Henrik Stenson earned his first win since the 2009 PLAYERS last week in the SA Open Championship and Townsend thinks that Stenson will be able to build on the confidence that he gained from that victory. He won on a course in South Africa that set up well for his game and now he goes to another course in Dubai that sets up well and Stenson has a history of playing well and winning in the Middle East.
The Earth Course at the Jumeirah Golf Estates sets up well for very long hitters like a Rory McIlroy or past champions in this event like Lee Westwood and Alvaro Quiros although Townsend does not expect Quiros to play well because of his struggles throughout 2012.
Rory McIlroy comes to Dubai having already clinched the Money Titles on both the PGA TOUR and the European Tour and Townsend thinks that Rory will play well this week despite missing the cut last week in Hong Kong. The Earth Course is a place which encourages strong performances from players like Rory and being well-rested after having the weekend off, Townsend expects to see Rory contend for the title this week.
Nicolas Colsaerts will take up PGA TOUR membership in 2013 and he says that he expects the courses in the U.S. will set up well for his game. Colsaerts will be missed on the European Tour because he has a great personality and a great game but the move to the PGA TOUR will be great for his career.