European Tour reaches climax in Dubai
BY Bruce Young | European PGA Tour | 2012 DP World Tour Championship | Preview | 21 Nov 2012
The much vaunted Race to Dubai draws to a close this week when the Dubai World Tour Championship is played at the Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai.
The event brings together the leading 60 players from what is effectively the European Tour money list although now known as the Race to Dubai.
Rory McIlroy is not only the world number one but he heads the Race to Dubai rankings and although he has not won this event in its previous three stagings he did finish 5th in 2010 and 3rd in 2009.
McIlroy was a surprise victim of the cut at last week’s Hong Kong Open when defending his title after having been in outstanding form in the previous three months or so.
McIlroy also represents the facility where the event is being played and therefore has an even greater incentive to win if indeed he needed it.
Ian Poulter deserves respect this week given his recent form which has included a 4th place finish at the BMW Masters in Shanghai, a win the HSBC Champions event in Shenzhen and a runner-up finish at last week’s Talisker Masters in Australia.
Poulter gains even further followers this week given his runner-up finish in this event in 2010 after a playoff with Robert Karlsson.
Luke Donald arrives in Dubai off the back of an easy win at the Dunlop Phoenix event in Japan last week. The field that he defeated last week pales in comparison to that he will face this week but at his best he could win again. Donald has been 9th and 3rd in his last two starts in this event so is comfortable enough on the layout.
Louis Oosthuizen finished 6th in this event last year and his recent form suggests he will do better this year. The South African has finished no worse than 6th at any of his last four starts, each of those significant events.
Oosthuizen has had two wins and three runner-up finishes in 2012 and at his most recent finish in Singapore finished runner-up. His chances in this event look good.
Martin Kaymer appears to have rediscovered his form with a 3rd place finish at last week’s South African Open and a 9th place finish at the WGC Champions event. Kaymer has not played this event well but he is clearly improving.
Justin Rose appears close to another victory and if it did not come this week then it might at the Australian Open in a couple of weeks. Rose was only average at the recent HSBC Champions but he has become such a good player in 2012 he is a genuine chance.
In 2012 only one Australian has qualified to play the event namely Marcus Fraser. Fraser goes quietly about his business but has accumulated a lot of money in Europe in 2012 and in Asia where he leads the money list.
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