With just one tournament remaining until the top 60 players on The European Tour line up for the 2013 DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, European Ryder Cup stars Ian Poulter and Graeme McDowell have turned up the heat on Race to Dubai leader Henrik Stenson following the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai.
Runner-up in The Race to Dubai in 2010, McDowell again sits in second place with just two tournaments to play - the Turkish Airlines Open presented by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture and the season finale DP World Tour Championship, set to take place from Thursday 14 to Sunday 17 November on the Earth course at Jumeirah Golf Estates.
After clinching third place at the WGC-HSBC Champions, McDowell has moved to within €145,865 of Stenson, who tied for 31st in Shanghai, to put him well in the frame to win The Race to Dubai and with it the title of European Number One. But with Stenson playing in Turkey and McDowell opting to miss the season’s penultimate event and arrive fresh in Dubai, the Swede may yet have the advantage coming into the DP World Tour Championship.
“This is what the DP World Tour Championship and The Race to Dubai is all about - having quality players with a chance to win, not only the tournament, but also the Money List and The Race to Dubai,” said McDowell.
“The course at Jumeirah Golf Estates is one I've slowly crept up on over the last few years and I’m looking forward to getting back there. As long as Henrik doesn't do anything too special in Turkey, I'll have a good shot going into Dubai.”
Like McDowell, England’s Poulter has also turned on the style in the closing weeks of the season. Finishing runner-up in Shanghai to eventual winner Dustin Johnson of the USA, Poulter has leapt from 15th to fourth place behind Stenson, McDowell and US Open Champion Justin Rose.
“Obviously I’m a little disappointed not to put my hands back on the trophy, but 15 birdies and an eagle at the weekend is some pretty good golf,” said Poulter, who finished second in defence of his title and was DP Tour World Championship runner-up in 2010.
Also making a major move in The Race to Dubai is defending DP World Tour Championship and Race to Dubai Champion Rory McIlroy who has crashed into the top 40 following a tie for sixth place in Shanghai, the second tournament on The European Tour’s four-event Final Series. The two-time Major winner and World Number Six is in 38th place and is set to defend his title on the Earth course just twelve months after wrapping up both crowns.
Although the final 60 players competing for the US$8 million DP World Tour Championship will not be determined until the final putt is holed at this week’s Turkish Airlines Open presented by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture at The Montgomerie Maxx Royal in Antalya, the field is set to feature many of the biggest names in world golf.
Stenson, McDowell, Rose and Poulter are set to be joined by McIlroy, former Major winners Martin Kaymer and Louis Oosthuizen and young stars Matteo Manassero, Peter Uhlein and Joost Luiten. With US$8 million in tournament prize-money and The Race to Dubai Bonus Pool of US$3.75 million to be divided among the top ten players at the end of the season, the season is set for a sensational final at Jumeirah Golf Estates.
“The Final Series has already resulted in major movement in The Race to Dubai and all eyes will be on Turkey next week to see who will be the final 60 players competing in the DP World Tour Championship,” said European Tour International Director, Dubai Office Nick Tarratt.
Tickets for the four-day DP World Tour Championship are free of charge and can be obtained now by registering online at the event website www.DPWTC.com.