Rookie race set to go to the wire

With less than 100 points separating Robert MacIntyre and Kurt Kitayama, the battle to be Europe's best newcomer is set for a tense finish.

Robert MacIntyre

The Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year Award has laid the platform for some of the European Tour's greatest careers.

Nobody has played more events than 1972 winner Sam Torrance and nobody has been European Number One more times than 1988 winner Colin Montgomerie.

Sir Nick Faldo went on to become the most decorated European in Major Championships after his win in 1977, while more recent names on the trophy include Major Champions Sergio Garcia, Martin Kaymer and Brooks Koepka.

With the 2019 Race to Dubai coming to a close at this week's DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, frontrunner Robert MacIntyre is less than 100 points ahead of closest rival Kurt Kitayama.

Ahead of the two teeing it up together in the season finale, we take a look at their seasons and those of the other two remaining contenders for the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year Award.

Robert MacIntyre - 11th on the Race to Dubai Rankings Presented by Rolex

Robert Macintyre

The European Challenge Tour graduate has been nothing short of a revelation since announcing himself with a tie for second at the Betfred British Masters. He had barely stopped for breath before that, racking up 11 events by March with just one missed cut before taking a break. His second placed finish in Lancashire was followed by another at the Made in Denmark presented by FREJA, and a top ten at The Open Championship thrust him into the international spotlight. Another second place at the Porsche European Open and a top five in the Rolex Series at the Italian Open had left him as the man to catch but he was overtaken by Kitayama at the Turkish Airlines Open before a 65-68 weekend at the Nedbank Golf Challenge edged him back ahead.

Kurt Kitayama - 12th on the Race to Dubai Rankings Presented by Rolex

Race to Dubai Show - Kurt Kitayama defies the drama

The American came through all three stages at the Qualifying School before claiming a stunning victory in just his third ever European Tour event at the Afrasia Bank Mauritius Open at Anahita. He made it two wins in 11 when he lifted the trophy at the Oman Open but he was not running away with this contest as they were his only top tens of the season right up until September before back to back top fives and the Italian Open and Amundi Open de France. He almost became the first rookie in European Tour history to win three times as he lost a six man play-off in Turkey and arrives in Dubai in fine form.

Adri Arnaus - 37th on the Race to Dubai Rankings Presented by Rolex

Adri Arnaus

The Spaniard won the Ras Al Khaimah Challenge Tour Grand Final en route to graduating from the Challenge Tour and within two months had a first European Tour top ten at the Alfred Dunhill Championship. Since then he has finished second at the Magical Kenya Open presented by Absa, Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation and D+D Real Czech Masters, while finishing just a shot out of a play-off at the European Masters.

Guido Migliozzi - 40th on the Race to Dubai Rankings Presented by Rolex

Race to Dubai Show - More Migliozzi Magic

The Italian had made just two out of seven cuts since come through the Qualifying School when he lifted the trophy at the Magical Kenya Open presented by Absa. That sparked a consistent run of form before he joined Kiatayama as a two time rookie winner at the Belgian Knockout. Also finished in the top ten at the Porsche European Open.

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