After what has been a scintillating season, it all comes down to one event – the DP World Tour Championship, taking place this week at Jumeirah Golf Estates. Aside from the battle to take home the tournament title, and the bumper USD$3 million winner’s cheque, is a fascinating six-way fight to be crowned European Number One.
Leading the charge is Open Champion Collin Morikawa who is aiming to become the first American to win the Race to Dubai.
Morikawa will tee it off in the season-ending Rolex Series event with a 236 point advantage over compatriot Billy Horschel, his playing partner for Thursday’s first round.
Horschel, along with Tyrrell Hatton, Min Woo Lee, Matt Fitzpatrick and Paul Casey, could potentially dislodge Morikawa from the top spot, but of that quintet, all but Horschel require victory in the US$9million event to stand any chance of finishing the year as the European Tour’s Number One.
“I was here last year, and had a shot at trying to win the Race to Dubai,” said World No.2 Morikawa. “I didn’t come through, but it’s comforting to come back to a course I’ve played at before. Nothing has really changed. My game feels really good right now, the past month and a half since the Ryder Cup has progressed.“It’s exciting. When your game feels good, when you head into a week like this, even with a lot of travel, you do as much prep as you can by Thursday, and you just get ready to play some great golf. “I’m not taking this week lightly. I’ve put a lot of work in the last week, the past couple days to be ready and to come out here and play as best as I can.
Horschel looking to sign off 2021 in style
Horschel, who won the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth in September, said: “It’s my first time to Dubai. It’s a cool place. Obviously, I’ve watched this event and Dubai Desert Classic and a few other events over here and seen on TV. But to be here and experience this amazing place is pretty cool.“And to be here at this event, the last one on the European Tour calendar, to have a chance to win the DP World Tour Championship is something as a kid I didn’t dream about or even imagine, but over the last year it changed with playing well in the WGCs and everything, and it’s great to be here.”
Rolex pair looking to strike at the final hour
Like Horschel, Hatton and Lee are already Rolex Series winners this season, Englishman Hatton having won the first event of the year, the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship in January, while Lee claimed the abrdn Scottish Open in July.“I’m in a great position obviously going into the final event,” said Hatton, who is lying fourth in the Rankings and needs to win and hope Morikawa finishes lower than tied third and Horschel finishes lower than tied second to win the Harry Vardon Trophy. “It would be very special to win the trophy at the end of the week. Certainly, it would be a massive moment in my career. “It’s one of those things that comes with playing good golf, and I do try to go out there every week and do that.”
Play gets underway at Jumeirah Golf Estates at 8.15am on Thursday November 18th.