Tommy Fleetwood, Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia will battle it out for the right to be crowned Race to Dubai champion when the European Tour season comes to a thrilling climax at the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai.
Fleetwood has enjoyed the best season of his career with two victories – at the Abu Dhabi HSCB Championship and HNA Open de France, a Rolex Series event – supplemented by two runner-up finishes including one at the WGC-Mexico Championship, along with a top five at the US Open.
The 26 year old Englishman sits 256,737 points ahead in the Race to Dubai presented by Rolex, with 2013 US Open Champion Rose in second place and in the form of his life after claiming back-to-back victories in his last two appearances at the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open.
Back in 2007, Rose was in a similar situation at the season finale and duly won the final event of the season at Real Club Valderrama to be crowned European Tour Number One.
The 37 year old will be hoping to emulate that feat this week at the last of the eight Rolex Series events in the 2017 campaign, while Garcia also remains in the hunt but requires a victory and other results to go his way.
“I don’t want to say this has been a breakout year, because you don’t know what happens after it, but it’s been the biggest year of my career by a long way. I think the goal at the start of the year was to win again.
“I hadn’t won in three years or so and I did that very early on. I was then reassessing for the first six months because I was on a roll and I just kept having brilliant results.
“It’s very special to get to the final event, and be playing to win the Race to Dubai. It’s something I’ve never been done before, I’ve never been close, and it’s something that I didn’t expect to be doing this year.
“It’s brilliant and there’s a list of very great players that have won the Race to Dubai. If it’s my turn, then that’s amazing.
“Whatever happens, I’ve never done this before, and it will have been a brilliant experience no matter what. I obviously clearly want to win. You don’t know how many chances you’re going to get in your career to do it.
“I’d love to add my name to that list. It would be a perfect way to end a year that’s been amazing for me. It would mean a lot, there’s no denying it or getting away from it. I can’t say I just want to play my own game and not think about it. I think that’s just pretty much impossible.”
“Last week was an important week for me. I did what I wanted to do, spent time with the family, did some practise and saw my coach. I ticked all the boxes that I wanted to last week, and I’ve arrived here in Dubai, fresh, ready to go and excited.
“Those are the main ingredients for playing well. You can never force a good week. You can never guarantee a good week, but the recipe is in place to continue doing what I’ve done in the last few weeks.
“It’s actually a very similar situation to 2007 for me. I think mathematically, at Valderrama in 2007, I could have maybe finished second or third, but went ahead and won the tournament. It’s probably something fairly similar this week.
“But end of the day, for me it’s about winning The Race to Dubai, and I have to contend in this tournament one way or another. I need to finish towards the top end of the leaderboard, and if you’re going to finish at the top end of the leaderboard, you may as well focus on trying to win the tournament.
The objective it quite simple and quite clear from that point of view. But like I said, it’s Wednesday, it’s too early to think about winning. Thursday is too early to think about winning. Friday is too early to think about winning. So it’s just about putting myself in position, and then getting it done when you have that chance.”