Simon Dyson’s superb victory at last week’s Irish Open presented by Discover Ireland brought with it the added bonus of a move into the all-important top 15 of The Race to Dubai.
Dyson collected €250,000 after surging to his fifth European Tour title to climb ten places, from 19th to ninth, and move firmly into contention to claim a share of the Bonus Pool awarded to the top 15 players on completion of the season-ending Dubai World Championship presented by DP World, which returns to the Earth course at Jumeirah Golf Estates, in Dubai, from December 8-11.
The Englishman was naturally delighted to have taken his season’s earnings to €892,840 after edging out Australian Richard Green by a single stroke courtesy of a closing round of 67 at Killarney Golf and Fishing Club.
He said: “It’s amazing to win first and foremost, and to move up to ninth in The Race to Dubai is very, very pleasing. I was looking forward to the Dubai World Championship anyway, but now that I am right up there it’ll make it all the more exciting for me to aim towards really kicking on and trying to win more tournaments, and see just how high I can go at the end of the season.
“The Dubai World Championship is one of the biggest tournaments of the year, so to go in there as high as I can is a big priority. Then, once you get to Dubai, you are playing for really big money, with the Bonus Pool and all that comes with it. I might not be able to win it – you never know – but the incentives on offer in terms of exemptions for next year and the fact that you can guarantee a place at The Open and the US Open by finishing in the top 15 is something that really gets all the players who are in with a shout going.”
Green’s consolation for finishing runner-up was a move from 76th place in The Race to Dubai to 42nd, and therefore in line to take his place in the season finale, which features the top 60 players in the ranking.
Two other players who made significant moves into the top 60 of The Race to Dubai were the in-form Italian Lorenzo Gagli ( who moved from 63rd to 58th) and Scotland’s Stephen Gallagher (from 73rd to 55th), after finishing tied eighth and third respectively.
World Number One Luke Donald of England still enjoys a sizeable lead on €3,156,696, thanks chiefly to his victories at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, the BMW PGA Championship and the Barclays Scottish Open this season.
But with a prize fund of US$8.5million on offer to the field at this week’s WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, victory for any one of Donald’s closest rivals – which include Major Champions Charl Schwartzel (second), Rory McIlroy (third), Martin Kaymer (fourth) and Darren Clarke (sixth) – would shake up the race to end the season as Europe’s Number One golfer.