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Willett rockets up Race to Dubai Rankings

Willett rockets up Race to Dubai Rankings

Willett with the BMW PGA Championship trophy

Reigning DP World Tour Championship winner Danny Willett is set to defend his title at Jumeirah Golf Estates after sealing his spot in this year's season-ending event by picking up a second Rolex Series title with a thrilling victory at the BMW PGA Championship.

The 31-year-old, who became only the second Englishman to win the Masters Tournament in 2016, had been locked in a battle with three-time Rolex Series winner Jon Rahm at Wentworth Golf Club over the weekend. But Willett proved too strong on Sunday as he posted a final round 67 to reach a tournament total of 20 under par for a three-stroke triumph over the Spaniard.

"It doesn't get much better does it? It's been an emotional week," said Willett, who rockets from 60th to ninth in the Race to Dubai Rankings after collecting 1,165 points for winning the prestigious event.

"It was a good battle out there today with myself more than anyone else and it was nice to come through the other side. I've an undying want to get back there. I was willing to change whatever had to be changed and I think that's pretty hard to do, it's hard to jump full throttle into something that you're not quite sure if it's going to work out or not.

"I was able to jump in there and I had the correct people around me. All the work that we've put in has come forward."

Rahm, who won the DP World Tour Championship in 2017, had to settle for second place after posting a final round 70 having started Sunday in a tie for the lead. The 24-year-old picked up 780 Race to Dubai points with his runner-up finish which sees him climb to second from third in the Rankings.

Meanwhile, Christiaan Bezuidenhout confirmed his spot in the DP World Tour Championship with a third-place finish in Surrey. The South African, who claimed a maiden European Tour win earlier this season at the Estrella Damn N.A. Andalucía Masters, moves up to eighth from 18th in the Race to Dubai Rankings.

Double DP World Tour Championship winning specialists Henrik Stenson and Rory McIlroy both edged closer to sealing their spot for this year after moving into the top 30 of the Race to Dubai. Sweden's Stenson jumped up to 27th from 31st with a share of 17th while Northern Ireland's McIlroy moved up to 25th from 33th following a tied ninth finish.

The top 50 players in the Race to Dubai Rankings will contest the season-ending US$8 million DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai from November 21-24 where US$3 million will be up for grabs for the winner, making it the richest first prize in world tournament golf.