It’s the culmination of the European Tour as the Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai hosts the DP World Tour Championship.

Given the stature of the tournament, it’s unsurprising the likes of Rory McIlroy, Collin Morikawa and Sergio Garcia are in situ, and ahead of the opening salvo on Thursday, we’ve given our view on the likely contender.

Tommy’s time in Dubai

When Tommy Fleetwood won the 2019 Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa, the Englishman was ranked 10th in the world and it really looked as if the world was his oyster. And while there have been some solid showings since, including four seconds, the fact he hasn’t won is a bit of a mystery to the entire golfing world.

2021 hasn’t been a bad year either for Fleetwood with six top-10s and only three missed cuts in 25 appearances, but while he might have played steadily for the most part, he hasn’t been in the shake-up nearly as much as he would have liked.

However, he took a few weeks off after a disappointing tie for 65th at the Wyndham Championship and that seemed to work wonders as he finished second at the Italian Open on his next start. It has clearly given him heaps of confidence as he’s only been out of the top-13 once on five starts since and it’s perhaps unsurprising that he now tops the Strokes Gained: Total charts on the European Tour. That shows his game is in fine fettle and he comes into this off a solid showing at the sister course to the Earth, the Fire, last week where a poor week on the greens costs him dear.

He ranked 11th for Strokes Gained: Tee To Green, but only 50th for Strokes Gained: Putting and so to shoot 18 under par was no mean feat. He’ll take confidence from the way he hit the ball last week and so should he from the fact that he returns to a course where he has a very solid record. In eight starts at this event, he has five top-25s, including a tie for ninth in 2016 and a solo second in 2019, showing it’s clearly a track which suits Tommy’s eye. It’s further evidence of his love affair with golf in the UAE (he has back-to-back wins at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship) and if he can get the putter working, he looks poised for a big week at 20/1.

Other contenders

Rory McIlroy is the rightful favourite at 6/1 after his win last time out at the CJ Cup. It was his second victory of the season and things do seem to be moving in the right direction for the Northern Irishman. He has, of course, won this title twice in 2012 and 2015, but he’s moved back to his old coach in Michael Bannon in recent weeks and that tempers enthusiasm somewhat.

Collin Morikawa (15/2) could become the new world number one with a victory this week. He was battling a back injury for a couple of months at the back end of the summer, but a runners-up finish to McIlroy at the CJ Cup, where he closed with a 62, and a tie for seventh at the Zozo Championship the following week show he’s clearly over that now. He played pretty well to finish a tie for 10th on debut in this event last year and like McIlroy, he’s a danger to all.

Check out all the latest golf betting odds at William Hill