  His DraftKings cost is 7,000
  • Paul Casey made 3 cuts in 3 for a 100.0%.  His DraftKings cost is 9,700
  • Martin Kaymer made 8 cuts in 9 for an 88.9%.  His DraftKings cost is 8,300
  • Scott Jamieson made 8 cuts in 9 for an 88.9%.  His DraftKings cost is 7,200
  • Sergio Garcia made 6 cuts in 7 for 85.7%.  His DraftKings cost is 9,900
  • David Lipsky made 5 cuts in 6 for 83.3%.  His DraftKings cost is 7,600
  • Thomas Pieters made 5 cuts in 6 for 83.3%.  His DraftKings cost is 8,700
  • Tyrrell Hatton made 5 cuts in 6 for 83.3%.  His DraftKings cost is 11,400
  • Henrik Stenson made 9 cuts in 11 for an 81.8%.  His DraftKings cost is 8,100
  • Stephen Gallacher made 9 cuts in 11 for an 81.8%.  His DraftKings cost is 7,000
  • Lee Westwood made 8 cuts in 10 for an 80.0%.  His DraftKings cost is 8,800
  • Andrew Johnston made 4 cuts in 5 for 80.0%.  His DraftKings cost is 7,200
  • Chris Wood made 7 cuts in 9 for a 77.8%.  His DraftKings cost is 6,100
  • Jorge Campillo made 7 cuts in 9 for a 77.8%.  His DraftKings cost is 6,600
  • Nicolas Colsaerts made 7 cuts in 9 for a 77.8%.  His DraftKings cost is 6,700
  • Thorbjorn Olesen made 7 cuts in 9 for a 77.8%.  His DraftKings cost is 7,400
  • Tommy Fleetwood made 7 cuts in 9 for a 77.8%.  His DraftKings cost is 10,700
  • Haotong Li made 3 cuts in 4 for a 75.0%.  His DraftKings cost is 7,300
  • Matthew Southgate made 3 cuts in 4 for a 75.0%.  His DraftKings cost is 6,700
  • Mikko Korhonen made 3 cuts in 4 for a 75.0%.  His DraftKings cost is 7,300
  • Thomas Detry made 3 cuts in 4 for a 75.0%.  His DraftKings cost is 7,700
  • Wu Ashun made 3 cuts in 4 for a 75.0%.  His DraftKings cost is 6,300
  • Alexander Levy made 5 cuts in 7 for a 71.4%.  His DraftKings cost is 7,100
  • Alvaro Quiros made 7 cuts in 10 for a 70.0%.  His DraftKings cost is 6,300
  • Bernd Wiesberger made 7 cuts in 10 for a 70.0%.  His DraftKings cost is 8,500
  • Danny Willett made 7 cuts in 10 for a 70.0%.  His DraftKings cost is 7,800
  • Ross Fisher made 7 cuts in 10 for a 70.0%.  His DraftKings cost is 7,400

(The ones in bold are what I think is a great bargain.)

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

Off the bat is a hard choice with Andy Sullivan at $8,900.  He is a Jekyll and Hyde in Dubai, just look at his record.  Starting with last year, he was disqualified and missed the 2019 cut.  Then was 6th in 2018 but missed the cut the previous year.  In 2017 he was T-2nd and T-4th in 2016 but missed the cut in 2015.  He hasn’t played since November, I say no to him.  I also am not a fan of Lee Westwood at $8,800 or Victor Perez at $8,600 just because they haven’t shown me much.  Now the first player in this category that I do like is Rafael Cabrera-Bello at $8,400.  He played great last week in Abu Dhabi and has won in the past at Dubai.  Yes, missed the cut the previous two years but finished T-6th in 2018.  I have mixed feelings with Ian Poulter at $8,200 just because he missed Abu Dhabi’s cut.  But he has done great in Dubai with four top-16 finishes and was T-3rd in 2019.  Adri Arnaus at $8,000 is cheap enough to take, he was T-3rd last year.  He hasn’t played since Joburg in Africa in mid-November, but I think he can sneak into the top-ten.  Hard to believe that defending champion Lucas Herbert is just $7,900.  On top of the win was T-7th in 2019, the thought would be he is a great choice.  He hasn’t played much lately and has always had a short fuse, saying he isn’t happy at times playing golf.  But he was T-25th last week in Abu Dhabi and had to say that he is cheap enough to be worth the gamble.  At $7,800, Jason Scrivener is a great pick, he had a T-7th in 2019 and T-6th at Dubai in 2018, plus he was runner-up last week in Abu Dhabi, so he is a bargain.  Also think that Romain Langasque, at $7,700, is worth it, was T-27th and T-20th in Dubai and last week was T-16th at Abu Dhabi.  Joost Luiten, at $7,500, is also a cheap person and could make the cut, I picked him last week in Abu Dhabi, and his T-35th can come in handy. Also at $7,500 is George Coetzee, who was 11th last week in Abu Dhabi, and I feel I will do the same this week and get you a lot of points.

Who are the “Bargains” out there?

I like Thorbjorn Olesen at $7,400 just because he has made seven cuts at Dubai in nine starts.  Also, like the consistency of Scott Jamieson at $7,200.  He has made 8 cuts in his last nine Dubai starts, he was one of my picks last week in Abu Dhabi and did well, finishing T-16th.  Sorry, but the rest of the players have no upside, so the strategy for this week is to make sure to utilize those in the $7,400 to 8,000 range.

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).  In 2019 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 the winner must hit 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.  In 2019 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. But last year, Lucas Herbert won at 9 under. Again the winds played a factor, and the course was challenging, so anything could happen. Also, watch the winds, that has 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.  In 2017 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.  In 2019 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.  Last year Lucas Herbert was T-30th in driving accuracy, 8th in driving accuracy, and T-4th, hitting 48 greens in regulation.
  • Mastering the par 5s is the key, last year, Herbert played them in 8 under.  In 2019 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  in 2018 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 Caceres 73, 4th round in 2000) have had a single round over par, and that was on a day of high winds.  Last year, Lucas Herbert was very consistent with rounds of 69-71-71-68 to claim victory.

 

Who to watch for at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic

Best Bets:

Tyrrell Hatton

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T38 T3 T3 T8 T55 CUT

He is playing the best of anyone in the field, has won four events in last 20 starts.

Collin Morikawa

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
First time playing in this event

Has played well the last month. Yes he has never playing before in this event, but did play in the DP World, Dubai last month.

Rafael Cabrera-Bello

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
CUT CUT T6 T11 T2 CUT T41 T17 Win T20 CUT

Surprised everyone last week in Abu Dhabi, has a good track record playing this course.

Best of the rest:

Jason Scrivener

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T58 T7 T6 T39

Was great last week in Abu Dhabi, could carry over.

Matthew Fitzpatrick

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T45 T16 CUT T5 T45 CUT

We will see if he wakes up from missing the cut last week in Abu Dhabi.

Andy Sullivan

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
DQ CUT 6 CUT T2 T4 CUT T12

Plays like Jekyll and Hyde, you never know which player will step up this week.

Lucas Herbert

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
Win T7

Defending champion hasn’t played much in the last four months, but still was ok in Abu Dhabi and has a great track record at the Emirates.

Solid contenders

Victor Perez

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T16 T29

Been very consistent as he is 13 under in two trips at this event.

Robert Macintyre

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T8

Was T-8th last year, been on a run the last six months.

Lee Westwood

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T50 T7 CUT T23 CUT T9 T5 T2 T15 2 T39

After last year’s previous during the year you can never say no about his game.

Sergio Garcia

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T23 T3 T32 Win CUT T17 T20 T11

Past champion, you never know how he is going to play, always a gamble taking him.

Paul Casey

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T9 T37 T11 T4

Made the long trip from Palm Springs, shows that when he putts well he does well.

George Coetzee

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
CUT T38 CUT T7 T26 CUT T5

Always steady and surprises a lot of people with his game.

Long shots that could come through:

Scott Jamieson

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T32 CUT T51 T60 T45 74 T48 T26 T5

Always been consistent in this event.

Adri Arnaus

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T3 T29

Was T-3rd last year at the Emirates.

Joost Luiten

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T66 CUT CUT T23 T8 T47 T23 CUT T33 CUT CUT

Always a steady player.

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