Morikawa and Horschel look to make history in the Dubai final
Chances of the American golfer crowning Europe’s number one for the first time are already strong en route to the final of the race to Dubai this week.
Jon Ram’s withdrawal from the season-ending DP World Championships made it more likely.
Colin Morikawa and Billy Horshel – the Americans who have racked up big victories on English soil this year – have arrived in Dubai as the top players on the European Tour’s 2021 money list.
Ram was their closest competitor in the race standings to Dubai, but the world number one withdrew, citing the “requirement of a long season”, leaving only four other players with a chance to finish the season as the Tour’s leading player – or what was previously known as the “Wissam winner”. entitlement.”
Terrell Hutton, Min Wu Lee, Matt Fitzpatrick and Paul Casey have their work cut out to deny Morikawa or Hurschel the race title to Dubai, with everyone needing a win while also counting on none of the Americans near the top of the standings.
There is likely to be a duel between Morikawa and Horschel over what could be a historic week for the US on the European Tour.
“I think it’s just another step closer to … my ultimate goal is to become a Hall of Famer, and to have a career that I can enter into a Hall of Fame at some point in my career,” Horschel said.
“There is a lot at stake this week, and we’ll see how things play out when it comes to Sunday.”
None of the Americans can be classified as a normal European tour. In fact, Morikawa leads the standings after playing only two tournaments – the Scottish Open and the Dubai Desert Classic – outside of the major tournaments and the US-based World Golf Championships.
Winning the British Open at Royal St George in July propelled him to number one, sitting at 3,856.40 points. That’s 236 points more than Horschel, whose big wins this year were at Dell Technologies Match Play and then at the BMW PGA Championship, the European Tour’s main event and headquartered in Wentworth.
There are 2,000 points on offer for this week’s Earth Course winner – and they’re at 2472.1 points for fourth place. Hatton, for example, should win and needs Morikawa to finish worse than a three-way tie for third and Horschel to finish worse than a three-way tie for second.
Lee, Fitzpatrick, and Casey ask the Americans to be at the bottom of the leaderboard.
Fitzpatrick is the defending champion after winning at Jumeirah Golf Estates last year for the second time, after 2016.
“I think I can probably play it blindfolded,” said the Englishman.
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