Justin Rose has won on his last two starts and is now just 135,000 points behind current leader Tommy Fleetwood in the Race to Dubai. Rose is not playing in this week’s penultimate counting event but Fleetwood has travelled to South Africa to compete in the Nedbank Challenge. He is struggling to get over the line in the money list and other players are preferred this week including Ross Fisher.
Fisher is the main tip from the Golf Rater service on WIN. The tipster advised three players for the HSBC-Champions two weeks ago they finished first, second and third. The tips included Justin Rose who delivered at 20/1. Subscribers have enjoyed a run of winners including Jordan Spieth at 16/1 in the Open Championship. You can get all the best golf bets until the end of the season for just £14.99: CLICK HERE!
The Gary Player Golf Club in Sun City is the host course for the last but one regular event. The Race to Dubai will be decided at the DP World Tour Championship and Rose seems determined to be top dog in Europe. He won his 11th European Tour title in the Turkish Airlines Open last week. An impeccable final round of 65 was enough to get the job done and now Rose is the favourite to win the Race to Dubai. Fleetwood finished 23rd for a small cheque and now has Rose breathing down his neck.
The issue could be just about put to bed if Fleetwood wins this week but he is not playing well enough to contend. He has the right skills profile for a course that puts a premium on accuracy over distance but he doesn’t seem in the confident frame of mind to take the event by the scruff of the neck and decide Race to Dubai issues. Rose is preparing for the climax of the season in Europe by resting after his two winning weeks. He will be fresh and ready for Dubai and his destiny next week which is in his own hands as winning the tournament will clinch the Race.
The layout at Sun City is demanding and finding fairways is a key skill. Last season the course was the second lowest on the European Tour for driving accuracy stats. Less than half the tee shots hit found the fairway. However, the par 3s and 4s are the longest on average on Tour so distance is still important. In fact Sun City is a classic test in that one attribute is not overriding. The course will test a decent field because players must handle narrow fairways and relatively long approach shots.
Tyrell Hatton is playing in South Africa this week. He won two tournaments back-to-back last month and is now fifth in the Race to Dubai. However, he has had a busy schedule and mental letdown could be an issue after his great run. Mathew Fitzpatrick is 13th in the Race after a decent season. He has a game with few weaknesses and should relish the demands of this week’s tough assignment but Fisher has better prospects at Sun City in terms of course form and skills.
The English player is one of the form picks this week. He has finished second on his last two starts including in the Rolex Series Italian Open which attracted one of the strongest fields of the season outside the majors and WGC events and for a regular tournament. Fisher is currently sixth in the Race to Dubai and not only is he a player in form he has some course form having finished second on the Gary Player layout in 2014. Fisher has also made the top 25 in his other appearances on the course and has good historical stats for greens in regulation and strokes gained on the par 5s.
In theory Fisher could still win the Race to Dubai but he needs two wins and hope other players do him some favours. However, there is too much talent in the top five and Rose looks tough to beat. In any case it will have been an excellent season for Fisher who can take it a new level by winning the 2017 Nedbank Challenge.