With 30 events played in the Race to Dubai this season the top ten in the rankings is starting to take shape. But how did they get there? And what do they need to do to be crowned European Number One come November? Let’s take a look…
1) Shane Lowry – 3,344.6 points
Simply put, the Irishman has had a career-best season – and we’re only in August. After making the perfect start to 2019 by triumphing at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA for his first Rolex Series title, Lowry has enjoyed a fine campaign which has seen him finish tied 12th at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, joint eighth in the U.S. Open and – memorably – first at The 148th Open Championship at Royal Portrush, winning his first Major Championship by six shots.
Although more than 500 points ahead of his nearest challenger – Bernd Wiesberger – the 32-year-old’s lead is far from safe. The five-time European Tour winner will have work to do if he is to finish the campaign in top spot with five lucrative Rolex Series events still to play – including the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, which boasts the largest first prize in tournament golf.
2) Bernd Wiesberger – 2,812.3 points
In pursuit of Lowry is Wiesberger, who has made an emphatic return to form following an injury lay-off.
After being side-lined for seven months with a wrist injury, which the Austrian discussed in detail earlier this season, he has emphatically returned to form this season with two victories – at the Made in Denmark presented by presented by FREJA and Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open – along with a share of second in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.
Those highlights have been boosted by top-15 finishes in Belgium and China, along with a strong showing in The Open – where he finished in a tie for 32nd.
Now back on the world stage, we see no reason why a fully-fit and supremely confident Wiesberger can’t push Lowry all the way and become the first Austrian to top the Race to Dubai Rankings.
3) Jon Rahm – 2,658.3 points
Rahm currently occupies bronze medal position, but if history can tell us anything we’d be wise to back him to be taking gold at the end of the season.
Not only has the Spaniard had an excellent campaign to date – winning his second Irish Open title in three years while also claiming top threes at Valderrama and Pebble Beach – but his record in regular European Tour events in simply outstanding.
Four victories. Eight top fives. Nine top tens and only one missed cut in 11 starts. The 24-year-old also has a remarkable record in the Rolex Series, earning on average €523,241 every time he tees it up in the premium series of events.
With no Majors and only one World Golf Championships event left on the 2019 golfing calendar, Rahm has the game to make some serious in-roads in the Race to Dubai over the rest of the season.
4) Tommy Fleetwood – 2,114.5 points
He topped the Race to Dubai in 2017 and after a recent upsurge in form Fleetwood is vying for first place in the rankings once again.
Although yet to miss a cut this season, the Englishman has saved his best golf for the heat of summer, following up a second-place finish in The Open – his second runner-up berth in a Major in as many years – with a share of fourth place in the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational.
Already confirmed for the BMW PGA Championship, the 28-year-old is getting closer to a first victory of 2019 – which in the business end of the season could see him rocket up the rankings.
5) Matt Wallace – 2,103.2 points
He’s already proven he’s a serial winner with ten professional victories since 2016, and although yet to triumph in 2019, it’s only a matter of time before the Englishman returns to the winner’s circle.
Having been in contention on multiple occasions this season – before going on to finish inside the top three in Dubai, Southport, Munich and the US PGA Championship, his best result in a Major.
The gap between Wallace and Lowry may be large, but the 29-year-old is a fierce competitor who we expect to see in the running come November.
*BUT it’s not just first place to play for this season. Changes to the Race to Dubai bonus pool made this year now mean that the top five in the rankings, rather than the top ten, share US$5,000,000. An added incentive, indeed.