While the FedEx Cup race is dominating US golf, climbing the Race to Dubai points list is also becoming a matter of urgency for many players this side of the Atlantic. In order to earn full playing rights for next season, players need to finish in the top-110. Further up, a place in the top-60 earns a place in the field at the lucrative Dubai World Championship.
Much can and will change in the ten events left before that finale, starting with this week's KLM Open. As we see every year, this extra incentivises many to vastly improve on earlier efforts. Expect some experienced old hands to come through, along with some promising youngsters and others restricted to a limited number of events.
Consider for example the following quartet, all of whom are generally available at big, sometimes enormous, odds.
Race to Dubai position: 85th
Karlberg has spent most of his career on the Asian Tour, achieving a fair degree of success but, while he's occasionally shown promise in Europe, a lack of tournament experience in different conditions may have held him back.
That appears to be changing. The Swede has been based solely in Europe since May and is beginning to reap the rewards. Four of his last five events have yielded top-14 finishes and, if continuing in this vein, a place in the Dubai field is well within range.
Race to Dubai position: 95th
It has been another extremely disappointing season for the Belgian bomber, to the extent that he's not even assured of keeping his card. However, we saw last year that this sometimes world-beater can step up a gear when it matters. Starting in September, a trio of top-six finishes got him to Dubai.
One of those improved efforts came as runner-up in the Portugal Masters, in which he has a great record. Colsaerts also boasts impressive numbers in next week's Italian Open.
Race to Dubai position: 159th
Always keep an eye out for capable overseas players who try their luck on this tour, despite the relative lack of playing opportunities. Hahn was apparently inspired to travel Europe by the success of his friends Brooks Koepka and Peter Uihlein, starting out on the Challenge Tour.
Hahn has consistently contended on that lower tour, finishing top-four on two of his last three starts. On the main tour, he was sixth in Austria and could quite plausibly storm up the rankings with one really good week.
Race to Dubai position: 202nd
Here's another overseas player with potential, consistently making an impression on his first few Challenge Tour starts. From 202nd, the son of All Blacks rugby legend Grant Fox will need to do something special to get his card but he is perfectly capable of doing so.
Fox looked a highly progressive player during last winter's Australasian season, and those generally gruelling courses are a great indicator of quality, where the best ball-strikers come to the fore.
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