DP World still offers star power for European Tour’s season finale, says Nick Dougherty | Golf News

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Nick Dougherty

Golf Expert

Patrick Reed and Collin Morikawa both looking to become the first American winner of the European Tour’s Race to Dubai; Tommy Fleetwood and Tyrrell Hatton among other names at the DP World Tour Championship looking to become European No 1.

Last Updated: 08/12/20 11:16am

Tyrrell Hatton and Tommy Fleetwood are both in action at the DP World Tour Championship

Tyrrell Hatton and Tommy Fleetwood are both in action at the DP World Tour Championship

It has been a very difficult year and you’ve got to give credit to the European Tour for building a season like they have. Each country and government had different Covid restrictions and regulations to work around, so they have done an incredible job in putting a schedule together.

To bounce back the way they did with the UK Swing was impressive, as was having so many playing opportunities in different countries and still having this Rolex Series event at the end. We can all enjoy the 2020 season coming to a climax this week and hopefully it finds a brilliant winner again.

The DP World may be missing a few of the names that we would love to see play on the European Tour, but it’s still going to be a star-powered event and it won’t take away from what is always a brilliant tournament.

Tyrrell Hatton is chasing a second European Tour victory of the season

Tyrrell Hatton is chasing a second European Tour victory of the season

It is a little disappointing for the European Tour, but we have to take into consideration that it’s an unusual year and I think we had to accept that not everybody was going to travel. That’s why 72nd in the Race to Dubai is now in, as opposed to only the top 60 available players and extra invites.

Jon Rahm was due to be defending the Race to Dubai and defending his tournament win at the DP World, which he has won twice on a golf course that he would always have a chance of doing again. Rory McIlroy’s the star power in any tournament and always a miss, while Paul Casey, Justin Rose and Louis Oosthuizen are among the others not here.

There’s also quite a lot of Aussies and Kiwis not playing but we know why, because they’ll spend Christmas quarantining instead of being with their families if they played this week! Having said that, we still have a brilliant field and the fact we have a couple of big stars trying to become the first American winner of the Race to Dubai adds an extra layer of excitement.

You have to give Patrick Reed credit for his support to the European Tour and it adds a lot to our tournaments when the stars from America come over and play, just like it did when he played at Wentworth earlier in the season.

Patrick Reed leads the Race to Dubai ahead of the final event of the season

Patrick Reed leads the Race to Dubai ahead of the final event of the season

Reed arrives as the Race to Dubai leader and with eyes firmly on trying to win and becoming European No 1, which gives credibility to what the European Tour is all about. Collin Morikawa is also in the field and it shows a great deal of maturity from him to see this as an important part of his journey.

It would’ve been very easy for Morikawa to sit back and reflect on a big year, taking off the rest of 2020, but instead he’s all business and could easily end the year not only as a major champion but also as the winner of the Race to Dubai.

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Tommy Fleetwood is going to be a contender once again and has performed around the Earth Course at Jumeriah Golf Estates before, finishing second to Rahm here last year, so he knows about to get the job done around here and play well.

He already has a Race to Dubai to his name so that won’t be something lingering in his mind, but he’d desperately love a second. The last three years show how consistent he is, finishing first, third and second on the Race to Dubai, so to do what he has done in recent seasons has been special.

Can Tommy Fleetwood win the Race to Dubai for a second time?

Can Tommy Fleetwood win the Race to Dubai for a second time?

I think Tyrrell Hatton has a great chance of winning this week, as he has been playing remarkably well in 2020 and certainly doesn’t lack any confidence. He believes he can beat anybody and has already done so twice this year in huge events, at Wentworth and the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Hatton has been consistently brilliant this year with all the top-fives and top-10s, so I fancy him to get the job done on a great golf course that has a long history of producing great winners.

Watch the DP World Tour Championship throughout the week live on Sky Sports. Live coverage begins on Thursday from 7am on Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Main Event.


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