Rafa Cabrera Bello had a strong finish to Round 2 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship
Rafa Cabrera Bello Image Credit: European Tour

Today I shot a 71 to be at 5 under par and in tied 23rd position after the third round of the 2021 DP World Tour Championship.

My projected season ending position on the Race to Dubai is five places down for the week in 36th.

This week’s host venue, Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates is the second longest golf course we have played all year, at 7675 yards and a par 72.

On especially long golf courses the score cannot lie, you usually get what you deserve.

To get into contention in weeks like this and every week, especially in such a strong field, you really need a lot of birdies.

I managed four in each of my first two rounds and three on Saturday and a total of 11 countered by six bogeys, two in each round.

Just looking at the top of the leaderboard: Rory McIlroy has had 18 birdies and an eagle, Sam Horsfield has had 16 birdies and two eagles, Robert MacIntyre has had 15 birdies and an eagle and Alexander Bjork 16 birdies. Those are the leading four players.

Collin Morikawa looks set to be the first American to win the Race to Dubai in its last edition. He has played well all year, is in tied fifth on 11 under par, as he sits No. 1 in the Race to Dubai and No. 2 in the world rankings and is still only 24 years old.

Talking of age, the game is a young man’s game these days, with so many youngsters making an impact on the world stage. Looking at the leaderboard, only Ian Poulter and Paul Casey are older than yours truly and ahead of me, so in effect I am in third place in the over-37 division. I am also tied for the lead the Spanish division along with my fellow Dubai resident Adri Arnaus and Sergio Garcia.

Rory looks my pick to take the trophy for the DP World Tour Championship as he got revenge on hole 18 after yesterday’s double on the 18th.

He won on his last outing on the PGA Tour at the CJ Cup and despite a couple of poor swings, especially off the first and 17th tees, he looks to be in the mood.

A win on Sunday for Rory can, in my opinion, be life-changing for him, and confirmation to himself that he is on the way back in his search for more Major trophies.