The European Tour is back this week as we head back to the Middle East for a two-week period (next week we’ll be in Qatar). Al Mouj is a Greg Norman design, which is a typical coastal links course featuring hazards on 10 holes and measures just over 7,300 yards.
COURTESY OF FANTASY GOLF INSIDER
The European Tour is back this week as we head back to the Middle East for a two-week period (next week we’ll be in Qatar). Al Mouj is a Greg Norman design, which is a typical coastal links course featuring hazards on 10 holes and measures just over 7,300 yards. The Challenge Tour has played on this course in the past which may give a bump to certain players for those that live by course history and considering this field is basically a glorified Challenge Tour event with the exception of maybe 10 to 15 players being of actual European Tour caliber.
There are two Par 5’s that measure close to 600 yards, so birdies there are ideal, but not guaranteed. The other two are relatively short (566 yards & 543 yards) meaning eagle could be on the table and walking away without a birdie should feel like you’re losing a shot to the field. All but one of the Par 3’s are under 200 yards (one of them is an island green), the scoring on Par 3’s doesn’t move the needle as much as it should, but the better ball strikers should be looking to make birdie on at least two of these holes every other day.
The main defense for this course would appear to be the weather (winds coming off the Gulf of Oman/Indian Ocean), so keep that in mind when building your lineups and giving a nod to any strong wind players in the field.
For more on the course, click here.
- Al Mouj Golf
- Par: 72
- Yardage: 7,365 yards
- Greens: Bermuda
- Location: Muscat, Oman
- 2018: Joost Luiten -16 over Chris Wood
KEY STATS TO TARGET
- Strong Emphasis – SG: T2G, SG: APP, Par 4 Scoring, Par 5 Scoring
- Important – Current Form, Course History
THIS WEEK’S SUGGESTIONS
- Alexander Levy (DK $10,500)
Form: DNP – DNP – DNP – 5th
Stats: 119th– SG: OTT, 94th– SG: T2G, 117th– SG: APP, 81st– SG: P
Other: Levy is a “big name” in the field this week, but thanks to defending champion Luiten and Pieters, isn’t the favorite this year. We’re jumping aboard as Levy is a strong GIR guy and someone who finished well here last year in the event’s debut.
- Andy Sullivan (DK $8,900)
Course History: 16th
Form: DNP – DNP – DNP – MC
Stats: 52nd– SG: OTT, 113th– SG: T2G, 96th– SG: APP, 210th– SG: P
Analysis: 16th here last year, Andy’s links play is really all I’m after here he’s weak off the tee and average-ish with the irons. If he finds something ball striking, his strong putting should get an easy boost. He comes in at a huge value this week despite being one of the better all-around players in the field. Fading him in any capacity seems like a bad decision.
- Joost Luiten (DK $11,100): The favorite this week and someone who finished strong in Mexico is surely to catch the eyes of our competition this week, but I’m not buying. He ran extremely hot last year with the putter which ultimately was the reason for winning, but he needs to do that every week to finish well and it’s just not how his game is built.
- Clement Sordet (DK $7,700)
Form: DNP – 9th– 8th – 61st
Stats: 96th– SG: OTT, 94th– SG: T2G, 117th– SG: APP, 81st– SG: P
Analysis: A winner of this event while playing the Challenge Tour, Sordet showed up last year with a decent finish while in nowhere near the same form as he arrives with this week. Like most Frenchmen, he’s strong on approaches and good with the flatstick. Surprisingly, unlike most of his countrymen, he’s long off the tee which should give him good looks on a lot of these holes. He’s a fine play in all formats.
- Dean Burmester (DK $8,300): The South African pops a bit this week if only for the strong tee to green game (which is bolstered because of a strong off the tee number). He’ll need to figure out the greens early on if he plans to stick around for the weekend though as this will be his first look at the course. He comes in fresh off a 3rd place finish two weeks ago.
- Matthew Southgate (DK $7,900): I’m 0-for-1 on Southgate this year, so let’s give him another go around. 9th here last year and well rested, the Brit should have at least two looks at eagle before the cut is made and if he’s able to convert those into birdies I imagine the rest of his game is going well. I prefer him in GPPs more than cash this week.
- Ross Fisher (DK $10,100)
Form: DNP – DNP – DNP – 13th
Stats: 96th– SG: OTT, 94th– SG: T2G, 117th– SG: APP, 81st– SG: P
Analysis: He’s not the prototypical links player, but for my money I think he’s the best all-around player in the field, who has the ability to turn it up in high classed fields. Unfortunately for that narrative, this week wouldn’t apply, but if I think he can perform in strong fields, why wouldn’t I play him in a weak one? Hence the suggestion to only throw him in a small number of lineups this week.
- Chris Wood (DK $8,700): Strong links play, 2nd here last year, but no form to speak of as he hasn’t pegged it yet this year. His class alone warrants a lineup or two especially at this price, but I wouldn’t suggest more than that because of the rust that we’ve seen so many players shake off in their first event of the season.
- Justin Walters (DK $7,300): First timer here, but the form is too nice to ignore. 2nd– 15th – 44th means one of two things. He comes in rested after a week off and continues the strong play resulting in another Top 20 or better, OR he completely ejects and moves onto Qatar where he’ll ultimately finish inside the Top 15 if we let recency bias allow us to fade him. Either way, I think we throw a dart at him this week and next and hope for the best.
CONTRARIAN CORE (GPP PLAYS)
- Paul Dunne (DK $9,000): The betting world is already privy to Dunne this week, and for good reason. He’s a strong links player in his own right, though he’s been one to come up short in ideal spots. Comes in at a good price this week and finished 3rd two weeks ago. Betting chalk is fine if you get ahead of moving numbers, playing chalk in DFS is a slippery slope, but I think he’s a guy we have to play at this price considering the form.
- Matthieu Pavon (DK $7,600):Pavon is still finding his place on the Euro Tour, but he’s a two-time winner in the developmental circuit and someone who’s gone well on links courses. The Frenchman’s best finishes on the European Tour also happened to have come on links courses, albeit in a different part of the world (6th @ the Nordea in 2017 and 10th at the Irish last year). After re-reading this article, I really like the French this week, so he makes the squad.
- Callum Shinkwin (DK $7,400): Shinks might be the chalk buster this week, but he has a soft spot in my heart from when we first started providing European Tour content and comes in with decent form and a Challenge Tour 3rd place finish four years ago. Last year’s 56thplace was what we expect from his type of golfer especially when he’s not in form. Let’s hope we get a better result this week.
Thanks for reading and good luck this week from the FGI team!