Tuesday, January 29, 2013

2013 Omega Dubai Desert Classic Preview and Predictions

The 2013 European Tour ends its Middle Eastern Swing this week at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.  This tournament has been dominated by Spaniards in recent years, and this year might be no different.  Big name players from around the world are flocking to the desert for this tournament that brings great appearance fees for the competitors.

In the Field
Once again, the European Tour boasts a great lineup for one of its early season tournaments.  Players seem to love playing in the desert and traveling with their families to the Middle East.  The Omega Dubai Desert Classic will have great groupings to watch.

Players to Watch
Lee Westwood: Lee Westwood makes his 2013 debut at the Dubai Desert Classic.  The former World #1 player is looking for his first major championship and would love to get his 2013 season jump=started here.  Look for him to come out with solid iron play, and a good putting week will put him near the top of the leaderboard.

Paul Casey: Casey has been recovering from injuries the past couple of seasons and would love nothing more than a victory in 2013.  Once a top-2 player in the world, Casey has struggled recently but is showing signs of improved play.

Chris Wood: The 25-year old Brit is coming off his first career European Tour victory.  Wood is looking to solidify his top-60 world ranking in order to gain entry in the Accenture Match Play Championship and other WGC and Major championships.

Matteo Manassero: The young Italian will be looking to continue his strong play into 2013.  He would love to win his first major this season, and improved driving length may see him contend more and more in big tournaments.

Sergio Garcia: Coming off a T-2 last week, Garcia seems to be in top form.  Once heralded as the next big player, Garcia would love to lose the moniker: "Best player without a major" this season.

Mark O'Meara: The Champions Tour regular and two-time major champion is in the field again this season.  O'Meara enjoys the travel to the Middle East and hopefully will have the game to make it to the weekend.

The Course
The Emirates Golf Club once again hosts the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.  Located in the largest city in the United Arab Emirates, the Emirates Golf Club measures in at 7300 yards and par-72.  A unique course routing sees one par-5 on the front-9 and three on the back, including the signature 18th hole, a reachable par-5 that plays over water.  Players have the ability to make up strokes on this hole, but also could see their rounds and tournament hopes drown.

This is one of the more unpredictable tournaments on the European Tour Schedule, as surprise players have won the past couple years.  But with his solid play coming in and the tradition of Spanish golfers here in Dubai, I am going with Sergio Garcia as the winner of the 2013 Omega Dubai Desert Classic.   
Lee Westwood will contend, as will Chris Wood who will look to make it two wins in a row.  But Garcia will be able to pull away late in the final round to take the win.

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