2021 PGA Betting Preview: Six in Hunt for Europe’s No. 1 Spot Heading Into DP World Tour Championship

Six players enter this week’s DP World Tour Championship with the chance to end the season as Europe’s number one. Collin Morikawa and Billy Horschel, Tyrrell Hatton, Min Woo Lee, Matt Fitzpatrick and Paul Casey will all be looking to not just take home the season long prize, but also finish a hectic 2021 in style with a win at European golf’s richest event.

This will be the last time an event is hosted on the European Tour after it was announced that from 2022 it would be renamed the DP World Tour. The list of players that have been named as European number one is illustrious with the likes of Seve Ballesteros and Nick Faldo and more recently Jon Rahm and Rory McIlroy. Rahm was actually a late withdrawal from the event a blow to the event’s organisers after Viktor Hovland and Justin Rose surprisingly decided to skip the tournament.

Collin Morikawa is the man in pole position and if Billy Horschel does not finish in the top eight, he will be named as the Race to Dubai champion no matter where he finishes. He was handed an honorary lifetime membership to the tour earlier this week to recognise his victory at the Open Championship in the summer. He has shown throughout his short career that he can compete on any course, but the Earth Course should suit him perfectly. He is perhaps the greatest ball striker in golf and being accurate off the tee is a major plus here, rather than being a bomber. He was 10th last season in his first start at the event and he can improve on that here as he rounds out what has been another incredible year for the player that has been a pro for just a little over two seasons.

Rory McIlroy leads the market at 6/1. Just ahead of Morikawa (17/2) and he could be the man to beat after a win last time out at the CJ Cup. He has had strong links to Dubai and Jumeirah Golf Estates where the event is held from the moment he turned pro and his results in the UAE throughout his career speak for themselves. He has won this event twice the last coming in 2015 and his first win as a professional was at the Dubai Desert Classic. On top form, McIlroy is the best player in the world, but we do not see that as often as we, and certainly he, would like. But on the back of a win and in a place where he is so at home, it is hard to look past the Irishman.

This event is for the top 50 in the Race to Dubai standings, but there has been some exceptions made this year for Sergio Garcia, Patrick Reed and Will Zalatoris. It is a controversial move as this tournament is something that players work all season towards, but they are big names and with the withdrawals it is easy to see why they would want to bring some players in, despite it still being a very strong field. 

One player that deserves a mention is Tyrrell Hatton. It has not been his strongest season but in European golf there are few who turn up at these big events like him. He has won four of these Rolex Series events the most prestigious tournaments on the tour and won in Abu Dhabi earlier this year. He seems to thrive under the pressure and he will be looking to bookend his year with wins in the middle east. 

Min Woo Lee is perhaps less known to casual fans, but he has been making moves in the world of golf recently and still has a chance to take home the big prize with a victory. He perhaps has the best form of anybody in the field with three top eights in his past three starts, including a second at Valderrama a few weeks ago. He has two wins on the European Tour already, including the Scottish Open which has one of the strongest fields of the season as it precedes the Open Championship. He is ready to win a big event such as this and at 30/1 he could be great value. 

The European Tour has done so much for golfers from across the globe and this event has all the makings of a great send off before the DP World Tour takes over in South Africa next week.

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