The excitement on the first tee will rival that of the Ryder Cup at around 12.20pm on Thurdsday, and the eyes of the golfing world will be on the world’s top three players.
Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer and Tiger Woods will go head-to-head in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, and Kaymer, who is playing with Woods for the first time, joins the golfing great at the top of the betting.
It’s not often that Tiger Woods shares favouritism and this may be the best time to back the 14-time Major champion – he is 5/1 to win in Dubai – considering he has won this event on two previous occasions.
Kaymer, also 5/1 to win, has finished T4, T4 and second in his last three starts at the Dubai Desert Classic and it’s obviously a course he loves.
A poor first round scuppered any chance Kaymer had of winning in Doha last week, but the world number two has another chance to replace Lee Westwood (12/1 to win) as the world’s greatest golfer and three solid rounds in Doha would suggest he’s in with a great chance.
But the one to watch is the man they call Tiger’s protégée, and Rory McIlroy absolutely loves playing in Dubai.
The 7/1 chance this week won this tournament back in 2009, has finished 5th ,6th ,3rd and 1st in his last four tournaments, has shot only three rounds over par in 24 rounds in Dubai, and averages 69.7 per round.
McIlroy has only played one tournament so far this year and finished second in Abu Dhabi, but the way the Ulsterman plays in Dubai suggests he will go one better this week.
Value further down in the betting comes in the form of England’s John Parry at 100/1 and Spain’s Rafael Cabrera Bello at 80/1.
A £25 stake on Rory McIlroy winning in Dubai would return £200. New customers can sign up here for a free bet worth £25.