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European Tour - Dubai Desert Classic

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EmmDee57
Faldono1fan
Sand
NedB-H
GPB
JAS
twoeightnine
McLaren
navyblueshorts
super_realist
HiGun
pedro
dynamark
kwinigolfer
puligny
themightyone
princedracula
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Post by princedracula Wed 30 Jan 2013, 4:25 pm

The last of the desert swing events takes place this week in Dubai. Only a few years back this used to be the one where many of the big starts were gathering, but there is obviously a big change this year...

Spoiler:
I expect we may hear various speculations going around over the next days as to why this is happening. As we've been seeing, Abu Dhabi has slowly taken over the spotlight in the last few years and getting now all the big stars (reflected in the OWGR strength above). I'm not sure if it's all about money, but it could well have something to do with the financial troubles that the 'Dubai project' (call it 'house of cards' if you will) faced a couple of years back and when apparently only last minute intervention from their neighbours in Abu Dhabi saved the whole thing from collapse. Thing is that the prize fund itself didn't really go down, but I'm guessing that the all important big appearence fee pot has dried up... who knows? On the other hand, Dubai still remains heavilly involved in the ET with the R2D and the final big event of the season...

Anyhow, Lee Westwood is back! At least playing, but we shall see about his form. Apparently he spent most of the winter in Florida training and playing a lot, so according to his own comments, he feels up for it and ready to go. Big year ahead for him, no doubt. Has a very good record here with three runner up places, but no win yet. Last year Rafael Cabrerra Bello won the event and hopefully he will pull off another fine performance this week to lift him inside the top 50 in the world. Talking of which, it's good to see that practically all the (fit) EuroTour players that are still having a good chance to make the top50/64 cutlines to qualify for the next big events are in the field this week. Spaniards have been doing well over here lately, and Garcia seemed to be in top form last week in Qatar, and hoping probably to go one better this week. Othere than that, still keeping an eye on Matteo, Stenson and Casey, but also have a hunch that a Scot may do well here this week... Also, good to see a few chaps from the PGA Tour (Curtis, Noh and... O'Meara) coming to play here, most probably fulfilling some older commitments (e.g. 'Dubai golf ambassadors', etc.)...

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Post by themightyone Wed 30 Jan 2013, 4:36 pm

I'd reckon Garcia and Manassero are the two guys to beat. Three dark horses to watch: Lowry, Luiten and Andersson Hed. And by chance: they are in the same group...

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Post by themightyone Wed 30 Jan 2013, 4:37 pm

ps thanks pd

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Post by puligny Wed 30 Jan 2013, 6:24 pm

C'mon Lee. Talking a great game and you are carrying my shekels for a few wins this year. Good luck.
Thanks for the write up PD

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 30 Jan 2013, 6:32 pm

A better field than perhaps the owgr's indicate when one considers the optimism one might have that some players are making comebacks or otherwise (let's hope!) in the ascendancy, e.g. Casey, Stenson, Sterne, Dyson, Eddie Molinari. All should be back to being Top fifty golfers at the very least.

Big years for Garcia and Westwood, would LOVE to seem them both in Major winners' enclosures.

Any reason for optimism for Lowry and Ramsay?
Neither has really vindicated their decisions to abort their PGA Tour ambitions. Crucial they stick in the top 64 for the MatchPlay, then important to do well for Doral and Augusta - hopefully they have a sponsor's invite or two over here, but they'll be thinner on the ground than usual this year.

And Rhys Davies, Rich Beem, Andrea Pavan, Vancsik and Uihlein Challenge-ing in India.

Great write-up pd thumbsup

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Post by princedracula Wed 30 Jan 2013, 7:00 pm

Cheers, gents. Not sure what to say about Lowry but I'm hopeful. A step at a time... needs as you say to make sure of making the Match Play first and needs at least a top 10 finish this week to buy some peace of mind for that...

And that's right, the Challenge Tour season starts in India this week. Local Gaganjeet Bhullar the top ranked in that field among the CT hopefuls...

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Post by dynamark Wed 30 Jan 2013, 9:06 pm

yep Rhys Davies fell of the jetty slightly.Just looking at the list 6 out of first 10 in S Africa and the first european gig is spain in april followed by BMW at wenters in May.Running up the air miles but I guess a reflection of the economics

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Post by pedro Wed 30 Jan 2013, 9:51 pm

Rhys Davies fell off the buggy at the RC at Celtic Manor.

Still looking forward to Dubai. Plenty of interesting names, albeit not strong on owgr points. I fancy Stenson and Sergio to do well, Matteo also. And I feel we haven't seen the last of Bjorn yet.

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Post by princedracula Thu 31 Jan 2013, 6:39 am

Yesterday I woke up to the weird and troubling deer antler news, and this morning I find this...

Spoiler:
Now that could be a bit embarassing for the ET guys if it stays like that for much longer... Headscratch

Excellent start for Lee and Jaidee (in great form lately!) and for some of the other notables, but not very good from Lowry and Luiten...

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Post by HiGun Thu 31 Jan 2013, 9:23 am

Well they are pretty much ripping that place up this morning. Level par puts you in 74th place with half the field to go out!

Sterne the best at 10 under in the club house.

I think the tour maybe looking for a 59 today...Sergio?

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Post by pedro Thu 31 Jan 2013, 9:49 am

princedracula wrote:Yesterday I woke up to the weird and troubling deer antler news, and this morning I find this...

Spoiler:
Now that could be a bit embarassing for the ET guys if it stays like that for much longer... Headscratch

Excellent start for Lee and Jaidee (in great form lately!) and for some of the other notables, but not very good from Lowry and Luiten...
Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked

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Post by super_realist Thu 31 Jan 2013, 9:57 am

Deer Antler spray? It gives you the horn apparently.

Shane Lowry +2 Laugh Is that the weight in stone he's put on over winter, or his score today?

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Post by navyblueshorts Thu 31 Jan 2013, 9:59 am

super_realist wrote:Deer Antler spray? It gives you the horn apparently...
Laugh

Decent round from Casey I see.
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Post by McLaren Thu 31 Jan 2013, 10:13 am

Super if dear antler spray gives you the horn, what does no sex for at least a couple of years give you?
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Post by puligny Thu 31 Jan 2013, 10:18 am

Mac/Super - is that why TC has problem with his wrist?

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Post by pedro Thu 31 Jan 2013, 10:37 am

Vijay has always been a bit of a horn bag imo... George Clooney of golf.

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Post by pedro Thu 31 Jan 2013, 10:55 am

princedracula wrote:also have a hunch that a Scot may do well here this week...
pd, you could be right!

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Post by twoeightnine Thu 31 Jan 2013, 11:00 am

Pretty impressive scoring but got me to thinking about shooting a 59. I am not sure but haven't these all come on Par 69 courses so what Sterne did today is just as impressive but he won't get that number stamped on his ball as Annika does.

This may have been mentioned before but any idea why Uihlein is following the European route so much? I thought last year when he tried to get on the full tour that he maybe thought it a bit easier to get on than the PGA Tour but then I assumed that he would head for home.

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Post by themightyone Thu 31 Jan 2013, 11:17 am

PD, Lowry and Luiten both had miserable rounds. Andersson Hed the only positive in their group. Warning to all readers: never put a punt on a suggestion made by me. picard

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Post by princedracula Thu 31 Jan 2013, 12:21 pm

pedro, looks good for the Scots so far, Gallacher was one I had in mind. I don't have a stat, but feels to me that this guy always scores more eagles than the average on tour... Good pick from kwini as well with Sterne, brilliant round today...
TMO - don't worry, we've all been there with predictions... Rolling Eyes
Pathetic round from Lowry, he'll have little chance to make the Match Play if he keeps playing like that. Not signed for Joburg Open yet either...

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 31 Jan 2013, 12:25 pm

289: Peter Uihlein has consistently (so far anyway) tried and failed to get thru PGA Tour Q-School.

(Looks like Jeff Overton would have shot a 57 today . . . . . )

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Post by twoeightnine Thu 31 Jan 2013, 12:43 pm

Kwini - I thought that it may have been something to do with wanting to get away from the influence of his father and plough his only furrow. But obviously not.

Do you think that this is a route that more young Americans may try? I would guess that given his father's profession there is probably a good chance that he was pretty well travelled while growing up so may be not such a huge thing for him.

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 31 Jan 2013, 1:35 pm

Young Americans in Europe?
I think it's quite possible given the PGA Tour Q-School reconfiguration; Brooks Koepka(sp?) and Scott Pinckney played some ET and Challenge events last year.
And then there's Grandad O'Meara.

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Post by pedro Thu 31 Jan 2013, 1:51 pm

For sure our friend Ben Curtis didn't have a problem traveling 12 time zones from California. His score was not impressive though... Headscratch

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Post by JAS Thu 31 Jan 2013, 1:56 pm

PD wrote... "but also have a hunch that a Scot may do well here this week"... 3 Jocks in the top 5 after round 1

Can you please give me 6 random numbers between 1 & 49 please Dracs Wink

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Post by princedracula Thu 31 Jan 2013, 2:55 pm

JAS wrote:PD wrote... "but also have a hunch that a Scot may do well here this week"... 3 Jocks in the top 5 after round 1

Can you please give me 6 random numbers between 1 & 49 please Dracs Wink
You're not suggesting, I hope, that having a Scot doing well in a golf tournament is as (im)probable as winning the lotto..? Very Happy

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Post by GPB Thu 31 Jan 2013, 3:07 pm

Seung Yul Noh was playing in San Diego on Monday. He had a good round (66) today.

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Post by JAS Thu 31 Jan 2013, 4:00 pm

princedracula wrote:
JAS wrote:PD wrote... "but also have a hunch that a Scot may do well here this week"... 3 Jocks in the top 5 after round 1

Can you please give me 6 random numbers between 1 & 49 please Dracs Wink
You're not suggesting, I hope, that having a Scot doing well in a golf tournament is as (im)probable as winning the lotto..? Very Happy

No...I'm paying homage to your seemingly incredible intuition and want to put it to good use Wink

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Post by GPB Thu 31 Jan 2013, 4:27 pm

Just looking at the field in Pebble Beach. Rafa Cabrera Bello is going to be there.

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Post by NedB-H Thu 31 Jan 2013, 9:13 pm

GPB wrote:Just looking at the field in Pebble Beach. Rafa Cabrera Bello is going to be there.
Do you have a link GPB? Pgatour.com generally don't enlighten us mortals on fields until Friday night at the earliest. Pebble is up there with my favourite regular tour events, certainly the best tournament stateside until Augusta/Hilton Head, in my opinion. Also perhaps one that suits the Euros more than most courses? I remember RCB having a good start there in the 2010 US Open, though he fell away later that week.

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 31 Jan 2013, 9:26 pm

Ned,
Some very unflattering photos . . . .

http://www.attpbgolf.com/players

And there's Brian Davis too!

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Post by NedB-H Thu 31 Jan 2013, 10:32 pm

Cheers Kwini! Not a particularly impressive Euro presence there, after me saying I'd back them to do well... in fact not a fantastic field full stop. Would think that Pebble will be a bit disappointed with that...

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Post by pedro Fri 01 Feb 2013, 12:17 am

kwinigolfer wrote:Ned,
Some very unflattering photos . . . .

http://www.attpbgolf.com/players

And there's Brian Davis too!
Bit of a freak show there. Are they serious? Worse than this:
http://images.halloweenquiztime.multiply.multiplycontent.com/attachment/0/SClg7goKClAAAA7cOvg1/Quiztime%20Celebrity%20Freakshow%20PicQuiz.pdf?key=halloweenquiztime:journal:33&nmid=95812393

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Post by princedracula Fri 01 Feb 2013, 11:29 am

We all have a good idea by now how good Olesen is and he proved that once again today, but not so sure yet how good is Tommy Fleetwood? Rather quietly he's just tied Olesen at the top with 11-under and 4 holes left still... Is he going to replace young Tom Lewis (who is still struggling to steady his almost sinking ship), as the brightest young English prospect? And talking of young, he's in fact two weeks younger than Lewis...

Doak was certainly not one of the Scots I had in mind to do well here this week, but after another great round today, he's joining Olesen and Fleetwood as probably the only guys without a bogey so far...

Very good rounds today from Garcia, Jose-Maria and a few others...

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Post by Sand Fri 01 Feb 2013, 1:55 pm

Seen Garcia interview after the round and is struggling with his shoulder, hope he can manage to finish the tournament as hes right in the thick of things at the moment.

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Post by kwinigolfer Fri 01 Feb 2013, 2:05 pm

Some guys jeopardising their MatchPlay field chances: Lowry (#62) and Hansen (#66) both missing the cut.
And Bjorn and Ramsay (Masters too for Richie) not doing their Cadillac chances any good.

Would really like to see Richard Sterne back on the Worldwide stage . . . . .

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Post by Faldono1fan Fri 01 Feb 2013, 9:00 pm

Chris Wood quietly going about his business again at the ancient age of 25 years old. Very Happy

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Post by pedro Fri 01 Feb 2013, 9:32 pm

Santos in the mix again. Wouldn't have guessed. Don't know anything about him.

Olesen for sure is the real deal. I'd like him to get a few wins under his belt soon.

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Post by kwinigolfer Fri 01 Feb 2013, 9:48 pm

Santos was the winner last year in Madeira.

Faldo, Wood can do himself some good over the coming month - decent result here and a win or two at the MatchPlay will go a long way to getting him into Doral and Augusta. So close he can feel it, as they say!

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Post by Faldono1fan Sat 02 Feb 2013, 7:06 am

Hi Kwini

Yes. He is getting to the level he should have been at 2 years ago. He has been badly hampered with back problems. Hopefully he can kick on now & become a top 50 player for a while.

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Post by EmmDee57 Sat 02 Feb 2013, 9:08 am

Backed Olesen at 20/1. Hope he wins!!

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Post by dynamark Sat 02 Feb 2013, 9:44 am

Tidy eagle on the last to get Rock to 11 under finish nice to see a bit of solid form.Webby and Sullivan also going well for the Midlands PGA.Sullivan looks to have a future

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Post by McLaren Sat 02 Feb 2013, 12:16 pm

How long has Sam Torrance been plaguing the golf channel coverage of the european tour?
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Post by princedracula Sat 02 Feb 2013, 12:42 pm

Told you that Gallacher tends to get more eagles than most others... Two more today including that brilliant one at the 18th and what a great 62 round from the Scot. His driving was amazing all day... We will end up with two very low scores at the two main events this week, that's for sure...

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Post by kwinigolfer Sat 02 Feb 2013, 12:54 pm

Question is: Why doesn't Gallacher win more?
Obviously got the ability, but will final-round fragility show itself again on Sunday?

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Post by princedracula Sat 02 Feb 2013, 1:16 pm

Part of it is also that there is only a limited number of 'wins' available out there, so probably the same question can apply to quite a few others who hve the abilities, but... If he gets this one, at least would come at the right time...

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Post by kwinigolfer Sat 02 Feb 2013, 1:19 pm

And Gallacher would get himself into good position to remain in the top ten in the R2D as at Feb 25th and earn a drive to the Cadillac, with Jamieson and Wood; even Webster has a chance with a top three this week.


pd, Agree about Gallacher but don't you think there's something special in his game that doesn't come out often enough? He's 38 now, pretty soon to now or never!

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Post by kwinigolfer Sun 03 Feb 2013, 9:17 am

And not the start that Gallacher wanted.

Who's this Olazabal fellow storming in to the Top Ten?

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Post by princedracula Sun 03 Feb 2013, 10:12 am

After the first two holes I thought it's going to turn into a complete disaster for thr Scot... He's done quite well to keep it steady after that. Surprised that none of the followers (i.e. Olesen) are taking advantage to catch those two at the top...

Olazabal leading the 8-strong Spanish Armada, pretty impressive form from him lately, and he looked disgusted with himself when he missed another birdie chance at the last hole...

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Post by incontinentia Sun 03 Feb 2013, 10:35 am

Has the dubai desert classic lost some of its lustre?? Seems kind of a weak field compared with previous years, or maybe just a lack of superstars.

Edit: I see this has already been discussed! Well I know that Tiger switched to Abu Dhabi because of a sponsorship change from Omega to Rolex last year, not sure why Rory's not here. Haven't seen Els, Kaymer, Rose, Quiros etc. this week either.


Last edited by incontinentia on Sun 03 Feb 2013, 10:46 am; edited 1 time in total
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