Live On Sky Sports 3: Thu From 08:00. Angus Loughran previews this week’s Dubai World Championships and picks out his best bets.
Anyone who witnessed, like I did, Lee Westwood’s victory in the final event of the European Tour season 12 months ago will not want to oppose him on the same track and even though this time round it will not be enough to retain the European Order of Merit, he still has noted claims based on his season which has seen him as golf’s new world number one, and the 7/1 on offer this week with Betfred for victory in Dubai looks very fair.
It’s easy to understand why Martin Kaymer is long odds-on to become the European number one this season (1/8 Skybet) and after his golden summer – which included his first major a win at Whistling Straits in the USPGA, and landing the Dunhill Hills Links at St Andrews in October. However, he makes little appeal to win this week at around 12/1 (888sport) as his main aim will be just to secure the number one spot.
Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell, also a major winner in 2010 with the US Open at Pebble Beach in June, could yet catch Kaymer and is surely great each-way value at around 15/1 with Paddy Power this week, and the Ulsterman will never give up and relishes this type of challenge.
It will be no surprise for readers to hear me nominate Matteo Manassero, the teenage sensation from Italy, as my best outsider at around 45/1 at Totesport as once again I expect him to defy the odds and take a further step up in class in what has been a sensational opening few months as a pro. This kid is expected to go all the way and Italian golf hasn’t just got the two Molinari brothers flying the flag, but, for me, Manassero is the most exciting of the trio.
There has not been a better year in European golf than 2010 and once again its flagship tournament, The Race to Dubai, provides a fitting climax to memorable season for the sport.