The Race to Dubai is described by the European Tour as ‘a season-long competition which celebrates both the diversity and shared passion for golf across the globe.’ To plenty of golfing fans, it is as good an excuse as any to continue to watch some of the world’s best players in action right up until the end of the year. But what exactly does the Race to Dubai entail?
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A Brief History
Started in 2009 as a joint venture between the European Tour and Dubai to boost awareness and tourism for the UAE, the Race to Dubai replaced the Order of Merit, while retaining its key features. Namely, awarding points based on prize money earned across 47 tournaments in 26 countries throughout the year – culminating in the Dubai DP World Tour Championship every November.
The Top 10 players at the end of the Championship will split a $5 million prize pot, with the winner taking home a cool $1.25 million.
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Tommy Fleetwood is currently sitting pretty at the top of the table in the race to finish the year as the European Number One – with just the Nedbank Challenge in South Africa and the previously mentioned DP World Tour Championship left to play. Much of Fleetwood’s success is down to consistency, and it is no surprise to see that he has played the joint-most tournaments throughout the year in the Race to Dubai’s Top 10, giving him as many opportunities as possible to rack up the points.
Breathing down his neck, however, is Justin Rose – who birdied three of his last four holes at this weekend’s Turkish Airlines Open to make it two wins in two weeks, leapfrogging Sergio Garcia and moving into second place in the Race to Dubai. With another 985,495 points in the bag and now just 134,839 behind Fleetwood, Rose looks determined to take his quest for a second Order of Merit win right to the wire.
Behind Rose is of course the man he replaced, Sergio Garcia – who has been in excellent form himself, winning his own foundation’s tournament, the Andalucía Valderrama Masters, last month. Despite being behind Justin Rose, Rose himself has tipped Garcia to be named European Tour Golfer of the Year after a stunning 2017, most memorable for finally getting the ‘Major’ monkey off Garcia’s back.
All eyes will now be on the Nedbank Golf Challenge today, hosted by Gary Player. With Rose not taking part, preferring to keep himself fresh for the Dubai finale a week later, can Tommy Fleetwood re-establish a commanding lead or buckle under the pressure? Watch this space..