Golf pundit Niall Lyons picks out his best bets from the Earth Course in Dubai.
The final curtain is about to come down on the 2016 European Tour season and with a few in with a shout of taking the Race to Dubai it promises to be an exciting week. Stenson can look after his own fate with a win here and he would take home both prizes. Likewise for Danny Willett. Alex Noren and Rory McIlroy have slender hopes of topping the Race to Dubai but it is not impossible.
The Earth Course in Dubai is a beast that no doubt requires a top class long game to feature on the leaderboard come Sunday evening. You will of course need to hole your fair share of putts, but if you can hit the ball long and hit long irons accurately into greens then you gain a significant advantage on the rest of the field. McIlroy and Stenson understandably head the market and it is hard to make a case for any other competitor in the field. These two stand out by a country mile when it comes to playing on the Earth Course. With McIlroy having very thin hopes of taking the Race to Dubai I doubt whether he will be 100% gunning for victory. I don't know why, I've just got my doubts.
HENRIK STENSON is a more suitable price this week and this is the basket where we will put most of our eggs into. Henrik has had the year of his life finally landing his first major. His form has been nothing short of spectacular. A win here would top the year off and it looks likely for me. He wasn't firing on all cylinders last week at the Nedbank and I feel the Earth course is a better suit for Henrik when he's in fine form. Ball striking and putting look to be in top shape and if he brings that game to Dubai this week I feel he will be hard to stop. McIlroy is a massive danger however taking 3/1 about him is the wrong road to go down. They both have achieved big things in the game this year and both will want to top their year off with a win but I feel the extra few points on Stenson is the bet seeing they are both more or less on a power with each other around this place.
BYEONG HUN AN will be our back up to the main selection this week. His price isn't anything to write home about to be fair but seeing he was 4th on debut here last year he must have a chance of playing well again. Last time out he posted a top ten in Turkey but I'll be backing him mainly because I feel his game suits this course. His iron play can be red hot and he can be streaky with the putter too, attributes which both apply to former winners McIlroy and Stenson. Ben can knock down flags in a heartbeat when he's flowing and I'll take the chance about him at 40/1 if our main selection fails to fire.