Four players mathematically have a chance to claim the honour of being Europe's leading player in 2009 although realistically it appears it will come down to the battle between Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood, who are separated by just Ã¢Â‚Â¬128,000.
It is certainly possible for either Martin Kaymer or Ross Fisher to catch McIlory but they must also rely on those ahead having indifferent weeks. With Ã¢Â‚Â¬433,000 between the fourth placed Fisher and McIlory and a first prize of Ã¢Â‚Â¬830,000 and a second prize of Ã¢Â‚Â¬553,000, much is still possible but the in form McIlory and Westwood appear unlikely to have a bad week.
The event is played at Greg Norman's Earth course at the Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai and this will be the first occasion the venue has been used for any event. It has only just opened so none of the players will have the advantage of having played the course previously although McIlroy represents the development and has no doubt had the chance to play the layout.
It is a bit hard to go past the leading four players in the money race as potential winners but Ian Poulter's recent win in Singapore gives him some hope and in a field laden with world class players there would be no real surprise if any one of 20 players were to win.
The Australians are represented by Geoff Ogilvy, Adam Scott and Robert Allenby and there will be much interest in Scott's performance after what have been encouraging signs in recent weeks. Ogilvy does not seem at his best of late despite a god weekend in Shanghai. He failed flatter last week in Melbourne.
Allenby has done well enough of late including a 3rd at the recent World Match Play but he is up against a very strong European field here and will need to be at his best.