Dan Box
By Dan Box

Thankfully, 2020 is almost over and we can look to the New Year with optimism. Positive news about vaccines will hopefully help our lives return to a more recognisable normality in the next few months.

In the golfing world, the fact that both the men's and women's two major tours have been able to run a relatively comprehensive schedule of events, including major championships and season-ending tour championships, has been a fantastic boost for golf fans over the world.

2020 DP World Tour Championship Preview

The European Tour's season-long Order of Merit, the Race to Dubai, culminates this week with the DP World Tour Championship, which is held on the Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates as usual.

Last Year

In 2019 Spaniard Jon Rahm was able to hold off the challenge of Tommy Fleetwood for a one stroke victory by making an up-and-down birdie on the final hole. It was Rahm's third European Tour victory of the season.

The Course

The Greg Norman-designed Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates has been host to this event since its inception in 2009.

It's very much your modern-day golf course. Long, perfectly manicured, fantastic facilities, perfect for spectators, and with plenty of scope for some low scores for the pros due to the wide fairways and fast, perfectly manicured greens.

2020 DP World Tour Championship Preview

Despite measuring at nearly 7,700 yards, winning totals here have often surpassed -20 over the four days. So four scores in the 60s will probably be required for anyone wanting to be in the mix on Sunday afternoon.

2020 DP World Tour Championship Preview

A strong finish has often been key in this event over the past few years, so look out for the long par-3 17th with its island green and par-5 18th, with water cutting into the hole three times, to be key.

The Field

With 2,000 Race to Dubai points going to this week's winner there is still a possibility for 61 different players to be crowned as champion this year, depending on how the rest of the field performs. Realistically however, you need to be in the Top 20 heading in this week in order to stand a real chance, and even then you might be relying on those above you to have a poor week.

Currently leading the way is Patrick Reed, seeking to become the first American winner of the event. Reed is an honorary member of the European Tour and has been one of the most supportive American golfers in recent years, which was shown when he travelled to Wentworth to compete in the BMW Championship earlier this year, finishing T3.

Fellow American and PGA Championship Collin Morikawa sits in third place, despite the fact that he hasn't played in an official European Tour event besides WGC and major tournaments (which are co-sanctioned).

You may think that this feels a little unfair on the players who play on the European Tour every week, and perhaps it is, but the simple fact is that the Tour wants to ensure that the best players in the world play in the event and so the points are weighted heavily towards those big events.

English favourites Tommy Fleetwood and Lee Westwood are both still firmly in the mix, and if either of them were to win this week they would be crowned as Race to Dubai winners after typically consistent years.

2020 DP World Tour Championship Preview

Rounding out the top five is red-hot South African Christiaan Bezuidenhout who is seeking to complete an incredible three-peat on the European Tour, after winning back to back events in his home country.

The European Tour's Rookie of the Year award will be decided at the conclusion of this week's event and for most people, the favourite is Dane Rasmus Hojgaard who picked up two victories this season and has impressed with numerous good results elsewhere.

And keep an eye out for South African Wilco Neinaber this week too. The 20 year-old may just pip Bryson DeChambeau as the biggest hitter in professional golf at the moment, averaging 344 yards off the tee, and it looks like there's still a bit left in the tank too.

Unfortunately, however, there are some casualties to what would usually be a star-studded field. The likes of Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry decided against travelling to the Middle East this year due to the added logistical issues of Covid and the effects of a long season in bubbles.

Golfalot Tips

  • Tommy Fleetwood @ 14/1

Won the Race to Dubai in 2017 and came extremely close in both 2018 and 2019 so clearly has good form here and is one of the most consistent players in the game. Fleetwood has had two top fives in three starts on the European Tour since lockdown - can he chase down Patrick Reed?

  • Matt Wallace @ 25/1

Wallace will be disappointed not to have picked up a victory this year after a number of close calls, including a T2 in Dubai last week, but perhaps the final event of the year is the perfect time to break the drought. He has a strong all-round game and has a decent track record when playing in the desert too.


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