Tommy Fleetwood and Paul Casey would not usually compete in an event as weak as the Dubai Championship, which is why they are such short odds for success.
Fleetwood has not won a tournament since November 2019, so the Southport man is desperate to get any silverware he can lay his hands on.
The Dubai Championship is very much the warm-up act for next week’s season finale – the DP World Tour Championship – but Fleetwood will be keen to end his victory drought as soon as possible.
The 9/1 about Fleetwood may appeal to his fans – at his best he should prove a class apart to many in this field – but he blew a golden chance in the Italian Open in September and has become difficult to trust.
Casey may be using the Dubai Championship to get used to a new caddie. His regular bagman has taken some time off to deal with mental health issues, so Casey must start a fresh relationship with somebody else.
He won his last event in Dubai – the Desert Classic in January – but 10/1 does not scream value for this.
Min Woo Lee Could Upstage the Favourites
Australian youngster Min Woo Lee is a more attractive option at 25/1.
This sweet-swinging 23-year-old finished fourth in the 2019 Saudi International, showing an immediate liking for desert golf, and his ability to play well in the wind stands him in great stead in the typical Middle East conditions.
With breezy afternoons expected every day of the Dubai Championship, Lee could thrive.
He grew up in Perth – one of the windiest cities in his homeland – and has developed an array of shots to combat tough conditions.
There are four long par-threes at the Fire Course and Lee’s excellence with a long-iron in hand is another reason for believing this could be the week he completes a European Tour hat-trick.
He is desperate to get into the top 50 of the world rankings before the end of the year – and this low-grade shootout represents a golden opportunity.
Paratore May Be a Lively Each-Way Outsider
Renato Paratore has greatly impressed on the greens in recent weeks – he has been carrying a sizzling putter – and the swashbuckling Italian could do plenty of damage at the Fire Course if he continues his incredible flat-stick form.
The 90/1 about Paratore is well worth considering as an each-way option. He has lived in Dubai for a year and a half, so knows the Fire Course better than most of his rivals, and that local knowledge showed through three rounds last year.
Paratore was third going into the final round, dropping to 13th after a 72, but that spin underlined a liking for the venue.
He is a two-time European Tour champion – he won the British Masters by three shots last year – so he can be expected to hold his nerve if he gets into contention again this time.
*All odds correct at time of writing