DUBAI: The top 50 players on the European Tour’s Race to Dubai rankings have descended on Dubai ahead of the season-ending DP World Tour Championship.
The stage is set on the Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates for the final Rolex Series event of 2021, where the players will compete for the $9 million prize pot and the European No.1 crown, with play getting underway this Thursday through to Sunday, Nov. 21.
“Dubai has been the cornerstone of the European Tour since 2009, since the Race to Dubai started, which was my second year on tour,” Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy said. “They have done a massive investment in golf in the last few years and now DP World has come on board to be the main sponsor of the tour, which I think is wonderful news. It solidifies the tour’s future for a long time.
“All the players owe this region…especially Dubai, a debt of gratitude as they’ve invested so heavily in our game and we have all benefitted from it,” he added.
The four-time major winner’s comments come after the European Tour announced it would be renamed the DP World Tour from 2022, following a significant commitment from the Emirati multinational logistics company. The DP World Tour’s total purse will exceed $200 million over the season, for the first time.
World No. 21 Billy Horschel also revealed what it means to him to be playing in this tournament.
“Growing up in the States, all I thought about was winning on the PGA Tour, winning majors and being the Player of the Year. I did grow up watching a lot of European Tour coverage, but I never envisioned myself playing over here or having the success I had,” the American said. “To be in this spot where I am now, I have used the last couple of months to sit back and picture the whole thing and understand what is in front of me. I think…it’s the best year I’ve had in my career”
Horschel continued: “This year, I have been pretty consistent and won two big tournaments in WGC Match Play and BMW PGA Championship and to add possibly the Race to Dubai and become the first American to win the Order of Merit would obviously by far be the best of my career…There is a lot on the line this week and we will see how it all plays out.”
Other players teeing it up this week in the hopes of winning both the DP World Tour Championship and the Race to Dubai are defending champion Matt Fitzpatrick, two-time major winner Collin Morikawa, and Ryder Cup legends Tommy Fleetwood and Ian Poulter, who is also a global ambassador for DP World.