The Race is On

 

The Race to Dubai is a season-long competition spanning 45 tournaments in 26 countries and four continents on The 2016 European Tour International Schedule.

NOTES:

• The Race to Dubai winner receives The Harry Vardon Trophy (first awarded in 1937), and a seven year European Tour Card exemption. The winner of The Race to Dubai will secure Category 1 Membership of The European Tour similar to the winners of The Open Championship, the US Open, the US PGA Championship and the Masters Tournament.

• The leading 60 available players in The Race to Dubai (ranked according to their points from all events on The European Tour International Schedule) following the conclusion of the Nedbank Golf Challenge will qualify for the DP Wolrd Tour Championship, Dubai.

• Since its inception in 2013, the Final Series has comprised four tournaments, but from the 2016 Race to Dubai the WGC-HSBC Champions will no longer be included, with the tournament instead joining the WGC-Cadillac Championship and the WGC-Dell Match Play as part of the regular Race to Dubai season. 

• That move means the 2016 Final Series will begin with the $7million Turkish Airlines Open from November 3-6 followed by the $7million Nedbank Golf Challenge at Sun City, in South Africa, from November 10-13, before The Race to Dubai once again concludes with the $8million DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, from November 17-20. 

A BRIEF HISTORY:

• England’s Lee Westwood won the inaugural Race to Dubai in 2009, winning twice during the season – in the Portugal Masters and the Dubai World Championship – and accumulating a record €4,237,762. Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy finished second.

• Martin Kaymer succeeded Lee Westwood as The Race to Dubai champion in 2010 to become only the fourth continental European to win the Harry Vardon trophy, following in the footsteps of the legendary Seve Ballesteros, Bernhard Langer and Robert Karlsson. Kaymer won four times in 2010, capturing his maiden Major title at the US PGA Championship in addition to the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, the KLM Open and the Alfred Dunhill Championship on his way to €4,461,011 to finish ahead of Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell. England's Luke Donald finished 15th.

• Luke Donald became the third winner of the Race to Dubai when he completed an historic money list double to become the Number One player on both The European Tour and the US PGA Tour. Donald won three times during the season, capturing the WGC – Accenture Match Play Championship, the BMW PGA Championship and the Barclays Scottish Open. He was runner-up on another two occasion and finished in the top ten a further five times, finishing outside the top ten only three times in a remarkably consistent season. His earnings of €5,323,400 set a new European Tour record. Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy finished second with 2010 Race to Dubai Champion, Martin Kaymer, third. Louis Oosthuizen took 15th place.


• Rory McIlroy went one better in 2012 by taking the Number One honours with new record earnings of €5,519,118. He also emulated Donald's feat of winning both the Race to Dubai and US PGA Tour Money List after a season where he won five times around the world, including the US PGA Championship - by eight strokes - and the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, and rose to World Number One. His remarkable consistency saw him finish in the top five nine times in 15 events. England's Justin Rose finished second with South African Louis Oosthuizen third. Paul Lawrie finished tenth.

• Henrik Stenson followed Donald and McIlroy by completing a similar but unique transatlantic double in 2013, taking the Number One spot to become the first man to win The Race to Dubai and the US PGA Tour's FedEx Cup in the same season. Won three times around the world, including the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, to finish almost €1million clear of Ian Poulter, Justin Rose and Graeme McDowell. A tied third finish at the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open kick-started a season-defining run that saw the Swede claim a career-best second place finish at The Open Championship followed by a tied second at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and a third place finish at the US PGA Championship. Eagled the last at Jumeirah Golf Estates to spectacularly close out a superb six-shot win in Dubai and a stunning double triumph. 

• In 2014, Rory McIlroy repeated his 2012 heroics to become the first player to win the coveted Race to Dubai for a second time. McIlroy, whose victory at The European Tour’s flagship event – the BMW PGA Championship - inspired a season-defining run of form, won four tournaments on his way to picking up a second Harry Vardon Trophy to add to his growing trophy cabinet that was also enriched by two Major Championships in 2014. The Northern Irishman enjoyed a remarkable hat trick of summer victories which virtually ensured one hand on the Race to Dubai crown. First came a notable win at Royal Liverpool for the The 143rd Open Championship, which was then backed up with his debut World Golf Championships title at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. Finally came a second conquest on US soil in as many weeks as he dramatically snatched victory at the US PGA Championship while darkness descended on the 18th green at Valhalla. A valiant tied second place finish at the season finale in Dubai capped an incredible season where he amassed an unassailable 7,149,503 points.


 

Northern Irishman McIlroy won The Race to Dubai for a third time after another impressive season in which he earned three titles, including at the season finale in Dubai. It was the second successive year the four-time Major winner finished as European Tour Number One. Despite an ankle injury disrupting his season, Rory managed to fight off a strong challenge from Danny Willett, who was just 1,613 points behind the 26 year old heading into the thrilling finale at the Jumeirah Golf Estates, with the Englishman eventually finishing second behind Rory, but ahead of Branden Grace, Justin Rose and Shane Lowry in the top five of the end of season rankings.

OTHER NOTES:

• The Australian PGA Championship, which takes place from December 3-6, 2015, and the inaugural Maybank Championship Malaysia (February 18-21) both feature on The Race to Dubai for the first time, while the Perth International (February 25-28) returns having last been played in 2014. 

• The EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM (January 14-17), the Olympic Games (August 11-14) and The Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National (September 30-October 2) will all add to the drama on the world stage in 2016. 

• The DP World Tour Championship, Dubai winner receives a five year European Tour Card exemption. The winner of the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai secures Category 2 Membership as does the winner of the BMW PGA Championship.

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