World Golf Tours Championships, Dubai
This year’s Race to Dubai is coming to its end as we begin the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai. This tournament is the climax of the European Tour Race to Dubai, and it’s still all to play for. As things stand, there are seven players who can win.
The winner of the last two titles is Henrik Stenson, and he’ll be looking to lift the trophy for the third year in a row. It would be an unprecedented achievement if he manages to complete his hat-trick of victories this year. But there are a couple of highly experienced and talented golfers standing between him and victory. The biggest challenger he’ll be aware of is, of course, Rory McIlroy. The last person to win the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai other than Stenson is Rory McIlroy, who won the tournament in 2012. He was also last year’s runner-up and is the current Race to Dubai leader.
Korean golfer Byeong Hun An is also in with a shot at the title, but he’s lower down in the rankings. Out of the seven players looking to win the Harry Vardon Trophy, he’s probably not among the favourites to actually do so. In second place as things stand is Danny Willett. If he were to win the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, there would be nothing that Rory McIlroy could do to stop him winning the overall Race to Dubai. It’s a great situation for him to find himself in, so he’ll be looking to grasp the opportunity with both hands. McIlroy is in good form, so he’ll have to be on the top of his game if he’s going to overcome him.
Currently in third place is Justin Rose, who also wants to reach the top of the rankings. He has a pretty good record at the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai too. In two of his last three attempts at the Championship, he’s finished as a runner-up. He’s been making up ground on the two men in front of him, Willett and McIlroy, recently, so he’ll be going into the battle with optimism. He’s talked about sharpening his iron play. And if he can do that, he’ll put himself in a good position to challenge because the rest of his game is pretty good.
The players further down the rankings deserve a mention too. Matt Fitzpatrick and Anirban Lahiri will be challenging alongside Byeong Hun An for the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year award. The Rookie of the Year award is a worthy trophy in its own right too, so those three will all be striving to get their hands on it. And it’s a wide open field; it’s impossible to predict who will win the award because all three of them have been on top form this year.
This will bring down the curtain on the European Tour season, so it’s a competition that can’t be missed. No one knows how the Championship will finish but the only way to find out is to watch it.