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Nic Ladds 3rd Feb 2010 - 9:42

Kaymer set to dethrone nearly - man McIlroy

The final leg of the Gulf Swing and some of the finest talent the golfing world can offer gathers at the Emirates Golf Club for the Dubai Desert Classic where Rory McIlroy comes to defend his title and he heads the market at odds of 8/1.

The Northern Irish star arrives here in good form having finished in the top five in his last four tournaments but to this writer, McIlroy is becoming frustrating to back, never quite getting over the finish line and for those fancying a market leader, Martin Kaymer looks a better option at 10/1 as he has already won this year to add to his two last year and has finished second and fourth here in two starts.

Lee Westwood will be hoping for better luck this time around after losing his clubs in Abu Dhabi before having to endure a cracked driver going in to round three in Qatar but his record here is reasonable at best and while he could make the frame, 12/1 makes little appeal.

So where should your hard - earned be going this week? Henrik Stenson will be at the top of many a punter's list with form figures here of 7-1-6-3 but can you really back a man at 16/1 who shot +7 last week when one of the favourites?

Alvaro Quiros is in good form having finished second in this part of the world last time and is 18/1 while last week's winner Robert Karlsson is 16/1 but Louis Oosthizen could be the most interesting at 22/1 as the South African has been on the premises on his last few goes and has finished third and seventh here on his last two visits.

Away from the clustered head of the market we have a couple likely candidates who could oblige you at big odds, the first of which is Australian Scott Strange who we last saw when tying for second place in the Australian PGA Championship.

He actually played that week with an injured hand which makes his result even better and he makes his return following the birth of his daughter so you can be sure his spirits will be sky - high and he has publically stated he wants to make the top 50 this year and this guy knows how to win and finished seventh here last year on his only start and he looks a cracking each way bet at 50/1.

A couple of weeks ago if you'd told someone you were thinking of backing Thomas Bjorn they'd laugh at you, declaring you insane for thinking of siding with a man who'd missed five cuts in a row. However, Bjorn bounced right back to form with an eighth in the Qatar Masters and with his dreadful spell hopefully behind him, getting stuck in to the 66/1 on offer could be the way to profit.

The Dane won here in 2001 and has three more top 10 finishes to boot and you can be sure if he'd had a couple more good weeks before the last one his price would be a lot shorter and it is worth siding with him on the hope that he is back to his best.

Of the favourites, this writer is a big fan of Kaymer, so talented, knows how to win and one of the coolest heads around with course form, it could scarcely get any better and McIlroy may have to play the supporting role yet again as the big guns being to sharpen their weapons for a tilt at the first WGC Championship event in the USA in a couple of weeks.

Don't forget, William Hill is offering ¼ the odds on the first five places so you can get more for your money.

Martin Kaymer - 10/

Scott Strange - 50/1

Thomas Bjorn - 66/1


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