A host of Ryder Cup players return to action for the European Tour’s Final Series, the continental equivalent of the PGA’s FedEx Cup Playoffs, but there are a few big names that are conspicuous in their absence.
Rory McIlroy has pulled out of the Series’ first two events to get his legal affairs in order. Sergio Garcia has picked playing in the CIMB Classic over this BMW Masters and Henrik Stenson is out following the birth of his third child.
With the top three in the standings all missing in Shanghai, the Race to Dubai is far from settled and Ladbrokes put Justin Rose in pole position to capitalise, as the 10/1 favourite for the opening tournament.
In his first appearance since ferociously leading Europe to yet another Ryder Cup victory, Rose has the all-round game to make the wide-open Lake Malaren Golf Club his plaything, the only question is whether the rust will be too heavy to shake off.
The same can all be said for Jamie Donaldson, Graeme McDowell and Ian Poulter, leaving a longer-priced, but well-grooved option ripe for the taking.
Rafael Cabrera-Bello, who is 66/1 to win with Ladbrokes, has enjoyed a superb campaign in collecting six top-10 finishes and, after seven tournaments outside the top 25, returned to form last time out.
His T12 at the shortened Portugal Masters was ignited by a seven-under-par 64 in the first round and the Spaniard will have happy memories when returning to China for the BMW.
The 30-year-old finished in a share of eighth place in the tournament last year and, with a long drive and reliable iron game to call on, is picked to top the leaderboard come Sunday.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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