Fantasy Race to Dubai tees off in Abu Dhabi tomorrow

Tell you what, I nearly said ‘kicks off’, then.  Hang on.  Switch modes…zure-wep…golf-mode assimilation complete.

Good evening my little tee-totallers!  It is the eve of the first golf tournament in the 2013 Race to Dubai.  That’s right, luv-a-ducks, tomorrow we’re off to sunnier climes to follow the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship.

Continuing where we left off last season, I’ll be posting my weekly team.  Change of name, this year.  Out goes Zebedeerox Teetotallers (because I think that describe you, dear readership, way better).  Instead, we have Ten Tee 20 Vision.

Week 1 - Race to Dubai team

Ten Tee 20 Vision – Week 1

Nike investment repayment begins in Abu Dhabi

No doubt Rory McIlroy will want to start paying Nike back some of that £80M sponsorship deal signed earlier this week.  Can you believe that?  He truly is among sport’s elite, now.  And at 23.  Wow!

What better way has Rory of proving his worth than in the pairing he’s been drawn with for the first two days in the U.A.E. – you couldn’t make it up.

Joining McIlroy on the first tee of what promises to be a spectacular golf season are none other than Tiger Woods and Martin Kaymer.  And, yes, you’d be forgiven for thinking Woods is the main challenger to the OWGR number one.  Think on.

Deutsch: Martin Kaymer

Martin Kaymer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Martin Kaymer, Rory’s Ryder Cup fellow team member (and indeed the golfer who sank the winning putt and the Yanks in one fell swoop on an amazing last day in Medinah last autumn) has won the Abu Dhabi Championship no less than thrice already.

The last time was in 2011, when he pipped a then 21-year old McIlroy to the title.  Rory finished runner-up again last year, behind Robert Rock, and is hoping his new Nike golf clubs will take him one step further this year.

Rory McIlroy looking to “go one better” in U.A.E.

In an interview with the European Tour earlier this week, Rory underlines exactly why Martin Kaymer may well be the main threat again, this year:

It’s a place I have done well. I think one problem for me the last few years has been Martin Kaymer.
He’s played really well around here and won it a couple of times – three times I think – and I always came up second best.
It would be nice to go one better this week and obviously that’s what I’m aiming for.”

And he’s in the best company in the world to do just that.  Last year, he partnered Tiger Woods not just for the first two, but first three rounds here at the National Golf Course in Abu Dhabi.

All that nonsense towards the end of last season about rivalry between the two was all in the minds of the media.  Although, I can see a lot closer battle between Woods and McIlroy this season.

The winners are, of course, the golf fans.  With Westwood, Rose, Poulter and Donald waiting in the wings with the English challenge the Race to Dubai, if not the OWGR, is going to be closer than ever.

You’d be silly not to put money on either Woods or McIlroy finishing on top of the pile, though.  The Northern Irishman is way out in front points-wise; Tiger clawed a huge number back towards the latter half of 2012 to leapfrog Westwood then Donald to finish in number 2 spot in the official world golf rankings.

Woods & McIlroy Nike Golf Advert reflects mutual respect

And I know they didn’t film the new Nike Advert together, but you don’t need Rory to emphasise the respect he and Woods have for each other.  If you’ve not seen the McIlroy/Woods/Nike Golf advert yet, here it is:

Coverage of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship begins in the wee hours of Thursday morning on SKY Sports 1/HD at 3:30am (GMT).  Woods, McIlroy and Kaymer tee off at 7:40am (GMT).

Friday, we hop over to SKY Sports 2/HD and begin at 6:00am.  Saturday and Sunday we’re on SKY Sports 3/HD, coverage starting at 9:00am and 8:00am respectively.

Over to you:

  • Can Martin Kaymer win this event an astounding fourth time, or will one of his paired duo stop him?
  • Who’s your tip for the Race to Dubai and/or OWGR top spot for 2013?
  • And, £80M – is anyone worth that much in investment for their endorsement, really?

About the author
Jason Darrell is UK National Media Manager for global TV network, FeckTV.com [UK]. The role includes writing the news in seven topics as well as spreading the word via , Twitter, facebook and Pinterest amongst other social media (links to all through G+ profile/about).
A keen SEO copywriter, Jason has recently attained Google AuthorRank and is currently freelancing on oDesk, DoNanza and People Per Hour as a content SEO specialist, first-line manager and copywriter extraordinaire.

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2012 Fantasy Race to Dubai

European Tour Fantasy Race to Dubai

European Tour Fantasy Race to Dubai

From Scoop.it – in curated topic UK Golf by Zebedeerox

Fantasy Race To Dubai – brought to you by The European Tour and Fantasy League.

Blimey – what a bunch of miscreants we have in this week’s Zeb’s Tee Totallers for the European Tour’s fantasy Race to Dubai!

To be fair, I’m sure they’re all smashing chaps as well as excellent golfers (well, they’d better be!).

There’s a distinct lack of familiar faces in the team, this week.  Although, it has to be said, many of the top European golfers are absent from St Andrews/Carnoustie/Kingsbarns, this weekend.

But we do have three returning heroes from Medinah lining up, including Germany’s Martin Kaymer whose putt so famously won the Ryder Cup for us last weeekend in historic fashion. Messrs Lawrie and Hanson are also back in domestic action, safelhome from action in Illinois.

Gonzalo FDEZ-CASTAÑO, my man of the moment way back in the middle of September winning the Italian Open in the last event before the Ryder Cup obviously keeps his spot; also, his fellow countryman Rafa CABRERA-BELLO lines up as one of the young guns alongside Simon Dyson, who I think will win his first top three place on the European Tour this year in Scotland this weekend.

Then it’s call in the old guard, with Thomas BJÖRN, Ernie ELS, Monty and finally Darren CLARKE, who’s had a tough year defending the old Claret Jug and is due a top five finish, if not higher.

So there we have it – a mixture of youth, European endeeavour, experience and confidence for the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.  It tees off with three pairings across all three courses at 9:00 am in the morning, so if you’ve not entered your team yet, you’ve not got long to do it.

The full tee times and pairings for the Alfred Dunhill can be found here: http://www.europeantour.com/europeantour/season=2012/tournamentid=2012074/teetimes/index.html

All the best, Thet Watson & the UK Golf gang.

p.s. we’re off on a jolly to Lanzarote on Saturday for a fortnight so, if there’s nought posted between now and October 22nd, it’s because we’re sozzled on cerveza and sangria!

See on fantasyrace.europeantour.com

Can Dyson clean up again at the KLM Open?

Nederlands: Nicoles Colsaerts op KLM_Open_2010

Nicolas Colsaerts, KLM Open 2010
(wikipedia)

 

The European Tour this week heads off to the KLM Open at Hilversumsche GC; no disrespect to any of the golfers involved, but there is a marked lack of absence of the OWGR‘s top ten European golfers, those who have qualified for the Ryder Cup automatically giving the trip to Holland a miss this weekend to feature over the other side of The Atlantic in the BMW Championship on the PGA Tour.  Well, almost all are stateside already.

Martin Kaymer obviously feels the need to prove his qualification in the tenth and final automatic spot is justified and Nicolas Colsaerts, as promised, wants to justify his wild-card selection into the Ryder Cup team with a good performance in The Netherlands this weekend.

Zebs Teetotallers Week 36 2012

Zeb’s Teetotallers Week 36 2012

As for Zeb’s Tee Totallers, the Fantasy Race To Dubai Team as chosen by yours truly, all I can say is that at least five of my choices from last week are making the trip across the North Sea, giving me a chance to field a full-strength, ten-man team unlike last week, in the hope of picking up a few points after a disastrous week last time out at the Omega.

Simon Dyson, having secured the hat-trick for this title at last year’s KLM Open has to be my favourite to pick up the trophy; if he does, it will be for an amazing fourth time for the same event and an astonishing achievement for the English golfer.  But don’t write off Colsaerts, either.  He will so want to thank Jose Marie Olazábal for his inclusion for the trip to Medinah, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if he came away with the KLM, or at least a top five finish, this year.

Zeb’s Tee Totallers also includes Darren Clarke, the recently ousted Open champion.  Whilst his year of being British Open champion was a rip-roaring success on a personal level for the Northern Irish golfer, his attention now needs to focus on the fairways and greens again.  Off the golf course, everything may have been rosy but life between the tees has been difficult for Clarke this year.  Let’s hope he can turn that around this weekend and bag me a few points in the Fantasy Race To Dubai.

With the likes of Rose, McIlroy, Westwood and Donald sitting the trip to Holland out in favour of Crooked Stick, Indianapolis, this week’s Tee Totallers takes on a very unfamiliar look but, each of the inclusions on their day could be in with a shot at winning.  And that’s little to do with absence of the top golfers, that’s more down to the strength in depth offered by the European Tour, these days. If – and this is a big if – I can prise a few quid from her abominable purse, Colsaerts to finish top five and Simon Dyson to win the title again seem like awfully good bets.