Fleetwood, Rose And Garcia Set To Battle It Out For European Tour Glory At DP World Tour Championship
The 2017 European Tour comes to a close this week as the Race to Dubai at last reaches its final destination for the season-ending DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Estates.
The tournament welcomes the top-60 players in the Race to Dubai standings, only three of which still have the chance of being crowned the continent’s Number One golfer of 2017: Tommy Fleetwood, Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia.
Leader Fleetwood is the hot favourite to finish top of the pile in the tour’s ninth year, however golf is an unpredictable sport and there are sure to be a few more twists and turns in the season finale in the Middle East.
- Recap: Branden Grace triumphed in his homeland at the Nedbank Challenge in South Africa last week.
- Course: The venue for the DP World Tour Championship is, as always, the Greg Norman designed Earth Course at Jumeirah Estates (7,675-yard, par-72).
- TV Schedule: Tune into Sky Sports Golf 8am to 1pm on Thursday and Friday, then 7.30am to 1pm on Saturday, and 7am to 12.30pm on Sunday.
DP World Tour Winners
2016 - Matthew Fitzpatrick
2015 - Rory McIlroy
2014 - Henrik Stenson
2013 - Henrik Stenson
2012 - Rory McIlroy
2011 - Alvaro Quiros
2010 - Robert Karlsson
2009 - Lee Westwood
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Race To Dubai Leader: Tommy Fleetwood
Tommy Fleetwood has led the Race To Dubai since way back in January, and after bagging a top-10 finish at last week’s Nedbank Challenge in South Africa the Englishman extended his lead at the summit to a whopping 256,737 points after taking his overall tally to 4,235,987 points.
This year Fleetwood has triumphed in both Dubai and France, and finished runner-up to Dustin Johnson at the WGC-Mexico Championship. The 22/1 shot for glory at the DP World Tour Championship will be pushed all the way by Rose and Garcia this week, but has a sizeable advantage at the top and looks a decent pick for a top-10 finish at 2/1.
On his state of mind ahead of the season-ending tournament Fleetwood told the European Tour:
“I don't feel stressed about it, I don't feel anxious. I just think it's great that I've got the chance to win it and a good chance.”
The Tournament Favourite: Justin Rose
Watch out Fleetwood, the in-form Rose is hot on your heels! Rose enjoyed back-to-back successes at the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open which propelled him into second spot, but still over 250,000 fellow Englishman Fleetwood.
Rose heads to the DP World Tour Championship as the clear 6/1 favourite to bag his third successive tour win, which would subsequently win him the European Tour crown. The 2013 US Open champion has twice finished runner-up in the tournament and holds the course record - carding a stunning 10-under-par 62 in 2012 - and given his superb form he’ll have high hopes of conjuring up something special this time around.
In an interview with the Guardian a hyped-up Rose said:
“I love Dubai. I feel like it’s a tournament I really want to win. I feel like it’s a tournament I have played well in.
Dubai is a tournament that I really want. It’s a bucket list event. It’s one of the ones you want to win.”
Can Sergio Garcia Strike Gold?
The third man in the mix is Sergio Garcia, who is admittedly a long shot as he simply has to win, then hope that Fleetwood flops and fails to make the top-20, and that Rose finishes outside of the top-5.
It’s an unlikely scenario but the Masters winner, who triumphed in homeland Spain last month, is priced at 11/1 to strike gold in Dubai. The Spaniard can draw on decent form at the tournament having never failed to finish outside of the top-25 in six attempts.
Other Names In The Frame
Three players may only be able to win the European Tour, but all 60 present in Dubai have the chance to triumph in the actual tournament. John Rahm, Brandan Grace and Tyrell Hatton all feature in the top echelons of the betting (see odds below), while defending champion Matthew Fitzpatrick and Shane Lowry will no doubt be popular picks in Dubai. Elsewhere, Belgian Thomas Pieters is a tasty 40/1 outsider to thrive in the desert.