Omega Dubai Desert Classic, The Majles - Emirates GC, Dubai.
Here we are at the longstanding Dubai Desert Classic, the final tournament of the Desert swing. We have a great field this week with the world number 1, Rory McIlroy, taking a break from his legal battles once again to make his regular appearance here. This is the place of his first Pro Win and holds great memories, but, and I could end up looking silly, with his putting not on form I find it hard to back him at 4/1 this week. In the past we've seen a mix of winners from the major winners (Els, couples, olizabel, woods, etc) and also the journeyman (Green, Howell, Quiros, Cabrera-bello etc) and there's certainly horses for course (Gallagher) but no identikit winner as such. Like last week, where Grace won by hitting few fairways (65th in the field) to go and win, it's similar here where Gallagher only hit 50% of fairways last year (55th in the field) when he won.
The German Martin Kaymer, the man who holed the most pressured putt to secure the Ryder Cup 2 years ago, comes into this event off a 3rd place Finish in Abu Dhabi where he held a 10 shot lead with only 12 holes to play. A huge melt, but if anyone can bounce back from that - then it's Martin Kaymer. Like Jimmy Walker in the Sony a few weeks back I think Kaymer will show impressive mental strength this week.
Bernd Weisberger has been on the first page of the leaderboard a lot in the last few tournaments, with 4 top 16's in as many tournaments. And with a 9th here last year it's a good combo of in form and course form, along with the fact he's a multiple winner on tour and is certainly due one!
Tommy Fleetwood is another one whose "Due one". He was going really well at the end of last year, he has a run of 10 top 25's in his last 14 events. He's last 2 tournaments have been M/C and 23rd last week - with a 65 in the 2nd round. So the rust is shifting and carries a bit of course form with a 10th in 2013. He should be up for this week.
Last but not least, Peter Uilein - fits the category of not hitting many fairways - 72nd in the field last week. But the rest of his game seems good. He was the 2nd longest and 12 in greens in reg. He would of made more headway last week if it wasn't for an 8 on a par 3 taking all the wind out of his sails! His course form is not great, missing the cut on both occasions. But in theory this course should suit him, for the same reasons Gallacher plays well here... Windy and reminds him of certain Scottish courses. Uilein has finished 2nd at the Dunhill and the Welsh open - both long and windy courses. I also have this feeling of Uilein trying to compete and keep up with his fellow room mate Koepka. Who has done very well for himself with the recent win in Turkey.
*Martin Kaymer E/W @ 14/1
*Bernd Weisberger E/W @ 30/1
*Tommy Fleetwood E/W @ 66/1
*Peter Uilein E/W @ 80/1 (130/1 on betfair outright)
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