DP World Tour Championship: Westwood eyes third Race to Dubai title
The Englishman had won the European Tour Order of Merit in 2000 and 2009
Englishman Lee Westwood remembered the time when he won the inaugural Race to Dubai and said that it would be amazing and fantastic to win it for a third time.
Westwood, a 25-time winner on the European Tour and the eighth in the list with the most Tour wins, is preparing to mount an assault in the season-ending $8 million DP World Tour Championship which begins on Thursday.
The event is the culmination of the Race to Dubai and it is interestingly poised with top 60 mathematically in with a chance to win the top prize.
American Patrick Reed tops the list with 2,427.7 points, followed by Englishman Tommy Fleetwood in second with 1,967.7 points. Another American Collin Morikawa is in third with 1,881.7, while Westwood is placed fourth with 1,793.0 points.
The DP World Tour Championship, which will be played at the Earth Course at the Jumeirah Golf Estates, is the 38th tournament in a reworked calendar.
And 12,000 Race to Dubai points are up for grabs with the tournament winner richer by $3 million and 2,000 Race to Dubai points.
Westwood, who had won the European Tour Order of Merit in 2000, went on to triumph again when the Order of Merit was rechristened to the Race to Dubai in 2009.
The former world No.1 went on to win the DP World Tour Championship to claim the Race to Dubai that year and the 47-year-old hopes he can make it a trio of triumphs.
“It is nice to have a chance to win the Race to Dubai, that’s for sure,” Westwood said during a virtual interaction on Tuesday.
“For the third time, it will be amazing, it will be fantastic, especially, as I turn 48 in April next year. I think it just shows you if you keep yourself fairly fit and you retain your enthusiasm and mental capacity for the game, you can carry on playing to a high level for a long, long time. The key to playing for a long time, longevity is in the mental side of it,” he added.
And Westwood, who has played 14 tournaments this season, recalled the 2009 tournament.
“Going into the week, I obviously knew I needed to finish first or second and beat Rory (McIlroy) to win the Race to Dubai. So, to get myself into that position going into Sunday was obviously very good. I played well the first three days and then on Sunday, I came out and shot the lowest round of the day which, when you got the lead, is always going to be good,” explained Westwood, who has represented Europe in 10 Ryder Cups.
“I felt really under control, came out fast, I think I was five-under after seven or eight holes, something like that, and really put the tournament to bed early and then played a solid back nine and shot three-under and won by six, I think. So, that 64, I always felt that as one of the best rounds of my career and under the circumstances,” he added.
Westwood carded a 23-under 265 for the tournament to win by six strokes over countryman Ross McGowan.
Westwood began the season by winning the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship in January. And a victory this weekend, he believed, would be a great way to sign off.
“It would bookend the season nicely,” said Westwood, who has been laid low due to a back problem since the Masters at Augusta in mid-November.
RACE TO DUBAI STANDINGS:
1. Patrick Reed (USA) 2,427.7
2. Tommy Fleetwood (GBR) 1,967.7
3. Collin Morikawa (USA) 1,881.7
4. Lee Westwood (GBR) 1,793.0
5. Christiaan Bezuidenhout (RSA) 1,717.7
6. Victor Perez (FRA) 1,713.9
7. Aaron Rai (GBR) 1,688.2
8. Louis Oosthuizen (RSA) 1,646.2
9. Tyrrell Hatton (GBR) 1,453.0
10. Lucas Herbert (AUS) 1,332.4
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