Race to Dubai hots up with two events to go
There are just two events to go in this year’s Race to Dubai and a strong field heads to Shanghai this week for the penultimate European Tour event of the season.
With Rory McIlroy absent this week, five players in the field have a chance of overhauling the world number three for the Race to Dubai title. And, with only the top 60 qualifying for next week’s season-ending tournament in Dubai and a share of the Bonus Pool cash up for grabs, there’s lots to play for at the Lake Malaren Golf Club.
Keep reading for our preview of the 2015 BMW Masters.
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A blemish-free final round 62 at last week’s WGC-HSBC Champions was just what Danny Willett needed to keep up his Race to Dubai challenge. The Englishman carded 10 birdies in a stunning fourth round and, by finishing ahead of rankings leader Rory McIlroy, Willett closed the gap on his rival.
With McIlroy absent this week, a 28th place finish or better would see Willett jump to the top of the Race to Dubai rankings with one tournament to play.
He said: “This could be a very big result for me. With Rory not playing next week, I could gain a few more points on him and give us a nice buzz going into the final week into Dubai.
“I’ve been determined all year, ever since I got to number one straight off the bat at the Nedbank. I thought, it would be good to stay up there all year. After that big win, I kept pressing hard and I’ve been able to post some really good numbers around the world. Hopefully I can keep that going for two more weeks.”
Willett is 22/1 to win this week.
In addition to Willett, four other golfers have the chance to overtake McIlroy at the top of the rankings this week. A top two finish could be good enough for 5/1 tournament favourite Justin Rose who is looking to become Europe’s top player for the first time in eight years.
The 35 year old has not finished outside the top six in his last four appearances on the European Tour, a superb streak which includes The Open Championship, the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and the US PGA Championship. Rose also won the Hong Kong Open in his last appearance three weeks ago.
Rose said: “If I win any of the last two events that puts me ahead of them, depending on what they do. For me it’s fairly simple: I need to play well for the next two weeks.”
Shane Lowry (28/1), Louis Oosthuizen (30/1) and Branden Grace (16/1) are the other three golfers that could leap to the top of the Race to Dubai rankings this week but it could be worth following a man who made a late run to claim the Harry Vardon trophy in 2013.
Henrik Stenson stands 18th in the rankings but with the top 15 sharing a significant Bonus Pool, the Swede could be one to watch. 11th at last week’s WHC-HSBC Champions, he has won the final Tour event of the year for the last two seasons and a good performance here could propel him into contention. Stenson is the 10/1 second favourite.
Some outsiders to consider
The battle for Bonus Pool cash is so fierce that anyone in this week’s field – barring the China Golf Association invites – could leap into the top 15 with a good performance.
Ross Fisher sits in the magic 15th spot in the Race to Dubai after his excellent 3rd place finish at the WGC last week and is one to follow this week. Fisher has a good record at this tournament and lost in a play-off last year having carded a final round 67 to finish 16 under par.
The 34 year old has five top 10 finishes this season and can consolidate his place in the Tour’s top 15 with a good performance. He looks excellent value at 50/1.
With the PGA Tour season already under way, Danny Lee‘s second place finish at the Tour’s 2015 final tournament seems a long time ago. The New Zealander finished T2 in a very strong field at the Tour Championship in September and secured himself a place on the ‘Rest of the World’ President’s Cup team in the process.
The 25 year old has enjoyed a superb 2015, winning his first PGA Tour title and finishing 10th in the FedEx Cup rankings, ahead of the likes of Rickie Fowler, Jim Furyk and Zach Johnson. He was a low-key T58 at the WGC last week but looks superb value in this field at 66/1.
Check out all our pre-tournament odds on the 2015 WGC-HSBC Champions over at our main site at https://www.betbright.com/golf/outrights/men/bmw-masters-2015-winner
Odds are provided at time of writing, please check your betslip to confirm they have not changed before betting.