Sarah Stirk on the DP World Tour Championship: Garcia can crown great year with desert win
The Race to Dubai comes to a crescendo in Dubai this week where Tommy Fleetwood is set to be crowned as king of the European Tour. Sky Sports' Sarah Stirk will be in Dubai and recommends backing these three golfers for a great four days in the desert...
"Sergio Garcia will be fresh and loves Dubai, having won the Dubai Desert Classic earlier this year. It would be incredible if Garcia, Fleetwood and Rose were in the mix down the stretch and I'm going for Sergio as a really solid each-way bet for this week."
Dubai is always such a great place to end the European Tour season and I'm really looking forward to watching events unfold on the Earth Course at JGE. Tommy Fleetwood remains in pole position in the Race to Dubai standings and would dearly love to finish the year as European number one.
What a year it's been for the man from Southport. He has secured prestigious titles in Abu Dhabi and France and ran Dustin Johnson close at the WGC in Mexico; he has also just become a dad for the first time so life couldn't be sweeter.
Rose blooms late in season to make Dubai race interesting
I would love to see Tommy clinch the Race to Dubai but it's brilliant Justin Rose has made it such an interesting battle. Back to back victories in China and Turkey have turned this season, by his own admission, from an average one, into an excellent one. Rose made the decision to sit out the Nedbank Challenge and I think that was a great call. It was always his plan and when talking to us at Sky Sports Golf, Rose said he was going to stick to his process.
The Englishman is that sort of guy - very diligent and very methodical - if he's mentally engaged in a particular course of action, he's the sort of player who needs to stick to his game plan and not deviate from that. There was a chance he could have played in South Africa given his recent run of form but I think that could have been to his detriment. Plus, golfers know their limits and Justin admitted he was ready to go home and recharge and come back out fresh and ready.
New dad Fleetwood should secure R2D title
Talking of fresh and ready I think Tommy could have an advantage in that regard. His form has tailed off somewhat since the Rolex win at the French but he also had a significant chunk of time off in the late summer due to the birth of his first child. At this stage of the season, fatigue is always an issue. For many, this week will bring the fourth straight tournament after China, Turkey and South Africa and the optimum for many pros is often three straight as a maximum.
I think Tommy's mental freshness could be a huge bonus. He was also ill at the start of last week but ground out an impressive top ten finish. It's still in his hands and I'm going for Fleetwood to be crowned Europe's number one coming Sunday evening.
Of course there are effectively two tournaments in one this week, so here are my picks for the DP World Tour Championship title itself.
Sarah's selections for the DP World Tour Championship
Back Sergio Garcia each-way @ 11/1 (1/5 the odds, six places)
Alongside Rose, the Spaniard is one of only two men who can stop Tommy winning the Race to Dubai. Garcia hasn't played since winning the Valderrama Masters, an event he was hosting. Again he'll be fresh and loves Dubai, having won the Dubai Desert Classic earlier this year. It would be incredible if all three were in the mix down the stretch and I'm going for Sergio as a really solid each-way bet for this week.
Back Nicolas Colsaerts to finish in the top 10 @ [4.6]
The big-hitting Belgian is a great fit around the earth course with this length off the tee and that was highlighted here a year ago with a T4 finish and a superb 66 on day three. He's also in good form having finished joint runner-up to Rose in Turkey. A great pick for a top ten finish here this week.
Back Martin Kaymer each-way @ 33/1
The German also feels very comfortable in the Middle East as evidenced by his tremendous success in Abu Dhabi. He had a great weekend here 12 months ago posting consecutive rounds of 67 to record a top 20 finish and again the former world number one is in good form, having finished fifth in South Africa. I'm hoping he carries that form here and I believe he's a very good shout for an each way bet.