The European Tour’s Race to Dubai comes to a close this week at the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai. The Earth Course, part of Jumeirah Golf Estates, hosts the season finale, but who will be crowned the DP World Tour Championship victor?
Our stats guru has crunched the numbers to offer three selections for your fantasy golf teams this week.
Favourite - Rory McIlroy
With five top fives in his last six worldwide starts, including two wins and a scoring average of 67.46, it really is difficult to look past Rory McIlroy this week. When you take a look at his record at the DP World Tour Championship, we do not see how you could leave him out of your fantasy golf team.
Since the event began in 2009, McIlroy is 129 under par, which is 30 strokes better than any other player. He ties the best scoring average on the Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates with Patrick Reed at 68.42, across a minimum of 12 rounds played. Furthermore, only McIlroy and Robert Karlsson have gained two strokes or more against the field since the event started.
Getting off to a fast start is often key to winning golf tournaments, and McIlroy has no problems in this category in Dubai. He is 28 under par through holes one to three in his career here and, additionally, the closing stretch from the 14th hole has a birdie or better percentage of nearly 30%. This is a stat McIlroy has taken advantage of as his scoring record on the closing holes sees the Northern Irishman at 48 under par. Get Rory in your team now!
Form horse - Bernd Wiesberger
Bernd Wiesberger has been the man in form at Rolex Series events this season, picking up victories at the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open and the Italian Open. To add to his two victories, the Austrian golfer also finished in a tie for second at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and in a tie for third at the Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player last week. Wiesberger certainly knows how to perform under pressure in Rolex Series events.
Wiesberger also leads the way in the Race to Dubai Rankings Presented by Rolex heading into the season finale. No Race to Dubai winner has started the year outside the top 100 on the Official World Golf Ranking, however Wiesberger will break that record if he is crowned European Number One as he started the year in 185th place.
When you throw into the mix the fact that Wiesberger has seven European Tour wins since 2012, the fifth most by any player in that seven-year span. Wiesberger knows a top-two finish here, regardless of how others perform, will secure the Race to Dubai title.
Wildcard - Kurt Kitayama
Kurt Kitayama has enjoyed a fine rookie season on the European Tour where he picked up two victories at the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open at Anahita and the Oman Open. In his last five starts, the American has collected a tied second finish at the Turkish Airlines Open, where he had a putt to win the $2million first prize, a third place finish at the Italian Open, another Rolex Series event, and a fourth place finish at the Amundi Open de France.
Kitayama also has the chance to win the European Tour’s Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year award, where he is in a close contest with Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre, with whom he will play alongside on the first day at Jumeirah Golf Estates. The two-time winner also has the chance to join Mark O’Meara and Tiger Woods as the only American players to be credited with three or more wins in a single European Tour season.
Those are our stats guru's picks, but did he do enough to convince you? Add them to your European Tour Daily Fantasy Game and your line-up in the Fantasy Race to Dubai before the action begins on Thursday.