DP World Tour Championship predictions:
The leading players in the DP World Tour converge on Dubai this week for the final event of the 2023 season, the DP World Tour Championship.
Defending champion Jon Rahm will be pressing his case to win a second title in a row at Jumeirah Golf Estates, although there is plenty of competition including Rory McIlroy, who is the favourite with UK bookmakers to take the crown.
It will be the first time McIlroy has competed since playing a significant role in Europe’s triumph over the USA in the Ryder Cup.
Teammates Shane Lowry, Tyrell Hatton, Sepp Straka and Viktor Hovland have also been out of action since the victory at the Marco Simone Golf Club.
But, Rahm, Robert MacIntyre, Tommy Fleetwood, Nicolai Hojgaard and Matthew Fitzpatrick have all been back on the course and look in good touch to cap their year on an even higher note.
Ryan Fox, Min Woo Lee and Joohyung Kim are among the top contenders from outside of the European team for the title with new betting sites after impressing with their performances on the DP World Tour this term.
Here are our predictions for the final tournament of the season on the DP World Tour.
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Watch out for McIlroy
McIlroy will end the season as the Race to Dubai winner, topping the standings on the DP World Tour for the fifth time in his career.
Max Homa’s victory at the Nedbank Golf Challenge last week meant that Rahm could no longer catch his European teammate even with a victory in the DP World Tour Championship, presenting McIlroy with the award.
But, McIlroy will not be satisfied with the seasonal prize, and he will want to cap his fine year with another victory on the DP World Tour. McIlroy notched two victories on the tour this season, triumphing at the Hero Dubai Desert Classic and Scottish Open.
He also came extremely close to ending his nine-year major drought, finishing second at the US Open alongside top 10 finishes at the PGA Championship and The Open.
McIlroy carried his form into the Ryder Cup, where he was dominant. The Northern Irishman won four of his five matches, only losing a point on the final hole of his four balls alongside Fitzpatrick.
The 34-year-old is a two-time winner of the DP World Tour Championship, although the last of his crowns came in 2015.
He has finished in the top 10 on four occasions since, including a fourth-place finish last season when he was four strokes off the pace of Rahm.
With our first DP World Tour Championship prediction, we’re backing McIlroy to record a top-five finish at 1/1 with bet365.
DP World Tour Championship Tip 1: Rory McIlroy to record top-five finish – 1/1 bet365
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Fitzpatrick eyes another DP World Tour Championship win
Although Europe won the Ryder Cup, Fitzpatrick endured a tough time at the tournament outside of his brilliance on the first day.
He was outstanding in the four balls alongside McIlroy on day one, reeling off eight birdies and an eagle between them to defeat Collin Morikawa and Xander Schauffele.
But, Fitzpatrick then failed to win another point for his team, and missed the chance to wrap up the Ryder Cup with a miss on the 18th hole in his singles match against Homa.
He responded well to his underwhelming display in Italy by winning his first DP World Tour event in two years with a fine performance at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
Fitzpatrick was a model of consistency in a weather-affected tournament, finishing three strokes ahead of his nearest challenger Fox.
The 29-year-old now has momentum to take into Dubai, where he is two-time winner, the last of which came in 2020.
Since winning the second of his DP World Tour Championships, Fitzpatrick has been in the running for further triumphs in the tournament.
He finished second behind Morikawa in 2021 and fifth last season, highlighting his impressive record at Jumeirah Golf Estates.
The Yorkshireman can cap a good end to the year with a third win in the competition. With our second DP World Tour Championship prediction, we’re backing Fitzpatrick to claim a third crown at 14/1 with Unibet.
DP World Tour Championship Tip 2: Matthew Fitzpatrick to win DP World Tour Championship – 14/1 Unibet
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Meronk to make fast start
Adrian Meronk was the unfortunate man to miss out on a place at the Ryder Cup.
Despite his impressive form on the DP World Tour, where he sits sixth in the standings ahead of the final event of the season, Luke Donald overlooked the Pole in favour of Ludvig Aberg with his captain’s pick.
Meronk was furious with the decision, having triumphed at the Marco Simone in June in the Italian Open as well as another victory on the DP World Tour at the Australian Open earlier in the campaign.
In the events since the Ryder Cup, he has been up and down, finishing off the pace at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, despite making a strong start.
He bounced back with a brilliant win in the Andalucia Masters before putting a solid week’s work in at the Nedbank Golf Challenge to finish in the top 20.
In the first high-profile event since the Ryder Cup, Meronk will be out to make a point and has carded under-par rounds in six out of his last seven tournaments.
So, with our final DP World Tour Championship prediction, we’re backing him to be the first-round leader at odds of 33/1 with BetMGM.
DP World Tour Championship Tip 3: Adrian Meronk to be first-round leader – 33/1 BetMGM
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Simon Sinclair is an experienced sports journalist, who has written for national publications for football, cricket, NFL and many more. He contributes tips on a wide range of sports for The Independent.