Grab some 13/2 on Garcia

  • By: David John
  • Last Updated: January 28 2013, 18:05 GMT

Sergio Garcia can follow last week's near miss in Qatar with victory in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.

Garcia: Gets the vote at 13/2
Garcia: Gets the vote at 13/2

Sergio Garcia nearly got the job done in Qatar last week as Chris Wood produced a grandstand finish and he looks like being a very hot property this time as the European Tour moves on to Dubai.

The Spaniard produced some superb stuff from tee to green bar a couple of wayward shots as he created more than enough chances to get himself into the low 20s under par with a better display on the greens.

He was fifth in Putts Per GIR and ninth in Putts Per Round over the four days - which is a fair performance - but the number of eight and nine-footers that trickled by on the grainy greens looked like they were leaving him increasingly frustrated.

His claw-grip style still looks rather cumbersome but does seem to have helped conquer some of his demons and the putting surfaces he encounters this week are some of the best played on all year - which should hopefully start turning those near misses into birdies.

But you could not be anything but impressed with him down the closing stretch in Doha and he really had that look in his eye again of the player most likely to take the title.

His approach to the 15th hole was one of the best shots of the week from anyone in the circumstances and really highlighted how competitive Garcia has once again become - it might well be this year that the major championship that has so far eluded him finally arrives.

His past record at the Majlis course can be improved on as it is three top 20s and a missed cut but I really want him on my side this week in his current mood.

The last three winners have been Miguel Angel Jimenez, Alvaro Quiros and Rafa Cabrera-Bello - so the climate and layout clearly sets up well for the Spanish players as well.

Garcia remains the top man among his compatriots - by some way at his best - and the signs were there again last week that he is very close to another title after regaining the winning thread last season in the USA and Malaysia.

I am keen to advise some of the 13/2 from a win perspective as I reckon Garcia will go off a shorter price.

Lee Westwood is next in the betting and he will have a little bit to prove on his first outing of 2013 as he starts a full season without Billy Foster on the bag.

Mike Kerr is the new man while he also split with long-term coach Pete Cowen last summer. He has decided to move to the USA full time as well and we won't actually see him back in Europe until the end of May at Wentworth according to his schedule.

That is quite a lot of upheaval while Westwood has also stated in the past that he regularly uses the desert as part of his 'warm-up' mode for the year ahead.

He should have lifted the title here back in 2010 but was beaten in a play-off by Jimenez while he was second 12 months ago as well but on both occasions he had already seen action in Abu Dhabi and Qatar.

I am ready to pass him over and wait for a later event with Westwood so pick of the remaining runners this week is Seung-yul Noh at a rather attractive 55/1.

He has close connections with this week's venue and sponsors - hence an invite - and I am hopeful of an improved effort after a missed cut in the Humana Challenge in California.

Noh switched last season to the PGA Tour in the USA and 20 made cuts from 24 tournaments was a very fair return for his efforts.

The experience of playing over there should do him the world of good and it would be reasonable to expect for him to add to the title he took in Malaysia back in 2010 as a teenager.

He has joined Nike this season and works with Sean Foley - the coach of Tiger Woods - and with the latter doing a lap of honour at Torrey Pines at the time of writing, hopefully Noh can take some inspiration from that with a positive display of his own.

Final pick this week is Thongchai Jaidee, who has already seen some support in the early betting.

The Thai has started 2013 in sparkling fashion with three top 10s which could have been even better but for some putting woes.

That is the one area of his game that has been a weakness and it led to him changing that particular club part way through in Abu Dhabi.

He was not great statistically in that category on Doha either but it is just about the only thing that is holding him back after the renewed confidence he discovered after winning in Wales last year.

Jaidee has form in Dubai after his top 10 here back in December while he should have also made the play-off back in 2010 in this event with Westwood and Jimenez but for missing a two-footer on the final hole.

I don't think that 30/1 is the greatest price ever chalked up but if he can find something on the greens then the rest of his game at the moment should give us a run for our money.

  • Preview posted at 1405 GMT on 28/01/2013.