Tommy Fleetwood will look to secure a second Race to Dubai title at this week’s season-ending DP World Tour Championship after the Englishman surged up to second in the European Tour’s Race to Dubai Rankings with a play-off victory over Marcus Kinhult at the Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player, a Rolex Series event.
The 28 year old, who secured a first Rolex Series title at the 2017 HNA Open de France, started the final round six shots off the lead but made three eagles as he signed for a stunning 65 to set the target at 12 under par. Kinhult joined the 2017 Race to Dubai champion on 12 under par after his final round 68 but the Swede had to settle for bogey on the first extra hole after a poor tee shot while Tommy Fleetwood made an excellent up and down to save par and pocket a cool US$2.5 million.
“It would be beautiful to win the Race to Dubai again, wouldn’t it,” said Tommy Fleetwood, who moves from tenth to second in the Rankings after collecting 1,665 points.
“It would be amazing. We’ll see what I have to do next week. See where this has put me. I knew it would put me somewhere but that wasn’t the main focus, really.
“It was getting the best out of today. Winning honestly wasn’t on the agenda at the start of the day, probably not. It was just about putting a good round together and moving on to next week. But you know, I just want to enjoy this for now and looking forward to next week, I think I’ve got good experience. I obviously won it in 2017 and had a chance last year when Francesco Molinari won it.
“It’s such a great, great thing and a feeling to be playing with a chance to win the Race to Dubai in the last event. Everybody starts the Tour at the start of the season to get there, and be one of the guys that can actually finish at the top is very special.”
Kinhult’s runner-up finish at the Gary Player Golf Course and Country Club saw him pick up 1,113 Race to Dubai points which moves the 23 year old up from 35th to 13th in the Rankings with 2451.1 points for the season.
The field for the DP World Tour Championship has now been confirmed with the top 50 available players on the Race to Dubai making their way to the iconic Earth course at Jumeirah Golf Estates to compete for the richest first prize in tournament golf – US$3 million.
Five players can still be crowned European Tour Number One with Bernd Wiesberger leading the way on 4802.6 points. Fleetwood sits just behind in second on 4079.8 points while 2017 DP World Tour Championship winner Jon Rahm lies in third. Champion Golfer of the Year Shane Lowry and 2016 winner Matthew Fitzpatrick complete the top five.
Danny Willett returns to defend his title while double champion Henrik Stenson comes into the tournament ranked 34th.
The field will also boast nine Major winners with Louis Oosthuizen, Sergio Garcia, Francesco Molinari, Justin Rose and Patrick Reed joining Lowry, Willett, Stenson and McIlroy in the emirate.
Four of last year’s top 15 in the Challenge Tour Rankings will make their debut at the event with Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre in pole position for Graduate of the Year in 11th in the Race to Dubai Rankings. Victor Perez, Adri Arnaus and Joachim B.Hansen will join the 23 year old in Dubai with Hansen the final player confirming his spot on the entry list in 51st.
Other notable names include 12-time European Tour winner Ian Poulter, Dubai resident Rafa Cabrera Bello, Ryder Cup star Paul Casey and last year’s runner-up Matt Wallace.
The top 50 players in the Race to Dubai Rankings will contest the season-ending US$8 million DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai from November 21-24 where US$3 million will be up for grabs for the winner, making it the richest first prize in world tournament golf.