Bernd Wiesberger has the upper hand in the Race to Dubai but Tommy Fleetwood, winner in 2017, is hot on the Austrian’s heels.
Tommy Fleetwood knows what it feels like to win the Race to Dubai but the pain of missing out is another motivating factor as he seeks to overhaul leader Bernd Wiesberger.
Ryder Cup star Fleetwood took the honour in 2017 and narrowly missed out on retaining his title the following year, but he is back in the mix and sits 722 points behind Wiesberger heading to the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai.
With 2000 points up for grabs at Jumeirah Golf Estates, there are three other players in contention for the crown, as Jon Rahm, Shane Lowry and Matt Fitzpatrick look to gatecrash the party.
Having ended his 22-month wait for victory by winning in Sun City last time out, Fleetwood is ready and raring to go.
How does it feel to win the Race to Dubai?
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) November 19, 2019
“There’s only a certain number of people that have the Race to Dubai on their resume and I’m lucky to be one of them. I think it’s one of my greatest achievements and I think I have experienced both sides.
“In 2017 when I won, I led it for such a long time. In 2018, I set out and it was never a goal at the start of the year to win the Race to Dubai and all of a sudden just because it was a possibility it became something that really hurt when I didn’t, but realistically, I had not thought about it all year until sort of the last few events that I had a chance.
“I just think it’s important this year that I take those experiences into it and know that it still takes a lot to do it and it’s not in my hands at all. I can only do my best this week, take one shot at a time.”
Wiesberger has played 28 tournaments in the Race to Dubai season – 11 more than Fleetwood – and he is hoping to become the first Austrian to top the standings.
“Unfortunately, we haven’t had an Austrian winner of the Race to Dubai or the overall rankings at any point,” he lamented.
“Personally it would be a huge achievement for me. Growing up watching European Tour golf and watching legends like Seve [Ballesteros], [Jose Maria] Olazabal and Colin Montgomerie, who himself had won so many times in a row at the time when I started getting into golf – [that was] something that looked a long distance away, but obviously much closer now.
“We are looking forward to the next four days and going to give it everything we have, and hopefully if we count up all the points at the end of Sunday, we’re still up there and it would be amazing.
“I’m very, very lucky right now in Austria with not only myself playing well this year but also Matthias [Schwab] doing a great job, and almost catching a couple titles this year.”