DP World Tour Championship 2018: Course and form guides ahead of this season's finale

Tyrrell Hatton
Tyrrell Hatton: Runner-up at the Earth Course in 2016
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Check out the stats for this week's season-ending European Tour event at the Earth Course in Dubai, compiled by Andy Swales...

"No one enjoys the Middle East as much as Rory McIlroy. During the past decade, he has played in 26 European Tour events in the region, and has finished inside the top 10 on 23 occasions."

Francesco Molinari travels to the Middle East in pole position to clinch this season's Race 2 Dubai title.

The Italian currently enjoys a sizeable lead over his nearest challenger, Tommy Fleetwood, ahead of the season-ending DP World Tour Championship which tees-off on Thursday.

And if Molinari were to remain in top sport at the end of 72 holes, there would be no more worthy European Tour No 1 than the 36-year-old from Turin.

Molinari is coming towards the end of a career-defining year, having won the two most prestigious titles on European soil during 2018.

After winning the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth in May, he soared even higher at Carnoustie where he lifted The Open trophy following a bogey-free final 37 holes.

A few weeks earlier he'd won on the PGA Tour for the first time and, during September, he won all five of his matches as Europe regained the Ryder Cup.

Don't be surprised if Molinari's week fails to catch fire, as his form has tailed off significantly following the highs of May, July and September.

However, Molinari remains the clear favourite to take the season-long title unless, somehow, Fleetwood can exert a little pressure by winning in Dubai.

Greg's Course

The Greg Norman-designed Earth Course will be staging the season-ending finale for the 10th time.

Opened in the same year as it made its European Tour debut, the Earth Course has large undulating greens and reasonably generous fairways.

There are 99 bunkers on site, with water having an impact on just five holes.

Hot In The Desert

No one enjoys the Middle East as much as Rory McIlroy.

Not only does the 29-year-old have a great record at this week's venue, he usually contends whenever he travels to this part of the world.

During the past decade, McIlroy has played in 26 European Tour events in the region, and has finished inside the top 10 on 23 occasions.

He has enjoyed podium finishes in more than half of his starts in the Middle East, while collecting four victories.

Two of these successes were at the Earth Course, where his poorest finish in eight events was a tie-for-11th seven years ago.

Good Course Form

Tyrrell Hatton and Henrik Stenson have strong histories in this event while last week's winner in South Africa, Lee Westwood, was crowned the inaugural champion nine years ago.

Of this trio, Hatton should be the most hungry as he attempts to cement his position among the world's top 25 players.

Back-in-form Shane Lowry was runner-up in Dubai 12 months ago when Sergio Garcia finished in a tie-for-fourth.

Among the Earth Course debutants is American Xander Schauffele, winner in China just a few weeks ago.

As for Fleetwood, who must win this week to stand any chance of overhauling his close friend Molinari, the Englishman has a best finish of tied-ninth from five previous visits.

His current form remains exceptional with six straight top-dozen finishes.

And two others with good recent form are Hao Tong Li and Lucas Bjerregaard who has now risen to 46 in the World Ranking, thanks to a landmark year for the Dane.

Going into last year's DP World Tour Championship, Bjerregaard wasn't even in the top 180.

Twitter: Andy Swales@GolfStatsAlive

MC* - Missed Additional 54-Hole Cut

Note: List contains leading reserves

Position

  • 1–5
  • 6–15
  • 16–25
Player W45 W44 W43 W42 W41 W40 W39 W38 W37 W36 W35 W34
Rory McIlroy 21 54 7 5 12
Francesco Molinari 43 56 21 8 MC
Jon Rahm 22 11 24 43 MC
Tommy Fleetwood 7 7 9 2 11 8 24 20
Xander Schauffele 1 48 25 7 3 49 MC
Patrick Reed 7 28 19 35 25
Alex Noren 18 18 24 43 MC
Tyrrell Hatton 22 14 2 29 12 20
Rafael Cabrera-Bello 14 3 50 41 7 60
Sergio Garcia 2 1 7
Henrik Stenson 29 69
Eddie Pepperell 1 44 2 6 56 9
Ian Poulter 21 10 51 MC 48
Kiradech Aphibarnrat 46 23 4 33 MC 45
Thorbjorn Olesen 7 7 MC 20 20
Hao Tong Li 5 2 11 9 5 27 24 MC
Matthew Fitzpatrick 27 54 16 MC 1 7
Branden Grace 11 41 48 50 55 43 MC
Lucas Bjerregaard 11 5 69 9 1 20 2 6 9
Lee Westwood 1 35 5 MC 36 12 2 61
Russell Knox 23 68 MC 43 MC
Alexander Bjork 57 14 28 2 MC Wd
Matt Wallace 5 47 50 16 28 44 51 1 36
Thomas Pieters 18 18 30 60 MC 34 9
Shane Lowry 35 14 2 34 MC 6
Ross Fisher 4 64 34 32 40 MC 59
Julian Suri 23 64 5 21 53 16 35
Adrian Otaegui 16 3 62 MC MC 24 MC 10
Dylan Frittelli 21 54 25 39 9 42 17
Lucas Herbert 35 35 3 7 2 28 MC 44
Ryan Fox 50 23 30 MC 24 27 MC 30
Chris Wood Wd MC 12 2 23
Tom Lewis 67 14 5 10 1 3 1 65 6
Alexander Levy Wd 10 28 42 32 MC 20 56
Jorge Campillo 46 35 54 Dq MC 44 15 55
Paul Dunne 59 18 42 MC 44 MC MC
Mikko Korhonen 16 35 3 48 12 24 45 MC
Andrea Pavan 11 33 22 16 5 20 MC 1
Joost Luiten 27 23 11
Brandon Stone 60 72 46 MC 10 10
Mike Lorenzo-Vera 11 43 48 MC MC 3
Shubhankar Sharma 27 43 69 55 10 MC 42 MC MC
Erik Van Rooyen 60 35 22 MC MC 11 35 5
Andy Sullivan 41 18 62 9 10 20 28 30
Jordan Smith 21 55 3 32 27 10 20 36
Marcus Kinhult 71 30 22 48 20 4 56 49
Chris Paisley 9 33 24 8 MC MC MC
Martin Kaymer 21 5 MC MC 15 MC MC
Thomas Detry 7 3 MC 48 MC 3 MC 7
Darren Fichardt 9 23 71 29 48 74 8 2
Hideto Tanihara 55 35 MC MC MC 3 6 37
Sam Horsfield 46 10 5 MC MC 64 MC 10
Dean Burmester 11 47 48 MC MC MC MC
Matthew Southgate 69 60 58 22 MC MC 24 30 20
Ashun Wu 16 47 64 44 1 6 49 MC
Joakim Lagergren 27 55 MC 29 MC MC MC MC 45
Wade Ormsby 16 47 52 29 MC 20 MC
Lee Slattery 66 55 MC 48 20 51 MC 4
Aaron Rai 8 43 MC 56 MC MC MC MC 24
Danny Willett 50 7 23 MC MC 44 59 MC 18
Robert Rock 21 30 16 29 20 34 MC 17
Benjamin Hebert 35 60 MC 32 MC 11 23 44
Nacho Elvira 54 68 57 MC 10 MC* MC 4 18
Pablo Larrazabal 27 18 MC 56 56 MC* 11 16
Jason Scrivener 16 23 54 22 MC 24 12 15 MC 69 18
George Coetzee 41 58 50 MC MC 20 44 35
Jens Dantorp 46 64 MC MC MC MC Wd MC MC
Andrew Johnston 27 43 22 48 34 MC 35 MC
Player 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009
Rory McIlroy 9 1 2 5 1 11 5 3
Francesco Molinari 17 4 4 16 13 34 6 6 30
Jon Rahm 1
Tommy Fleetwood 21 9 53 12 37
Xander Schauffele
Patrick Reed 10 10
Alex Noren 45 23 38 39 37 6
Tyrrell Hatton 8 2 13 6
Rafael Cabrera-Bello 21 23 22 9 14 40 26 30
Sergio Garcia 4 19 12 9 11 21 7
Henrik Stenson 9 59 1 1 7 24 23
Eddie Pepperell 48 58 26
Ian Poulter 31 42 21 2 26 22 2 9
Kiradech Aphibarnrat 2 35 22 29
Thorbjorn Olesen 36 19 17 12 17 21 19
Hao Tong Li 13 30
Matthew Fitzpatrick 12 1 4
Branden Grace 31 27 3 9 52 6
Lucas Bjerregaard 58 31
Lee Westwood 52 13 42 47 5 48 29 3 1
Russell Knox
Alexander Bjork 17
Matt Wallace
Thomas Pieters 58 40 22
Shane Lowry 2 19 48 5 39 8
Ross Fisher 17 17 46 42 26 46 13 42
Julian Suri 8
Adrian Otaegui 42
Dylan Frittelli 4
Lucas Herbert
Ryan Fox 28
Chris Wood 57 35 13 29 26 Ret 42
Tom Lewis
Alexander Levy 36 27 46 26
Jorge Campillo 9
Paul Dunne 25
Mikko Korhonen
Andrea Pavan
Joost Luiten 44 13 31 9 4 16 51 26
Brandon Stone 59
Mike Lorenzo-Vera 13
Shubhankar Sharma
Erik Van Rooyen
Andy Sullivan 48 40 2 21
Jordan Smith 25
Marcus Kinhult
Chris Paisley
Martin Kaymer 17 19 10 39 19 26 11 13 37
Thomas Detry
Darren Fichardt 31 21
Hideto Tanihara 54
Sam Horsfield
Dean Burmester 4
Matthew Southgate 54
Ashun Wu
Joakim Lagergren 40
Wade Ormsby 47
Lee Slattery 17 54
Aaron Rai
Danny Willett 50 4 21 26 55 58
Robert Rock 21 8 57 50
Benjamin Hebert
Nacho Elvira 30
Pablo Larrazabal 55 52 22 16 26 36 10
Jason Scrivener
George Coetzee 58 30 26 32 26 22
Jens Dantorp
Andrew Johnston 60
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