The Race to Dubai’s Final Series kicks off this week with the BMW Masters at Lake Malaren Golf Club in Shanghai, the first of four tournaments set to determine Europe’s number one for 2013.
Henrik Stenson heads the betting at 6/1, as the Swede bids to become the first player to win the PGA Tour’s Fedex Cup and top the Race to Dubai standings in the same season.
Stenson gets a single figure odds quote from the market makers – as does second favourite Rory McIlroy at 8/1 – but make no mistake, of the two, there is only one golfer who must be backed – and that’s the Swede.
McIlroy’s exalted place in the outright list, it seems, is due to one round – his 67 in the Korea Open on Sunday.
It was enough to give the Ulsterman a share of second place – his first place finish since April – but surely that’s not sufficient to persuade us to part with our hard earned cash by way of an investment.
Stenson’s numbers since mid-summer have been incredible, with two wins, two runners up spots and two third place finishes in eight starts.
Furthermore, if last year’s tournament is anything to go by, greens in regulation will be the key performance category this week.
Twelve months ago, six of the top-10 ranked inside the top ten of GIR on the week. Stenson has ranked first in GIR in three of his last four starts and topped the charts in 2013 on the PGA Tour, for the record McIlroy was 86th.
Elsewhere, it’s tempting to write off 25/1 shot Ross Fisher after his dash from Portugal to Perth to make sure he made the top 60 on the RTD to grab a spot in the Dubai World Championship.
However, four top-10s in his last five appearances including second in Australia on Sunday, when he ranked second in greens in regulation, mark him down as a player to follow.
As is Peter Uihlein, available to back at 33/1, who limbered up promisingly for a shot at the title this week after finishing seventh in the Tokai Classic on the Japanese Tour last time out.
The American, who can boast plenty of power off the tee (another asset at Lake Malaren), has three top-10s including two runners-up spots in his last four starts, and is attractively priced to score a second win of the season.
My three off the tee – Stenson, Fisher and Uihlein.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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