Austrian Bernd Wiesberger is leading a charge of five players who can all end this week’s DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates as winners of the Race to Dubai.
The 34 year old sits on 4,802.4 points and with 2,000 points on offer for the winner, he will claim Race to Dubai glory if he wins the tournament or finishes outright second place (regardless of who wins). With three wins under his belt – including two Rolex Series titles – it’s been a season to remember for Wiesberger who is being challenged for the Race to Dubai title by Tommy Fleetwood, Jon Rahm, Shane Lowry and Matthew Fitzpatrick.
“It would be a huge achievement for me (to win the Race to Dubai),” said Wiesberger. “I grew up watching European Tour legends like Seve (Ballesteros), (José Maria) Olazábal, Colin Montgomerie who won so many times in a row at the time when I started getting into golf. It’s something that looked a long distance away, but, obviously, it’s much closer now!
“We’re looking forward to the next four days and we’re going to give it everything we have, and if we count up all the points at the end of Sunday and we're still up there it would be amazing”
Fleetwood enters the tournament in second place in the Rankings on 4,079.8 points. The Englishman turned a good year into a great one with a stunning victory at last week’s Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player and gave himself a great opportunity to win the Race to Dubai for the second time in three years. The 28-year-old first lifted the Harry Vardon Trophy in 2017 and will do so again this year if he wins the DP World Tour Championship and Wiesberger finishes lower than outright second. There are other scenarios that would see Fleetwood finish ranked No.1 including him finishing outright second and Wiesberger finishing outside the top three and neither Rahm or Lowry winning the event. There are three more such outcomes that all require none of the other players in contention to win in order for Fleetwood to leapfrog Wiesberger at the top, the last one of which is finishing in a share of second place and relying on Wiesberger to finish lower than 42nd.
“Everybody works for the same thing and it’s a privilege if you're one of those guys that's going to tee off on Thursday with a chance of winning the Race to Dubai,” said Fleetwood. “I consider myself very lucky and they are experiences that you'll take with you. Of course I want to win it, but if it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen. I'll be fine.”
Third place Rahm (3,898.3 points), who won the DP World Tour Championship on his debut in 2017, sits in third place and needs to win the tournament again and have Wiesberger finish lower than second if he is to win the Race to Dubai this week. The Spaniard could also top the pile with a second-place finish in the event if Wiesberger finishes outside the top five and neither Fleetwood, Lowry or Fitzpatrick win the event.
Lowry, who sits fourth on 3,613 points, wrapped up two huge wins this year at The Open and the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship and will win the Race to Dubai for the first time if he wins the DP World Tour Championship and Wiesberger finishes lower than tied second with one other player. He could also win it with a second-place finish should Wiesberger drop out of the top 19 and neither Rahm, Fleetwood or Fitzpatrick win the event.
2016 DP World Tour Championship winner Fitzpatrick has the smallest chance of winning the Race to Dubai this week. He needs to win again over the Earth course and rely on Wiesberger finishing lower than fourth and Fleetwood lower than second.
With so many permutations in the Race to Dubai, as well as a world record US$3 million prize money up for grabs for the winner, the 11th edition of the DP World Tour Championship promises to be the most captivating yet.
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