Two-way battle to be European Tour top dog

Race To Dubai

The European Tour season, which started way back in Hong Kong last November, comes to its conclusion this week at the DP World Tour Championship.

But if you were expecting some excitement with a number of different players in with a chance of winning the Race to Dubai, you’re probably going to be disappointed.

That’s because, out of the 60-man field, only two players – Francesco Molinari and Tommy Fleetwood – have a shot at winning the Order of Merit and, such is the manner of Molinari’s lead, it seems like a foregone conclusion.

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Molinari has racked up 4,709,921 points this season, largely thanks to his victories at The Open and BMW PGA Championship, a runner-up finish at the Italian Open and a sixth-placed finish at the US PGA Championship.

Moli Wood

The points earned from those four events alone – 3,576,787 – would have had him second in the year-long race, such was the quality of his season.

It would have left him behind defending Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood. The Englishman is the only player who can overhaul Molinari and MUST win and rely on the Italian to finish worse than a two-way tie for fifth.

It’s not impossible, but certainly a tall order.

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Should Molinari win, he would become the first Italian player to win the Order of Merit in the European Tour's 47-year history.

Should Fleetwood win, he would join the elite group of Peter Oosterhuis (1971-74), Seve Ballesteros (1976-78), Sandy Lyle (1979-80), Colin Montgomerie (1993-99), Retief Goosen (2001-02), Ernie Els (2003-04) and Rory McIlroy (2014-15) to win consecutive titles.

Elsewhere, three of the top 60 who are eligible to play in Dubai aren’t teeing it up. Justin Rose, who is third in the Race to Dubai, is one of them. The other two are Julian Suri, who is injured, and Paul Casey.

As a result, Hideto Tanihara, Matthew Southgate and Robert Rock have been added to the field.

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