17:50 – December 2, 2020
It’s only Wednesday evening but this week’s golf is already underway with the first round of the inaugural Golf in Dubai Championship all done and dusted. Pre-event pick, Andy Sullivan shows the way after an 11-under-par 61 but he was far from the only one to get hot and shoot a low score around the yielding Fire Course.
Frenchman, Antoine Rozner, and England’s Matt Wallace, who like Sullivan teed off early, both shot 63s to get within a couple of the leader but that wasn’t the end of the low scoring.
I thought the morning starters would get much the better of it today but those that teed it up in the afternoon averaged 69.34 compared to the 70.17 averaged in the morning. Several players made inroads into Sullivan’s lead, with Ross Fisher ending the day alongside Rozner and Wallace in a tie for second.
As highlighted in the In-Play Tactics section of the preview, when scoring is low like this it’s very hard to come from too far off the pace, so it’s no surprise to see the front four dominate the market. Here’s the early leaderboard with prices to back at 17:45.
Andy Sullivan -11 4.1
Matt Wallace -9 6.05/1
Ross Fisher -9 15.5
Antoine Rozner -9 16.5
Oscar Lengden -8 42.041/1
Marc Warren -8 44.043/1
Craig Howie -8 70.069/1
-7 and 17.016/1 bar
On six-under-par and out early tomorrow, Robert McIntyre 17.016/1 and Martin Kaymer 19.018/1 are the only players not listed above that trade at below 28.027/1 and even though he trails by five, I’ve decided to have a very small wager on McIntyre.
Apart from a sloppy couple of holes around the turn, McIntyre was impressive today. He started slowly last week and improved (50th after round one – finished sixth) so I’m half expecting to wake up tomorrow and see that he’s shot a low round to take the lead. I’m certainly not getting up to follow his progress (he tees off at 03:40 UK time) but I didn’t want to wake up and see he’s shot ten-under and that he’s trading far shorter than he now. He’s playing with lots of confidence after his first win on the European Tour last month in Cyprus and he’s a bigger price now than he was before the off.
It’s going to be a very busy day tomorrow when the other two events kick off – the South African Open (previewed here) and the Mayakoba Classic (previewed here) – so I’m not sure when I’ll update again. In the meantime, here’s the Find Me a 100 Winner column, with three picks in Mexico, and as highlighted below, since publishing the preview yesterday, I’ve also added Patton Kizzire to the portfolio.
As is so often the case on a Wednesday, there have been plenty of players that have drifted out today and he’s touched 120.0119/1, having been too short a price for the Find Me a 100 Winner column this morning! Kizzire won this event three years ago and with current form figures reading 24-11-10, he’s too big to ignore at a triple-figure price.
*You can follow me on Twitter @SteveThePunter