Race to Dubai leader Patrick Reed is relishing the chance to become the first American to be crowned European Number One as he aims to better his tied second place finish two years ago at the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai.
“Just to be over here, be back playing on The European Tour is always a treat for me, and to be in the position that I’m in, being the leader coming in, is an awesome feeling,” said Reed.
“I feel comfortable with the way the game is right now. I feel good going into tomorrow, and it’s just one of those things that it’s last event of the year. It’s a sprint. Go out there and leave it all out there and play as hard as you can and hopefully by late Sunday, we have a chance to win not only the tournament but The Race to Dubai.
“It would definitely be up there near the top (of the career achievements). You know it’s always been a dream of mine to not only win on the PGA Tour but also on The European Tour, and to win the FedExCup as well as The Race to Dubai. To be able to get one of those goals that I’ve had set for my career, especially this early, would be great.”
The 2018 Masters Tournament winner heads into the final Rolex Series event of the season with a 460 point advantage over Englishman and fellow Ryder Cup star Tommy Fleetwood – who is in the hunt for a second Race to Dubai title following his momentous year in 2017.
“I think for all the guys that made it here, it’s a great end to the year,” said Fleetwood. “I mean, individually, it’s a massive event and then of course you’ve got the added part of the Race to Dubai on there, as well, which is massive.
“It’s the perfect way to end off the year. It’s the end of what’s been a difficult year for everyone, really, but we’ve been very lucky having a lot of events and having a chance to play. There’s a lot of things to be pleased about in the golf world this year, as well.”
As it stands Reed, Fleetwood, Collin Morikawa, and two-time European Number One Lee Westwood, are guaranteed to claim the Race to Dubai crown with victory at Jumeirah Golf Estates.
Morikawa is also excited by the prospect of winning not only the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, and a first Rolex Series title, but topping the Race to Dubai Rankings in a season in which he captured his maiden Major title at the US PGA Championship. The 22 year old is already planning to spend more time on this side of the Atlantic no matter the outcome over the Earth Course this week, having signed up for European Tour membership in 2021.
“I think winning The Race to Dubai would mean a lot for my career, for myself,” said Morikawa. “Huge confidence boost. There’s a lot in between now and Sunday that has to happen, but winning The Race to Dubai would mean a lot because I want my game to travel. I want to be a world player. I want to be able to bring my game anywhere, adapt to the different places I come to and this is just the first step of doing that.
“Obviously with a shortened season, winning the PGA Championship helped a lot and I hope to make it more out here because it is exciting. I signed up for membership for next year already because I want to play out here. I’m very thankful for the path that I’ve taken so far but this week means a lot. It’s a big week. I came here after some good rest after the Masters and really prepped, fresh mind and look forward to the week.”
It truly is all to play for as the 2020 season reaches a thrilling climax. Outside of the top four players, for four others – Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Victor Perez, Aaron Rai and Tyrrell Hatton – Race to Dubai glory is guaranteed if they take the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, title and Reed doesn’t finish solo second.
However, with 2,000 of the 12,000 points on offer going to the winner, there is still a mathematical chance that any of the leading 60 available players on the Race to Dubai standings, and Joost Luiten in 72nd position, could take the ultimate prize at the end of the week.