This article is part of our DraftKings Euro Tour series.
DP WORLD TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP
Winner's Share: $3M
Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Course: Jumeirah Golf Estates (Earth Course)
2019 champion: Jon Rahm
The PGA Tour may be finished for the year, but there is one more big tournament to be played before the calendar flips to 2021. The DP World Tour Championship is the European Tour's version of the TOUR Championship, complete with a points system to determine the season-long Race to Dubai champion. But it does NOT have a staggered start. The 65 golfers in the no-cut event all start at even par. Imagine that!
The tournament is not without its idiosyncrasies, however. For example, the points leader coming in is none other than Patrick Reed. Yes, Reed is a European Tour member and sits atop the standings thanks mostly to his performances in the majors and WGC events. He's played in only two standard European Tour events. Next comes Tommy Fleetwood and Collin Morikawa, the PGA Championship winner who has played exactly zero Euro Tour events this year. Sungjae Im is also entered, because of course he is. Im plays in so many tournaments it's almost surprising it's only one per week. He is the 12th-leading points earner in the field. Viktor Hovland, who won the PGA Tour's season-ending Mayakoba Golf Classic last week, has taken the always-popular Mexico-to-Dubai flight to complete this field.
Other big-name Europeans in the field who play prominently on the PGA Tour include Tyrrell Hatton, 2016 winner Matthew Fitzpatrick, Ian Poulter, 2009 champion Lee Westwood and two-time winner Henrik Stenson.
The Greg Norman-designed Earth Course is a behemoth at almost 7,700 yards. All four par-5s are at least 570 yards and two are about 620. Six of the par-4s exceed 450 yards. The par-3s are all more than 185, topping out at a whopping 245 yards. The 195-yard 17th hole features an island green, and at nearly 200 yards that sounds like the most perilous shot on the course. As is the case with long courses, the greens are large, albeit speedy on the TifEagle Bermuda grass. Despite the exorbitant length, this is a bit of a birdie-fest, with the winning score falling between 17- and 21-under the past five years. Stenson holds the tournament record at 25-under set in 2013 during the first of his back-to-back titles.
Despite so many recognizable names, the strength-of-field rating as determined by the OWGR website is just 267, one less than last week's Mayakoba event. The small Dubai field contributes to the lower number. But it's also a stark illustration that even the top European Tour events (other than the Open Championship) are no match for PGA Tour fields. We see Europeans come to the States and struggle in part because the courses are different and unfamiliar but also because they are jumping way up in class.
This is the last opportunity for golfers to end the year ranked in the top 50 of the OWGR and earn an automatic Masters invite. Those not already exempt and are in the Dubai field include No. 53 Erik van Rooyen, No. 59 Robert MacIntyre, No. 66 Andy Sullivan and No. 74 Tom Lewis. Currently, Mackenzie Hughes sits on the bubble, but he's already through to Augusta. No. 47 Westwood, No. 48 Poulter and No. 49 Matt Wallace, who are playing Dubai, are not.
Weather-wise, conditions should be perfect for a track meet. Temperatures will be in the 70s and it's forecast to be sunny all four days, with little wind.
Key Stats to Winning at Jumeirah
Note - The most important indicators every week are current form and course history. "Key stats" follow in importance.
• Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee/Driving Distance
• Strokes Gained: Approach/Greens in Regulation
• Strokes Gained: Putting
• Birdie or Better percentage/Birdie Average
• Par-4 efficiency 450-500 yards
2019 - Jon Rahm
2018 - Danny Willett
2017 - Jon Rahm
2016 - Matthew Fitzpatrick
2015 - Rory McIlroy
2014 - Henrik Stenson
2013 - Henrik Stenson
2012 - Rory McIlroy
2011 - Alvaro Quiros
2010 - Robert Karlsson
2009 - Lee Westwood
Rahm, McIlroy and Stenson all have won twice. Rahm and McIlroy are among the longest hitters around and even Stenson finished top-10 in driving distance in both his wins, averaging more than 300 yards both times. Only three times in tournament history has the winner not averaged 300, all just missing at 298. So clearly, distance matters this week. Even Fitzpatrick, not associated with length, was sneaky long in his win. As for accuracy, it is not paramount off the tee. But five of the past seven winners have finished top-5 in greens in regulation. Rahm led the field last year. He also was first in putting average, as was Willett the year before. Rahm was third in putting 2017, Fitzpatrick was second in 2016 and McIlroy was fourth in 2015, so excellent putting is pretty much mandatory. To fully illustrate how dominant Stenson was in setting the tournament record at 25-under in 2013, he ranked seventh in driving distance, first in both fairways hit and greens in regulation and eighth in putting. Over the past eight editions, the winner has had at least 22 birdies+eagles. As always, there is more than one way to do well at a golf tournament, and some shorter hitters have thrived without winning, among them Ian Poulter and Francesco Molinari.
DRAFTKINGS VALUE PICKS
Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap
Tier 1 Values
Tyrrell Hatton - $11,200 (Winning odds at golfodds.com: 12-1)
Hatton has delivered in big-time fields on the PGA Tour, so he will be a serious threat to win this week. Hatton won his most recent European Tour event, the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth in early October, in a field that incidentally included Reed, who tied for third. This will be Hatton's seventh straight appearance in the Dubai season-ender, and he has recorded three top-10s and two other top-25s.
Tommy Fleetwood - $10,900 (14-1)
Fleetwood was not sharp on the PGA Tour in 2020. Yet he is still ranked 16th in the world, not far off the No. 10 spot he occupied when 2020 began. How can that be? Well, he has thrived in Europe. Fleetwood tied for third at the Portugal Masters in September and was runner-up at the Scottish Open in October. In fairness, he did have a good Masters, finishing with a top-20. Fleetwood finished runner-up here last year and, like Hatton, is a strong contender to take home the title.
Matthew Fitzpatrick - $9,900 (16-1)
Fitzpatrick is certainly not considered a long hitter, but is most definitely not short, either – as evidenced by his win here in 2016. Fitzpatrick returned to Europe after his PGA Tour season ended and notched a top-10 at Wentworth. Besides his Dubai win, Fitzpatrick has three other top-12s here in his five total visits.
Tier 2 Values
Robert MacIntyre - $9,500 (25-1)
The young lefty really has started to show what's been expected of him. He won for the first time just last month in Cyprus, part of a T3-1-T6-T19 surge heading into this week. MacIntyre is ranked sixth on Tour in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee and 29th in SG: Approach. He tied for 14th last year in his Dubai debut.
Martin Kaymer - $9,000 (40-1)
The former world No. 1 is playing very well again, and he is back inside the top 100 of the OWGR at 86th. He notched three top-5s in his past six Euro Tour starts and is among the Euro Tour's leaders with six top-10s this year. He is ranked first on Tour in SG: Approach. He has played in everyone of these events but last year's and has amassed six top-25s.
Thomas Detry - $8,200 (50-1)
The Belgian has been around for a few years but really burst on the scene soon after the summer restart. A pair of runners-up moved him inside the top 100 of the OWGR to 87th. Detry has a Tour-leading seven top-10s, including two last month. This will be his third Dubai start after finishing just inside the top 30 each of the past two years. He qualified for the U.S. Open and tied for 49th.
Tier 3 Values
Dean Burmester - $7,600 (80-1)
The South African has played Dubai twice before in 2017-18 and finished fourth both times. He's an excellent putter, currently ranked second on Tour. Burmester wound up fourth at the South Africa Open last week and tied for fifth at the Italian Open in October. He's ranked just inside the top-200 OWGR.
Marcus Armitage - $7,400 (80-1)
The Englishman will be making his Dubai debut, and he's also just inside the top-200 in the world rankings. Armitage has made nine straight cuts, six of which have been top-25s, with three of those top-10s. He is ranked 45th on Tour in SG: Approach.
Renato Paratore - $7,200 (80-1)
It's been a great year for the young Italian, who won the British Masters in July for his second career title. More recently, he had a top-10 at Wentworth and tied for 13th last week at the Golf in Dubai Championship (yes, there was another tournament last week in Dubai). Paratore is ranked 19th on Tour in SG: Approach and 54th in SG: Putting.
Laurie Canter - $6,900 (100-1)
The Englishman began the year in the 500s OWGR but now stands 163rd after entrenching himself on the main tour. The big-hitting Canter is ranked third in SG: Off-the-Tee, averaging almost 315 yards. He is ranked fourth in birdies and 16th in par-4 scoring. This will be his Dubai debut.
Sean Crocker - $6,700 (100-1)
The young American plays on the European Tour, and has been playing quite well of late. He tied for 22nd in the first Dubai tournament last week, was runner-up at the Alfred Dunhill Championship the week before and also top-10 at the Scottish Championship in October. Crocker is ranked 22nd in SG: Off-the-Tee and 10th in SG: Approach heading into his World Tour Championship debut.
Wil Besseling - $6,300 (150-1)
The Dutchman isn't overly long but is ranked first on Tour in SG: Off-the-Tee. He's also second on greens in regulation. Besseling has five top-25s in his past nine starts to get inside the top 200 of the OWGR. He will be making his first start in the Dubai season-ender.