McIlroy is the fav but I didn't expect him to be so short. To be honest I was looking to back him this week but come Sunday should he oblige I won't be losing any sleep over the 5/2 missed. He came up short once again in Abu Dhabi which is becoming a bit of a habit. I thought he would win there on the solid green surfaces. However, they turned out to be a shade more grainy than usual that week and that seemed to contribute to Rory's failings on the greens. He lost that tournament on days 2 and 3 where he couldn't hole a thing. His long game was exemplary but the putter was extremely cold. His long game deserted him a bit on Sunday but he said he was happy enough with his first outing of the season. Given his failings (if you can call them that) that week I can't justify a wager at 5/2.
A ruthless streak still has yet to be embodied by Rory although I certainly feel that this may be the season that he peaks at the right time for the first major of the year. For this week though, I'm more than happy to let him win unbacked at 5/2. With Rory almost certain to take up one of the places on the leaderboard I will be backing four of my five selections win only.
So we'll be looking elsewhere in our quest to find a potential winner should Rory not fire on all cylindrical shafts. We have four mid price runners, and one bigger priced lad who we'll be looking to take Rory on. We'll start with the ever improving Andy Sullivan. With three wins on his CV in 2015 Sullivan has certainly climbed the ranks quicker than everyone thought he would. In the 2015 season ending Tour Championship in Dubai he challenged McIlroy right until the death. He holed almost everything in sight before a couple of wayward drives eventually put him under a shade too much pressure.
It was the same story in Abu Dhabi a few weeks back. After opening with a pair of 67s he flunked the weekend with again his driving being the element of his game not up to scratch. The rough in Abu Dhabi was fierce and didn't play into Sullivan's hands. This week he will face little danger off the tee and will be able to open up his shoulders with the driver. He looks to be developing a real liking for these pure greens in this part of the world and he rates a very decent alternative to backing the jolly.