x

Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 20 November 2018

Race to Dubai top 5: Justin Rose back in contention after Turkish Airlines Open win

Englishman's victory in Turkey sees him move up to third and back to world No 1

Francesco Molinari of Italy leads the Race to Dubai standings. AFP
Francesco Molinari of Italy leads the Race to Dubai standings. AFP

England’s Justin Rose successively defended the Turkish Airlines Open on Sunday as the battle for the Race to Dubai title moves into its penultimate week. Here, we look at the revised top five in the season-long standings, with only two events remaining (Race to Dubai points in brackets).

Francesco Molinari (4,709,921)

The Italian is the overwhelming favourite for a first Race to Dubai crown having enjoyed an incredible summer. Molinari triumphed at the European Tour’s flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship, in May, before landing a first major with a supreme display on Sunday at the British Open in July – alongside playing partner Tiger Woods. Finished tied-6th at the US PGA Championship, but sat out the past two events.

Tommy Fleetwood of England teeing off during the second round of the WGC-HSBC Champions golf tournament in Shanghai. AFP
Tommy Fleetwood of England teeing off during the second round of the WGC-HSBC Champions golf tournament in Shanghai. AFP

Tommy Fleetwood (3,684,755)

The Englishman sits as the closest challenger to best buddy Molinari, and knows already how to get the job done. Fleetwood is the current European No 1 having held off Rose to seal the crown in Dubai last November. Like last season, he began the year with victory in Abu Dhabi, before finishing tied-6th in Dubai and then second at June’s US Open. Was joint-second at this month’s Alfred Dunhill Links, tied-7th in China and again in Turkey.

______________

Read more:

Justin Rose returns to No 1 after successfully defending Turkish Airlines Open title

Dustin Johnson and Tommy Fleetwood confirm returns to Abu Dhabi in 2019

Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA elevated to Rolex Series status

______________

Justin Rose is all smiles after winning the Turkish Airlines Open on Sunday. Getty Images
Justin Rose is all smiles after winning the Turkish Airlines Open on Sunday. Getty Images

Justin Rose (3,431,616)

The game’s hottest player right now, Rose was the biggest mover this week after a brilliant defence of his crown in Turkey. It marks an incredible 12 months and a bit for the Englishman, who in that time has five wins, three runner-up finishes, nine top fives and 13 top 10s. With victory on Sunday, he rightfully reclaimed the world No 1 spot. Rose knows how to get the Order of Merit title done, too, having been crowned European No 1 in 2007.

Patrick Reed finds himself fourth in the Race to Dubai despite playing only 10 European Tour events. AFP
Patrick Reed finds himself fourth in the Race to Dubai despite playing only 10 European Tour events. AFP

Patrick Reed (3,268,511)

The American finds himself fourth despite playing only 10 European Tour events. However, Reed’s rude health in the marquee tournaments has lifted him to his current position: he broke his major duck with victory at the Masters in April, before finishing fourth at the US Open. Another top 10 arrived in Germany in July, while the tied-7th in China last week – he held the first-round lead – confirmed a timely return to form.

Xander Schauffele poses with the trophy after winning the WGC-HSBC Champions golf tournament in Shanghai. AFP
Xander Schauffele poses with the trophy after winning the WGC-HSBC Champions golf tournament in Shanghai. AFP

Xander Schauffele (3,092,488)

The American’s star continues to rise as he moved into the Race to Dubai’s upper echelons with victory in China last week - his first win on the European Tour. Schauffelle has managed it despite playing the least amount of events (8) of anyone in the current top 11. That has been made possible by standout performances in some of the circuit’s most prominent tournaments, namely tied-6th at the US Open and tied-2nd at the British Open.