Paul Williams' tips for the 2010 Dubai Desert Classic
The final instalment of the Gulf swing trilogy this week and the plot is thickening! With so many players seemingly close to the top of their game, it makes this tournament a lottery in terms of picking an outright winner.
In my view there are a number of players who could easily take this tournament: Defending champion McIlroy is an undoubted talent and could well make it 2; Martin Kaymer is proving himself to be world class; Lee Westwood is getting close to firing on all cylinders; Robert Karlsson is well capable of winning back-to-back; Paul Casey will win again once he strings 4 rounds together; Charl Schwartzel has already won twice this season.....I could go on!
Ryder Cup year is certainly bringing the best out of many players, however that means that there's some real value to be had a little further down the list for a top-10 or top-20 finish. If any of the following 4 produce a result this week then you'll walk away with a tidy profit without having to agonise over which short-priced player may actually hold it all together this week:
I'm liking this bet a lot this week. Former winner Bjorn, who has also finished in the top 10 another twice in the last 10 years, is starting to show some form once again with a creditable top 10 finish last week and improved every day in the process. Averages below 71 on all rounds on a course he knows very well indeed; whilst I can't see him beating all of the considerable talent out there, I reckon he'll be there or thereabouts.
Randhawa is an interesting player. Tends to start each season with a series of promising results before trailing off to obscurity by the summer. Nevertheless, an opportunity exists for us to turn that fact into some profit. Has a top 10 and 3 top 20 finishes to show for his efforts here and is more than capable of competing here for a good finish.
Canete took a breather last week by having the weekend off after a T30 at the Joburg Open preceeded a cracking T6 finish in Abu Dhabi. Has some history here with a T30 in 2008, is in somewhat better form at the moment. Great short game when he's on form, if the putter's warm then a top 20 is a distinct possibility.
Rumford's game is all about the flat stick - when that's on fire then expect him to rocket up the leaderboard. Had a cracking result last week with a T3 finish and may well take that form into this week. Has a little form with a top-30 finish here in back in 2004, however has shown in the past that he can maintain a good run from week-to-week once he's got some momentum.
All odds and bookmaker offer correct at 22:00GMT 2.2.10 but naturally subject to fluctuation.