The Venue and Course
Inspired by the natural elements of Fire, Earth, Water and Wind, and interwoven with tastefully designed homes, the four championship golf courses of Jumeirah Golf Estates are manicured to absolute perfection and this golfing oasis offers up the perfect climax to close out the season.
The Earth Course at Jumeriah Golf Estates has been host to the DP World Championships since 2009. Designed by Greg Norman it measures 7,706 yards and has a par of 72 and traditional set up of 4 par 5's and 4 par 3's with equal amounts on each side.
The Bermuda greens are large and undulating, expected to be running at 12'6" on the stimp reading and as pure as pure gets, the tour have the option should they choose to, to stick the pins in locations that can seem quite cruel to really test the field or event place them in where the ball should gather to get the scoring going but no doubt we will see a lot of familiar pin placements on Sunday especially for the dramatic 18th where many a title has been won or lost.
Water features on 5 holes but most prominently and famously with its island green 17th and meandering creek that runs the length of the 18th hole, to accompany these hazards the course boasts 99 white marble bunkers that play a big part in its visual concept. Some of the extremely large and awkwardly placed.
Fairways are wide and inviting and even the odd stray shot isn't penalised to heavily, a really tempting invitation for the bombers in the field
It is time for the best of the best from the European Tour to show us how good they are.
Previous Winners of the DP World Tour Championship
2009 - Lee Westwood (-23)
2010 - Robert Karlsson (-14)
2011 - Alvaro Quiros (-19)
2012 - Rory McIlroy (-23)
2013 - Henrik Stenson (-25)
2014 - Henrik Stenson (-16)
2015 - Rory McIlroy (- 21)
2016 - Matthew Fitzpatrick (-17)
2017 Jon Rahm (-19)
Key Stats and Strategy
Driving the ball well has always been of huge benefit here, getting the ball deep into the fairway will make the task of hitting greens and creating chances much easier. The fairways as wide as they are will suit the bigger hitters and somewhat negate the short knockers accuracy advantage.
Hitting targets but in the right places. Get the ball close and birdies will mount up, miss your target or leave the ball in the wrong spot and these large undulating surfaces can easily make a fool of the best in the game on and around the greens.
With perfect surfaces to putt on I want players in form with the short stick, all about making birdies and hoping your player has few mistakes in this format of play and no better way to make that happen than rolling in putts regardless if there for par or birdie.
I have looked heavily in to course fit, course history, recent form and weighted each of these factors in accordingly when looking in to my picks. I value experience in an event like this and certainly think that it has a style of play that works well
Rory McIlroy - $11,700
$10,000 - $11,000
Tommy Fleetwood - $10,200
$9,000 - $10,000
Patrick Reed - $9,400
Henrik Stenson - $9,200
$8,000 - $9,000
Hao Tong-Li - $9,000
Lucas Bjerrgaard - $8,600
$8,000 - $7,500
Matt Wallace - $8,000
Thomas Detry - $7,900
$7,500 - $7,000
Thomas Pieters - $7,500
Andrea Pavan - $7,300
$7,000 or less
Tom Lewis - $6,900
Dean Burmester - $6,900
Well that's the end of the 2017/18 season and another year writing for Tour Junkies done for me.
Time for me to treat myself, so early tomorrow morning I’ll be flying off to Portugal for a weeks golfing at a handful of the best courses in Europe.
Until next week and the start of the 2018/19 season have a great week and lets hope it ends with glorious green screens.