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NEDBANK GOLF CHALLENGE HOSTED BY GARY PLAYER
Gary Player CC, Sun City, South Africa 08 Nov 2018 - 11 Nov 2018
Wednesday, 07 November 2018
Francesco Molinari  (Getty Images)
Francesco Molinari (Getty Images)

There are just two events left in the 2018 Race to Dubai and as we reach the very closing stages of the season there are still five players who have a chance of being crowned Europe's Number One.

Here, we take a look at the runners and riders and what would have to happen for them to have a chance of winning the season-long title.

Francesco Molinari

What a year it has been for the Italian. After claiming his first Rolex Series victory at the BMW PGA Championship he went on to win a maiden Major at The Open Championship. Add that victory to another Rolex Series top ten and two top 25s in World Golf Championships events and he has a lead of 1,025,166 points at the top of the Rankings. A finish of solo second or better at the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai will guarantee the crown for Molinari but he may not need that depending on how things go for these four.............

Tommy Fleetwood

The reigning champion has enjoyed a spectacular defence whether he is successful in overhauling his great friend and Ryder Cup team-mate or not. A successful defence of his Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA title got 2018 off to a flying start and he fired a history-making 63 in the final round en route to finishing second at the US Open Championship. Four consecutive top tens have edged him closer to Molinari in recent weeks but he needs a win in Dubai with Molinari finishing worse than a tie for fifth with one other to successfully defend his crown.

Rory McIlroy

McIlroy may not have a win yet in 2018 but he has enjoyed another excellent season with three second place finishes including the BMW PGA Championship and The Open Championship. He will have to enter the winner's circle at least once to have a chance of being Europe's Number One for a fourth time as he plays in both the Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player and the season-ending event in Dubai - which he has won twice before. Should he win both of those events, Molinari needs to finish second on his own or with one other in Dubai to take the crown. A win in South Africa and a solo second in Dubai would be good enough for McIlroy should Molinari finish worse then tied sixth with one other. A solo second at Gary Player Country Club and a win in Dubai would need Molinari to finish worse than solo seventh or a tie for sixth with two others for McIlroy to prevail.

Li Haotong

Li has been a bit of a sleeper in this year's Race to Dubai, having gone over eight months without a top ten following his win at the Dubai Desert Classic in January. A second place finish at the Rolex Series Turkish Airlines Open, however, has left him in the top ten in the Rankings and like McIlroy, he is teeing it up in both Sun City and Dubai. Only two consecutive wins will give him a chance of being crowned Europe's Number One, and even then he needs Molinari to finish worse then tied fourth with one other at Jumeirah Golf Estates.

Lucas Bjerregarrd

Bjerregaard made a relatively slow start to the season with five missed cuts in his first seven events but after claiming the first of ten top tens at the Volvo China Open, he has been a picture of consistency. He finished in a tie for third at the BMW PGA Championship and has been in the top ten in six of his last eight events. That included a stunning victory at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship and he will need two more of those - with Molinari finishing worse then a tie for eighth with one other in Dubai - to be Europe's Number One.

A Rolex Series Event

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1WESTWOOD, LeeENG18-15
2GARCIA, SergioESP18-12
3OOSTHUIZEN, LouisRSA18-11
4FISHER, RossENG18-8
T5LI, HaotongCHN18-7
T5WALLACE, MattENG18-7

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