It all began on the Sunshine Tour back in January, and the finale’ is here at last. The DP World Tour Championships, Dubai gets underway on Thursday morning at the Greg Norman designed Jumeriah Estates Golf Course for 60 of the tours best players. Henrik Stenson will be attempting to make history by being the first player to win both the FedEx Cup Championship on the PGA Tour, and The Race To Dubai. He will have to hold off a very hot Ian Poulter, and Two US Open Champs.
The 37 year-old Swede seems to have gotten some of the rust off his golf game last week in Turkey, but his putter is still not where it was in September when he swept through the FedEx Playoffs. The general consensus is that only the top four are realistic challengers in Dubai, but positions five and six have an outside chance with a great finish and some bad luck for the others.
The biggest challengers are Justin Rose, Graeme McDowell, and Ian Poulter. Number five, Jamie Donaldson played very well in Turkey last week, but is over a million points back, so it’s not realistic that he can make up that much ground over four players at one tournament.
Behind Donaldson, in sixth place is Gonzalo FDEZ Costano. The Spaniard played well, and won the BMW Masters, but needed a good finish in Turkey to have a realistic chance. He finished T 39.
I have been on the Stenson band wagon all year, but think he needs to come to Jumeriah ready to play. The World’s number three player has the game to hold off this field, but the two Brits are both playing well at the right time, and will not let the Swede off easy. The US Open Champ finished T 3 in Turkey, and Poulter T 5. Poulter also picked up a sole second place at the WGC-HSBC two weeks ago. Graeme McDowell finished in third place at the BMW Masters, but didn’t play in Turkey. Stay tuned!
The Race To Dubai format is a little different from the FedEx Cup. They don’t reset the points for the finale’ where there can be a dark-horse winner from back in the pack. Everyone else is pretty much playing for a big check, which they should get with only 60 players in the field.
The Jumeriah Estates Golf Course, Earth Course in Dubai was designed by Greg Norman is 7675 yards and plays to a par of 72 for the pros. Justin Rose holds the course record with a 62 put up last year at this event. Rory McIlroy is the defending champion for this event, and is the current Race To Dubai champ. Rory starts this tournament in 46th position.
It’s time to cinch up your seat belts and hang on for a wild finish. This is the final compelling event of the year for men’s professional golf and it gets underway tomorrow morning.
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