The DP World Tour ChampionshipThe DP World Tour Championship is the end of season tournament on the European PGA Tour. It is a relatively new addition to the Tour, but being one of the most heavily sponsored with a prize fund of around $8,000,000, it has been a target for all players on the European PGA. It is the culmination of the season long rankings on the Race To Dubai, which replaced the former Order of Merit, with the top sixty money winners over the season gaining access to the lucrative tournament. Only introduced in November of 2009, the build up to the 2013 edition has already taken on a new guise. It is hosted in mid November each year.

 

Course

The Earth Course at the Jumeriah Golf Estate in Dubai, United Arab Emirates is part of a luxury estate, designed to host four different courses. The four elements are represented in the Fire Course designed by Greg Norman, the Earth Course designed by Vijay Singh, the Water Course designed by Sergio Garcia and the Wind course designed by Pete Dye. It is Greg Norman’s Earth Course which gets the honour of hosting the DP World Tour Championship. The Earth Course can play to nearly 7,700 yards at a par of 72. England’s Justin Rose set a course record of 62 in the 2012 edition.

 

Qualification

In order to make it all the way to the finale of the European PGA Tour season, it requires a finish in the top sixty on the European Money List (the Race To Dubai). The top sixty money winners for the season at the culmination at the Hong Kong Open would all get the chance to play for the huge prize money on offer in Dubai. It was announced that the 2013 edition would now be part of a newly formed Final Series. Along with the preceding BMW Masters, the WGC HSBC Champions and the Turkish Open, the DP World Championship would be the climax of the new Final Series. Combined, the prize fund for this four tournament series is over $30 million. Players hoping to qualifying for the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai will have to play in two of the three other tournaments. The winner in Dubai will received a five year European Tour Card exemption.

 

Past Champions

Being a fairly new tournament, the history doesn’t stretch back all that far. It was England’s Lee Westwood who took the first ever Dubai title back in 2009. That was the second title of Westwood’s season, earning him over four million Euros. Westwood fired himself to a commanding win in that inaugural DP World Tour Championship event, carding 23-under par to win by a large six strokes. Westwood finished ahead of Ross McGowan thanks to a tremendous final round of 64, meaning that the Englishman went under 70 in each of his four rounds. A young Rory McIlroy took third place.

 

The 2010 edition was taken by Sweden’s Robert Karlsson after a dramatic play off with England’s Ian Poulter. They both finished the tournament 14-under par and had to take the event to its first ever sudden death shoot out. With a first prize of over nine thousand Euros at stake, nerves were high, and it was Poulter who cracked first, miscuing a sand wedge and then had to take a penalty when marking his ball on the green. The accuracy of Karlsson on the green finished the job. Lee Westwood took a share of third alongside Spaniard Alvaro Quiros, with Rory McIlroy taking a solo fifth.

 

After a strong finish in 2010, the big hitting Spaniard Alvaro Quiros took a two stroke win at the 2011 DP World Tour Championship, edging out Scotland’s Paul Lawrie by a couple of strokes. There was big disappointment for England’s Lee Westwood this time around who finished with a share of 29th, and Rory McIlroy could only muscle his way up to take a share of 11th alongside Sergio Garcia, Graeme McDowell, Martin Kaymer and the 2010 winner Robert Karlsson.

 

But McIlroy didn’t have to wait too long to get the first DP World Tour Championship of his career. He produced four remarkably consistent rounds of golf at the 2012 edition, three rounds of 66 and of 67 to take the title by two strokes ahead of England’s Justin Rose. It was the final day challenge from Rose that saw him set a new course record of 62 at the tournament, but it wasn’t enough to catch McIlroy, who finished top of the European and PGA Tour money lists in the same year, following in the footsteps of Luke Donald who was the first man in history to achieve that in 2011.