The DP World Tour Championship is always one of the most fabulous events on the calendar that all the players and spectators look forward to. This year is no different with Major champions, Ryder Cup heroes and the best players from around the world going toe-to-toe for the prestigious title.
I was very pleased with how my players performed in The Ryder Cup in Paris, particularly Henrik Stenson, who won all three of his matches. Henrik has just had a procedure in his elbow and says he needs some time to recuperate from the operation. But he told me he’ll see me in Dubai, so he’s confirmed his spot in the DP World Tour Championship – an event he’s enjoyed much success in.
I will have around 10 players out of the 60 playing in the final event of the European Tour season at Jumeirah Golf Estates which is great news for me, especially when you look at the players I have taught before.
We can’t decide which of these two moments has us more awestruck – @TheSergioGarcia‘s great performance last year or that final shot by @henrikstenson that won him the #dpwtc and #RaceToDubai! 🏌👉🏆🏆 pic.twitter.com/THYaCLWcbf
— DP World Tour Championship (@DPWTC) November 2, 2018
Tommy Fleetwood, who has become one of the top players in the world, will still be thinking of his success partnering Francesco Molinari at Le Golf National. He’s a lovely lad is Tommy. I think highly of him, both on and off the course. It’s fantastic to see him doing so well.
He lost his way in the sport for a short while but found his way back on track again to become a top, top player.
At the moment, he’s got the Francesco Molinari effect, where everyone is talking about ‘Moliwood’ with the Fleetwood-Molinair double act winning all their pairs matches. But then, so did the Poulter and Stenson, so they deserve just as much praise!
Everybody played their part in the European Ryder Cup win, so it will be great to have them back in Dubai competing for the title of best player on Tour.
The winner of the Race to Dubai usually finishes the season on a high with a magnificent performance in the DP World Tour Championship. A few years ago, Stenson won both the Race to Dubai and DP World Tour Championship and Rory has done the same, too. I’ll never forget the three-wood that Henrik hit on the 18th to win the tournament! Hitting fairways and greens is the key to being successful on the Earth Course.
Stenson remarkably hit 69 out of 72 greens when he won here five years ago with a record total of 25-under par! If you’re hitting out the semi-rough, you’ll struggle to find the sections on the greens to make putts, so you won’t be converting the birdies that are required. You’ll normally find the scoring is low here because of the good weather and the quality of the greens.
Race to Dubai leader Molinari will definitely be one of the favourites to win this event and keep his outstanding run going. He’s a super nice guy and he’s done everything the correct way in his career. He employed the right people at the right time and has moved forward from a position where he looked like he might go backwards after Celtic Manor in 2010.
His putting invariably let him down, but Phil Kenyon did an excellent job with him, and Dave Alred, his performance director, has put a lot of good work in. Francesco has got a really good team around him. When they put good teams together, and have the ability to go with it, then they tend to come through.
Our winner from last year… @JonRahmpga! The young Spanish player scored 269 and beat both @kiradech and @ShaneLowryGolf by just 1 stroke ⛳ Who do you think will win the #dpwtc this year? 🏆 pic.twitter.com/gj1TSR64S0
— DP World Tour Championship (@DPWTC) October 31, 2018
A few years ago, Brooks Koepka, who graduated from the Challenge Tour, wanted to keep his European Tour status but didn’t meet the conditions, otherwise he would have been competing in this season-ending event and you’d have struggled to beat the World No.1 to the title with the remarkable form he’s shown this season.
After securing two Major titles this year, he would have been a great addition and he actually wanted to be here, playing in this fantastic event.
Xander Schauffele and Patrick Reed are Americans competing from the PGA Tour but don’t be surprised if you see more Americans in the years to come. n