The top 60 players on the European Tour will descend on Dubai’s Jumeirah Golf Estates this week for the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, exclusively live on Sky Sports.
Sweden’s Henrik Stenson will return to the desert to defend the title he claimed 12 months ago, while Rory McIlroy will be crowned The Race to Dubai champion for the second time without even having to strike a single shot.
As many as nine players still had the chance to finishing the 2013 season as Europe’s number one golfer, but such was the Northern Irishman’s lead in the 2014 ‘Race To Dubai’, the European Tour’s end-of-season championship, he was able to wrap up the title without actually having turn up in the first three events of the four-tournament Final Series.
Thanks primarily to his extraordinary exploits over the summer, winning two Major championships – the Open at Hoylake as well as the US PGA Championship at Vahalla – McIlroy was able to build an unassailable lead, but there is still plenty to play for at the Greg Norman-designed Dubai course, which has hosted the lucrative European Tour season finale every year since its inauguration in 2009.
This year’s tournament will once again conclude the European Tour Final Series, a consecutive run of events that also features the BMW Masters, WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open.
Aimed at attracting the world’s top players to play more European Tour events, the Final Series offers a staggering collective prize fund of $30.5million, but only the top 60 earners after the Turkish Airlines Open have the chance to compete in the season finale in Dubai.
Fresh from finishing third in Turkey last week, Swede Stenson will have one eye on the history books as he seeks to become the first player to mount a successful defence of the DP World Tour Championship title, and another eye on the Bonus Pool awarded to the top 15 in the ‘Race to Dubai’.
Despite being in second place in the Race, the Swede has no chance of retaining the Harry Vardon Trophy due to McIlroy’s brilliance but, with ten million points up for grabs at Jumeirah Golf Estates, the 38-year-old can further close the gap to the world number one.
Other notable names in this week’s stellar field include former champions Robert Karlsson and Lee Westwood, who goes into the tournament in fine fettle after finishing alongside Marcel Siem in tied eighth place last week.
The same applies to his compatriot and Ryder Cup team-mate Ian Poulter, who pushed Koepka all the way but ultimately came up one shot shy of the American.
Poulter will be determined to make amends for that near miss and he boasts a tremendous record in the desert, with two runner-up finishes to his name, behind Stenson last year and in 2010, when he lost out in a play-off to Karlsson.
His fellow Ryder Cup star Rose, who finished in a tie for fourth in the BMW Masters recently, will also be hoping to continue his impressive record in the DP World Tour Championship, having followed up his runner-up finish in 2012 with another top ten 12 months ago.
The Dubai desert provides the luxurious setting for the finale to the European Tour season, as well as what has been a bumper year of golf, and fans can watch all the action from the season climax on Sky Sports.
Sky Sports will be screening all four days from the finale of the European Tour season in Dubai exclusively on Sky Sports 4, the channel’s ‘home of golf’.
David Livingstone presents Sky Sports’ coverage from Jumeirah Golf Estates, with commentary and analysis throughout the tournament provided by Ewen Murray, Rob Lee, Paul McGinley, Richard Boxall, Mark Roe and Wayne Riley.
There will be 20 hours of live coverage across all four days of the event, starting at 8.00am on Thursday to Saturday, November 20-22, with coverage of the final day’s play on Sunday, October 19, beginning at 7.30am.
Sky Sports subscribers can watch the action live online via Sky Go, get live scores and additional information about the tournament via the Sky Sports golf website, or follow @SkySportsGolf on Twitter for all the latest news and updates from the course.
In addition to the DP World Tour Championship, Sky Sports viewers will also be able to watch coverage of top class women’s golf with all four days of the CME Group Tour Championship in Florida, starting at 6.30pm every night from Thursday to Sunday on Sky Sports 4.
.Thursday 20th November
DAY 1 LIVE: 8.00am-1.00pm Sky Sports 4 Friday 21st November
DAY 2 LIVE: 8.00am-1.00pm Sky Sports 4 Saturday 23rd November
DAY 3 LIVE: 8.00am-1.00pm Sky Sports 4 Sunday 24th November
DAY 4 LIVE: 7.30am-12.30pm Sky Sports 4