After missing out twelve months ago through injury, Denmark’s Thomas Bjorn is targeting a welcome return to one of his favourite cities and the 2013 DP World Tour Championship, Dubai after clinching the 14th European Tour title of his career.
Victory at the Omega European Masters in Crans-sur-Sierre, Switzerland for the second time in three years saw the Dane climb to eighth spot in The Race to Dubai and back into the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking.
And with a guaranteed spot in the season-ending DP World Tour Championship on the Earth course at Jumeirah Golf Estates from 14-17 November, the evergreen Bjorn – a former Dubai resident – remains in the hunt to end the year as Europe’s number one golfer.
“Dubai is always a great place to go and play golf,” he said after seeing off the challenge of Scotland’s Craig Lee in a play-off in Switzerland. “It’s one of the players’ favourite places, whether it be the Omega Dubai Desert Classic or the DP World Tour Championship. I had to miss it last year because of injury but obviously it is a special place for me for many reasons and I am looking forward to going back.
“I’m delighted to get another title, which obviously moves me up nicely in The Race to Dubai. There is a long way to go and there are some very good players ahead of me but hopefully I’ll keep playing some good golf between now and the DP World Tour Championship. It will be very difficult to win The Race to Dubai but hopefully I can continue to play well and contend and then we’ll see what position I am in going to Dubai.”
Open to the top 60 players on The European Tour, the US$8 million DP World Tour Championship is the final stop on The Race to Dubai, which continues to see some key movements as many of the world’s best players vie for a place at the Earth course.
While Bjorn was moving to eighth in The Race to Dubai, a tie for fifth place moved former Ryder Cup player Ross Fisher up to 81st overall, while American Brooks Koepka – the current leader of the European Challenge Tour Rankings – showed his undoubted promise with a tie for seventh spot that moves him to 112 in The Race to Dubai.
“While it’s probably fair to say that around 40-45 players are already safe in qualifying for the DP World Tour Championship, there are still plenty of places to fight for and The Race to Dubai is certain to be full of twists and turns before we reach the conclusion on the Earth course at Jumeirah Golf Estates in November,” said Nick Tarratt, Director European Tour International, Dubai Office.
Tickets for the four-day DP World Tour Championship are free of charge and can be obtained by registering online at the event website www.DPWTC.com.
RACE TO DUBAI TOP 20 STANDINGS AS OF SEPTEMBER 9
1. Henrik Stenson (SWE) € 2,118,961
2. Graeme McDowell (N. IRE) € 1,693,388
3. Justin Rose (ENG) € 1,661,271
4. Richard Sterne (RSA) € 1,300,054
5. Matteo Manassero (ITA) € 1,243,808
6. Branden Grace (RSA) € 1,069,469
7. Brett Rumford (AUS) € 1,067,099
8. Thomas Bjorn (DEN) € 1,058,313
9. Ernie Els (RSA) € 1,036,616
10. Sergio Garcia (ESP) € 1,016,700
11. Ian Poulter (ENG) € 973,716
12. Lee Westwood (ENG) € 943,639
13. Stephen Gallacher (SCO) € 905,863
14. Mikko Illonen (FIN) € 886,522
15. Charl Schwartzel (RSA) € 882,321
16. Thongchai Jaidee (THA) € 834,077
17. Jamie Donaldson (WAL) € 826,072
18. Angel Cabrera (ARG) € 821,744
19. Thorbjorn Olesen (DEN) € 793,293
20. Gregory Bourdy (FRA) € 763,596