Rory McIlroy is looking for more of the same to sign off his season at the $10 million DP World Tour Championship that tees off Thursday at Jumeirah Golf Estates over the Earth course as he currently tops the DP World Tour Rankings.
‘I've had some success around here and I've had some great memories in Dubai in general,’ McIlroy said ahead of teeing it up at the fifth and final Rolex Series event of the year. ‘I've won four times across this tournament and the Desert Classic.’
Ryan Fox is the closest challenger to McIlroy in the race for the Harry Vardon Trophy. The New Zealander is a two-time winner in 2022 and arrives in the Middle East having missed out by a shot to Tommy Fleetwood in Sun City last week.
McIlroy continued: ‘Ryan has had an amazing season. I think he went from 217th in the world up to 23rd. That's an amazing climb. You have to play great golf and you have to play consistently great golf over a decent period of time to get that high he's done a phenomenal job this year'.
Scotlands Ewen Ferguson, currently ranked 13th on the DP World Tour Rankings, is coming into the week as a rookie after graduating from the Challenge Tour last year. The 26 year-old has two DP World Tour wins this season in Qatar and Northern Ireland as he looks work his way around the Earth Course for the first time.
‘Yeah I wouldn’t know because it’s the first time I have played it which has held me in good stead this year. A few times I’ve heard its difficult but I have just taken it as it is but I have just taken it shot by shot and learn where to miss it where not to miss it and see what I can do'.
Min Woo Lee sits 34th in the rankings after three top tens in his last three outings in Spain and South Africa to jump into the field here this week as the 24 year-old looks to add a second Rolex Series title to his name after his abrdn Scottish Open in 2021.
‘The last month and the last 3 tournaments have been really good to me. To sneak into South Africa last week and played well to get into this week so a lot has gone well and a lot needs to be improved, but I am happy to be here'.
Seven players in the field can mathematically win the 2021 – 2022 DP World Tour Rankings: Rory McIlroy, Ryan Fox, Matt Fitzpatrick, Tommy Fleetwood, Viktor Hovland, Shane Lowry and Dubai based Adrian Meronk.
Tee times for Thursday start at 8.35 am local time with the leaders out last at 12.45 pm with play in two-balls.
Tee Times for Round One Thursday 17th November:
8.35 am: Haotong Li (China) and Paul Waring (England).
8.45 am: David Law (Scotland) and Romain Langasque (France).
8.55 am: Fabrizio Zanotti (Paraguay) and Jorge Campillo (Spain).
9.05 am: Joakim Lagergren (Sweden) and Marcel Schneider (Germany).
9.15 am: Eddie Pepperell (England) and Richard Mansell (England).
9.25 am: Maximilian Kieffer (Germany) and Rafa Cabrera Bello (Spain).
9.35 am: Sebastian Soderberg (Sweden) and Oliver Wilson (England).
9.45 am: Ashun Wu (China) and Sam Horsfield (England).
9.55 am: Matthieu Pavon (France) and Kurt Kitiyama (USA).
10.10 am: Min Woo Lee (Australia) and Oliver Bekker (South Africa).
10.20 am: Connor Syme (Scotland) and Alex Noren (Sweden).
10.30 am: Antoine Rozner (France) and Adri Arnaus (Spain).
10.40 am: Gavin Green (Malaysia) and Guido Migliozzi (Italy).
10.50 am: Shubhankar Sharma (India) and Hurly Long (Germany).
11.00 am: Thorbjorn Oleson (Denmark) and Victor Perez (France).
11.10 am: Richard Bland (England) and Tyrrell Hatton (England).
11.20 am: Callum Shinkwin (England) and Yannik Paul (Germany).
11.35 am: Pablo Larrazabal (Spain) and Richie Ramsay (Scotland).
11.45 am: Rasmus Hojgaard (Denmark) and Robert MacIntyre (Scotland).
11.55 am: Jon Rahm (Spain) and Ewen Ferguson (Scotland).
12.05 pm: Adrian Otaegui (Spain) and Thriston Lawrence (South Africa)
12.15 pm: Jordan Smith (England) and Adrian Meronk (Poland).
12.25 pm: Shane Lowry (Ireland) and Viktor Hovland (Norway).
12.35 pm: Tommy Fleetwood (England) and Matt Fitzpatrick (England).
12.45 pm: Ryan Fox (New Zealand) and Rory McIlroy (Northern Ireland).