The DP World Tour Championship in Dubai is a golf tournament which is the culmination of the European Tour Race to Dubai. It’s a major golf tournament held at the end of the season (November), similar to the ATP Finals tournament in tennis.
The Race to Dubai replaced the Order of Merit in 2009 and started out with a bonus pool of $7.5 million. The new name reflected the season’s final tournament held in Dubai (DP World Tour Championship), which is contested by the leading 60 players on the PGA Tour after the Hong Kong championship.
The winner of the tournament gets a great prize in the form of a 5-year exemption from the European tour, while the winner of the Race to Dubai gets a 10-year exemption from the same tour. After the global economic crisis, the Tour to Dubai reduced the prize fund to $3.75 million ($1 million winner share), which was later increased to $5 million in 2014. The winner gets the major prize, while the remaining 14 players (15 in total share a bonus). The bonus is awarded to the players after the end of the DP World Tour Championship.
The final tournament of the year is held in Dubai at the Jumeira Golf Estates. It started in 2009 and has produced many surprises over the years. The Race to Dubai wasn’t always won by favourites either – for example, last year’s winner was Tommy Fleetwood, who managed to beat Justin Rose to the European Tour Number One.
This year’s Race to Dubai will certainly be exciting. With numerous tournaments to play before the season ends, it’s pretty tough to determine which players will enter the DP World Tour Championship. Halfway through the season, Patrick Reed and Alex Noren are locked into a fight for the top spot, with Fleetwood and Molinari just behind. Fan favourite Rory McIlroy is already trailing far behind, but with 3 Race to Dubai wins under his belt, he’ll certainly be among the favourites.
Alex Noren – A Surprising Favourite!
This year’s Race to Dubai has already brought surprises along the way, with Swedish golfer Alex Noren emerging as the favourite. He already has a nice lead over golfers such as McIlroy, although everything may soon change considering there are still majors to play. Still, Noren’s odds are quite competitive and enticing and there are experts who genuinely believe the Swede stands a great chance.
At the moment, Noren’s odds stand at 14/5 at major bookies including MansionBet, SportPesa, Ole777, SportNation, and RedZoneSports. He’s being given the biggest chances of winning the Race to Dubai, overtaking major golfers such as McIlroy and Fleetwood. Now, Noren hasn’t won a major tournament up until now and he’s not among the favourites this year too. Still, he has 10 European Tour wins in his career, and with the bookies backing him for the Race to Dubai title, he shouldn’t be ignored.
At 14/5, we must say that Noren’s odds are pretty enticing as well. Put a reasonable bet on him, and the Swede may nearly quadruple your investment.
Can Fleetwood Repeat?
Coming in second at this year’s U.S. Open, it’s clear that Tommy Fleetwood certainly has the quality to fight for major titles. He won the Race to Dubai last year and will be looking for a repeat this year as well. Fleetwood is currently right behind Noren and Reed in the Race to Dubai standings, which makes him one of the favourites. Without a major under his belt, he’ll be eager to win the Race to Dubai again and establish himself as one of the best European golfers in recent years.
Fleetwood’s odds certainly reflect all of this – he’s right behind Noren at major bookies, being given 59/20 at Ole777, RedZoneSports, SportNation, MansionBet, and SportPesa. The English golfer has left behind golfers such as Reed (who’s ahead on the current standings) and Rory McIlroy, and with attractive odds of 59/20, it’s clear that bookmakers are considering him a threat. His odds are pretty close to Noren’s and represent even better value than the odds for the Swede, so if you’re looking to place a bet, he should definitely be one of your options.
Is Reed a Viable Option?
As we already mentioned, Patrick Reed is hot on Noren’s trail in the Race to Dubai standings, making him one of the major favourites for the title. The American golfer hasn’t had much success in recent times, although he did manage to finish 4th at this year’s U.S.Open.
Still, he has enough points in the bank to ward off “attacks” from Fleetwood or McIlroy at the moment, so he shouldn’t be dismissed. Reed’s odds of 4/1 at major bookies (SportPesa, MansionBet, RedZoneSports, SportNation, Ole777) are not exactly great, but they definitely are great for punters. Putting a bet on Reed will bring you 5 times the investment and the Race to Dubai has been known to produce surprises, so why not try your luck?
Reed is even a bit ahead of McIlroy, so if bookies think that he should be given a chance over a fan-favourite and major winner, they’re probably on to something.
Can McIlroy Win for The Fourth Time?
A three-time Race to Dubai winner, Rory McIlroy is one of the golf greats who will undoubtedly enter the Hall of Fame. A four-time major winner and two-time Golfer of the Year, McIlroy is one of the leading favourites at any tournament he enters, and such is the case with this year’s Race to Dubai.
The Mac is currently 5th on the Race to Dubai standings list and one of the leading favourites. Ole777, SportPesa, MansionBet, RedZoneSports, and SportNation as well have made Rory McIlroy the fourth favourite for the Race to Dubai title, giving him odds of 6/1. This puts him right behind Noren, Reed, and Fleetwood who have managed to get the pip ahead.
Still, Rory McIlroy is a true champion who has defeated much worse odds in the past. No matter the opinion of bookmakers, McIlroy will always be one of the biggest, if not the biggest favourite at any tournament he enters, so you won’t go wrong if you do place a bet on him.
What Chances Do Other Golfers Have?
Other golfers behind McIlroy are being given far lower chances of winning the race to Dubai. For example, current number 4 on the list Francesco Molinari has odds of 15/2, while Spaniard Jon Rahm has even worse odds of 16/1. This means that they’re not considered heavy favourites for the title, but the bookmakers clearly believe that they can put up a fight, especially in Molinari’s case.