Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player
Gary Player CC, Sun City, South Africa 09 Nov 2017 - 12 Nov 2017
Wednesday, 08 November 2017
Sam Brazel at the Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player  (Getty Images)
Sam Brazel at the Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player (Getty Images)

It’s crunch-time on the European Tour as the Race to Dubai nears its climax, continuing this week in South Africa. Following the Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player, only the top 60 players in the Rankings will qualify for the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, with the top 72 in action this week. 

With just four rounds left to earn enough points to head to the Middle East, takes a close look at the men either side of the top 60 mark and how they've fared so far this season.

56) Marc Warren

Previous Dubai appearances: 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015

Seriously impressive form in the last two months has proved key for Warren after a difficult spell earlier in the season. The Scot missed eight cuts in a row from the BMW PGA Championship in May to the Porsche European Open in July, but responded in style with four consecutive top 15s towards the end of the year. A top ten at the Italian Open propelled him into the top 60.

57) Julian Suri

Previous Dubai appearances: Never played

The man from New York is showing some real form coming into this week in Sun City. Two eighth placed finishes at the Andalucía Valderrama Masters and the Turkish Airlines Open have sent the 26 year old into a strong position to make his DP World Tour Championship debut. A win at the Made in Denmark signalled his arrival and he continues to impress. He possesses the fourth best stroke average on tour with 69.86%, behind only Sergio Garcia, Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy and will need to show more of that kind of scoring to be teeing it up in Dubai.

58) Brandon Stone

Previous Dubai appearances: 2016

The likable South African has captured a European Tour title two years running, including at the Alfred Dunhill Championship at the beginning of this season. Both his victories have come in his native South Africa and a third home title would ensure his place in next week’s field. Form may not be on the 24 year old’s side, but with two top fours in his three South African events this season, he is clearly a man who thrives under home advantage. 

59) Sam Brazel

Previous Dubai appearances: Never played

Winning the UBS Hong Kong Open in just the second event of the season laid the perfect foundation for the Australian. Consistency may not have come easily this year for Brazel, but the incentive of making his first appearance in Dubai could help him rediscover the form that saw him edge out Rafa Cabrera Bello for victory in Hong Kong.

60) Grégory Bourdy

Previous Dubai appearances: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016

Of all the players on the bubble heading into this week, few know what’s required to make that final event better than Bourdy. The experienced Frenchman has only failed to qualify twice before and increased his chances of making the final 60 thanks to a share of fourth at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in October.

61) Richard Sterne

Previous Dubai appearances: 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016

Another home favourite who could feed off good local vibes at Sun City, Sterne has finished in the top 20 in both of his previous visits to Gary Player CC. While he hasn’t missed many cuts this year, the 36 year old has only managed two top tens, including a second place at the Alfred Dunhill Championship. With six European Tour wins under his belt, Sterne certainly knows what it takes to perform under pressure. 

62) Paul Waring

Previous Dubai appearances: Never played

A potential Dubai debutant, Waring put in two strong performances in previous Rolex Series events earlier in the season to edge him closer to Jumeirah Golf Estates. Top 16s at the HNA Open de France and the Turkish Airlines Open have proved important in the Englishman’s bid to be in the field next week. 

63) Ian Poulter

Previous Dubai appearances: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015

Poulter is a man in strong form and confident mood having been in various forms of contention in his last five events. A share of ninth at the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open earned The Ryder Cup veteran his second largest points haul of the season and proved a real turning point in his season. Poulter has never missed a season-ending trip to Dubai and looks like he could keep up that impressive record with another good result in South Africa. 

64) Jorge Campillo

Previous Dubai appearances: 2016

A first taste of the season’s climax 12 months ago will no doubt have left Campillo eager for more. A share of ninth in Dubai proved the Spaniard can compete on the big stage, so the 40,000 points he earned in Turkey last week have given him a real chance to prove he can do the same again. 

65) Haydn Porteous

Previous Dubai appearances: Never played

Just like Suri, Stone and Brazel, Porteous has been in the winner’s circle this season. His victory in the D+D REAL Czech Masters came after a mixed run of results, including six missed cuts at the start of the season. His innate talent has never been in doubt, though, and with over 94,000 points accumulated in his last two events, Porteous can rightly feel in an assured frame of mind upon returning to his home country. A Dubai debut could be on the cards.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1GRACE, BrandenRSA18-11
2JAMIESON, ScottSCO18-10
4LI, HaotongCHN18-7
5KAYMER, MartinGER18-6

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