Tiger's in the Desert Swing again
In the opening round in Dubai, the European Tour has given us a marquee three ball. On Thursday morning, we will be able to witness the world number one Westwood (12/1), play against the former number one Woods (13/2) and the German sensation Martin Kaymer (9/2).
It is the first time since 1994 that the top three in the world have played in the same European Tour event other than a World Golf Championship or Major Championship.
Woods is priced at 13/8, Westwood 21/10 and Kaymer 6/4 to win their 3 ball. Hopefully it will live up to expectation and they put on a show for all European Tour followers. This 3 ball is the defining moment of the lucrative four-week Desert Swing that comes to an end at the Emirates Golf Club in Dubai this week.
Water comes into play over ten holes, the course is very flat and is surrounded by sand. It is the best line-up so far this season on the European Tour and there will be a vast number of spectators at the course.
Tiger Woods has won the Desert Classic twice and he will be looking for his first professional win since November 2009 and he could be a snip at 13/2 outright. Woods last won the competition in 2008 when he beat the runner-up Martin Kaymer by one stroke.
Westwood missed the cut in Qatar last week and he will be wary that if he under-performs in Dubai, he could lose the top spot in the world golf rankings.
One player who could be worth an each-way bet is Rafael Cabrera-Bello (66/1), he has had two top-ten finishes so far in the Desert Swing and is in-form. He won the Austrian Golf Open in 2009 and the Spaniard is still young and fairly new to the European Tour. He is tenth in The Race to Dubai and more can be expected of the lad from Gran Canaria.
Another player that could be in contention on Sunday is the Spaniard Alvaro Quiros (16/1). It is difficult to look past a player with course form and one who has finished in the top-ten in three of his last five events. He won the Qatar Masters in 2009 and came close to defending it in 2010, he seems to revel in the Desert Swing and his price shows that he has to be taken seriously.
The defending champion is another Spaniard, Jimenez (33/1). I know I am going on about these Spanish players but the champion this year could well come from the Iberian Peninsula.
Last year the man who loves his cigars and Rioja stated that he is like a vintage wine, he gets better with age. He almost won another event on the Desert Swing recently, when he was narrowly beaten by Casey in the inaugural Volvo Champions in Bahrain two weeks ago.
The 2009 winner Mcllroy (11/2) will be looking for another victory in Dubai. He may be going un-noticed because he is not part of that sensational three ball but now he has committed himself to the European Tour this year, he will be desperate to win the Race to Dubai and one day become world number one.