Perry’s DP World Tour Championship Betting Guide & Picks: Wallace Fits Profile at Jumeriah’s Earth Course
Andrew Redington/Getty Images. Pictured: Matt Wallace
The 2020 portion of the PGA Tour season reached its conclusion last week at the Mayakoba. But golf is still going strong in December on the European Tour.
The DP World Tour Championship caps off the year on the other side of the Atlantic with a 65-player field to close out the Race to Dubai.
We usually see a little bit stronger field for the Euro finale, but both Jon Rahm and Rory McIlroy are sitting it out this year. Both have won the event twice, so that may open up a chance for someone further down the odds board.
It’s been a pretty good spot for the elite players, with six of the last eight wins coming from guys who were +1500 or better to open the tournament.
The top Europeans may not be in attendance, but there will still be a solid field headlined by Americans Patrick Reed and Collin Morikawa. A few other PGA Tour regulars are also set to compete including Viktor Hovland, fresh off his Mayakoba win, and ironman Sungjae Im, who never seems to miss an event anywhere around the globe.
Jumeriah Golf Estates will host the event and has been the regular stop for the event since 2009.
The property has two courses, the Earth Course and Fire Course. The Earth Course is used for this event each year, while the Fire Course was used last week in Antoine Rozner’s victory. So while the European Tour has been running a few events back-to-back on the same courses since the restart and last week’s results may be a decent indicator for success, it’s going to be a different and slightly more difficult course this time around.
The Earth Course measures 7,676 yards for a par 72 and favors the bombers and strong iron players. Rahm and Rory have won four of the last eight here and while they’ve been the best players overall, it’s also a great setup for their type of game. Other ball strikers like Henrik Stenson and Lee Westwood have come out on top while bomber Alvaro Quiros also won in 2011 when he led the tour in driving distance.
There isn’t too much trouble on this course — just a few water hazards that mainly come into play during the closing stretch. But unless weather gets involved, we’ll probably see the winner threaten 20-under par.
Reed opens as the favorite in this field at +800, but outside of a second place finish in 2018, he hasn’t really contended here in four starts.
Tyrrell Hatton is the top European in the event at +1200, but like Reed, it’s been a mixed bag for him here. He was the runner up in 2016, but no other top five finishes in this event.
The trio of Hovland, Morikawa and Tommy Fleetwood check in at +1400. Fleetwood was the runner up to Rahm last year, but that’s his only finish better than ninth in seven tries. Hovland and Morikawa will make their debuts this year. Usually it helps to have some sort of history here to draw back on to win this event, but players making their first start here are rarely as talented as these two.
Matthew Fitzpatrick (+1600) and Sungjae Im (+1800) make up that next range. Fitzpatrick won the event in 2016 and has two other top 10 finishes in five starts. Im is in his first appearance, and like Hovland and Morikawa, he’s far more talented than the usual debutant. Of the three newbies, I’d lean more toward Im. He’s at a slightly better number and is fresh off a second at The Masters. He’s a strong tee to green player and the best Bermuda putter of the group.
The +2000s group is made up of many of our old friends and it’s where I’ll start the card. Guys like Christiaan Bezuidenhout, fresh off consecutive wins in South Africa, Bernd Weisberger and Robert MacIntyre comprise this section of the board, but it’s Matt Wallace at +2500 who I’ll back this week. That number is available at bet365 and William Hill.
Wallace is coming off a runner up finish last week on the Fire Course here and was also the runner up in his debut at this event in 2018. He’s a strong driver and the short game has been in great form during his Euro Tour season.
It’s pretty rare the winner comes from this group. Just Fitzpatrick and Danny Willett avoided the superstars at the top of the board the last eight seasons. But there’s one play I’ll be trying out.
I’ll back bomber Dean Burmester at +8000 on DraftKings. He’s second on the European Tour in driving distance behind only fellow South African Wilco Nienaber. Burmester has also found the course to his liking, finishing fourth in both his starts.
His results this season have been all over the map, but he’s coming off a fourth place finish last week in South Africa, so the game appears to be in decent shape again.
In 11 tries at this event, the triple-digit guys have come up empty. That’s not a total surprise given the talent that usually makes up the top of this board. But that’s not going to stop me from trying to grab one this week.
I’ll go with Renato Paratore at 125/1 on DraftKings. He was on my card at the Fire Course last week, worked his way into the final pairing and was within two before a double on a par 5 sent him down the board. He eventually finished 13th.
I still like how he sets up here. He’s been strong in all aspects on the Euro Tour this season, gaining strokes everywhere. He’s long, accurate with irons and has a great short game. If he’s able to bounce back from that finish last week, he’s a threat to contend again.
I’ll also go to Grant Forrest at 250/1 on DK. He may be last on the odds board, but he’ll be No. 1 in our hearts this week. Forrest is long and has a good short game, but the irons can abandon him at times.
He was sixth at the Fire Course last week, 10th in Oman and 16th at the Dubai Desert Classic in January. So this part of the globe appears to suit his game and he’s worth a look for a top 10 or 20 type play.
The DP World Tour Championship Card
- Matt Wallace +2500 (1.32 units)
- Dean Burmester +8000 (.41 units)
- Renato Paratore +12500 (.24 units)
- Grant Forrest +25000 (.13 units)
Total Stake: 2.1 units