The main golfing action remains in Dubai this week as the season ends with the DP World Tour Championships, but there’s also team action in Florida from Friday in the QBE Shootout.
Of course, we’ve got betting tips and predictions for both tournaments, and remember – bet365 recently launched a brand-new feature to revolutionise in-play golf betting.
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DP World Tour Championship predictions and tips
The season-ending DP World Tour Championship has attracted many of the European Tour’s finest to the Earth Course, Dubai, and a $3m first prize is on offer to the winner.
Not only is that carrot being dangled at the players – the Race to Dubai contest will be concluded with fortunes of bonus cash being handed out to the most successful European Tour operators of the year. Patrick Reed tops the Race to Dubai standings and has jetted over from the States in a bid to stay there.
Reed’s compatriot, Collin Morikawa, is third in the Race to Dubai and also in attendance for the 65-runner DP World Tour Championship.
DP World Tour Championship: course guide and where to watch
Course: Earth Course, Jumeirah Golf Estates, Dubai
Where to watch: Sky Sports Golf from 7am, Thursday 9th December
DP World Tour Championship winner prediction: Thomas Pieters at 30/1
Thomas Pieters may upset the market leaders and win the DP World Tour Championship. The super-talented Belgian bomber is enjoying life as a father, which started in August, and he says the responsibilities of parenthood have made him a calmer, more effective golfer.
Pieters has made headlines in the past for snapping or throwing clubs when things have gone wrong, but he insists a new-found maturity means such outbursts are behind him. The Earth Course is ideal terrain for the 28-year-old to prove that.
Pieters finished sixth in the DP World Tour Championship 12 months ago and three times he has ended up in the top five in the Abu Dhabi Championship. The desert layouts afford plenty of room for the powerhouse to show off his length and encouraging 2020 performances suggest he can end this campaign with a bang.
Prior to lockdown, nobody on the circuit was hitting their ball with more authority than Pieters, who finished third in the Saudi International in February. Post-lockdown, he roared back into action with third place in the Celtic Classic, then 15th in the Wales Open and 23rd in the US Open. He has not played much since and was rusty after two months off when finishing 25th in the Golf in Dubai Championship last week, but the four-time Tour champ should come on for that run and can contend in the more important event on Sunday.
DP World Tour Championship winner prediction: Tom Lewis at 60/1
Punters seeking even bigger odds are pointed towards Tom Lewis, who has finished seventh and sixth in the last two editions of this tournament. Lewis was third in the Saudi International last year, third in this year’s Dubai Desert Classic, and is well equipped to destroy wide-open desert layouts like this one.
Lewis tested positive for Covid last week, but suffered no symptoms, adhered strictly to the isolation guidelines, has tested negative four times since and has been welcomed back to the fold. The Englishman can be a factor if getting anything close to the form he showed when second in the WGC-St Jude Invitational in August.
QBE Shootout predictions and tips
The three-day, 54-hole, 12-team QBE Shootout starts at Tiburon Golf Club in Naples, Florida, on Friday – the final men’s Stateside action of the year – and bookmakers have struggled to identify a clear favourite for the pairs event.
Abraham Ancer, who finished 13th in the Masters last month, and Matthew Wolff, who was runner-up in the US Open in September, have been given fractional market leadership with most firms. The big-hitting duo of Cameron Champ and Tony Finau are also prominent in the betting, along with Louis Oosthuizen and Bubba Watson, who fought a playoff for the 2012 Masters title.
Low scoring is essential in the generous format of the QBE Shootout and the best putters often come out on top. The first round is a scramble – the players choose their best ball after every shot and both play from there – then a round of greensomes will be staged on Saturday.
In greensomes, both players in a pairing tee off, then they pick up one ball and play the other in foursomes style from there. Sunday sees a closing round of betterball – fourball golf with only the best score counting – and 31 under par was the winning total last year.
QBE Shootout course guide
Course: Tiburon Golf Club, Naples, Florida, USA
Field: 12 teams
QBE Shootout winner prediction: Daniel Berger and Steve Stricker at 11/1
Most loose shots do not contribute to the scorecard, but any team carrying cold putters will be left behind, so the combination of Daniel Berger and Steve Stricker is of most interest. This dynamic duo can usually be relied upon to roll their rock with assurance.
Berger knows Stricker will be his captain should qualification be achieved for the next Ryder Cup, so the 27-year-old will be keen to impress.
Berger, a three-time PGA Tour champion, is a Floridian who will be extremely comfortable with the conditions this week, and after a pair of weekend 67s in the Mayakoba Classic it seems that he is bringing his A-game to the party.
Stricker won the 2017 QBE Shootout with Sean O’Hair alongside – and even at the age of 53 the veteran still has a short-game to rival anyone. He finished 17th in the Mayakoba Classic, building on some decent Champions Tour form.
QBE Shootout winner prediction: Billy Horschel and Brendon Todd at 15/2
The best alternative to Berger and Stricker is the pairing of Billy Horschel and Brendon Todd. Horschel, like Berger, is a Floridian on home turf – and weekend rounds of 65 and 64 for fifth place in the Mayakoba have sent Horschel to the Shootout in high spirits.
Horschel likes pairs golf – he won the 2018 Zurich Classic alongside Scott Piercy – and Todd’s putting ability makes him a fantastic partner.
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