Plenty of punters will steam into favourite Rory McIlroy’s 9/2 odds to win golf’s DP World Tour Championship, the last furlong in the Race to Dubai, but there’s a man further back in the field at more than three times the price who deserves just as much attention.
The world number one took this title, and the European money list with it, two years ago by a couple of strokes, but with the big prize already tucked under McIlroy’s arm after a dream season, the stakes aren’t quite as high this time round.
Meanwhile, the phenomenal Northern Irish swinger hasn’t played since finishing tied for second at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship more than a month ago, with his last few weeks largely spent fighting a protracted legal case.
That’s a variable too many for us to lump on the short odds about McIlroy, whose form has been famously vulnerable to outside distractions in the past (see C. Wozniacki).
In-form Englishman Ian Poulter, on the other hand, deserves a huge shout out at 16/1 to triumph at Jumeirah Golf Estates, while 16/5 on the Hertfordshire native making the top five by Sunday night’s close of play should be snapped up.
Poulter tends to go very well here, finishing outright second in two of the past four DP World Tour Championship renewals, and the 36-year-old was only denied the prize in 2010 after two holes of a play-off with eventual winner Robert Karlsson.
However, it’s his recent resurgence that lends weight to this punting pick, as Poulter has steamed in from 44th to 26th in the world over his last three tournament appearances.
A decent top-50 BMW Masters finish was followed up with a share of sixth at the WGC-HSBC Champions tournament, before USA’s Brooks Koepka edged Poulter into second place by a sole stroke at the Turkish Airlines Open last time out.
An 11th career win looks just around the corner for the patriotic Brit. Back Poulter at 16/1 to bring it home at a venue he clearly loves.