Race to Dubai not over yet

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Rory McIlroy’s superb finish in Shanghai on Sunday means this year’s Race to Dubai winner isn’t quite a foregone conclusion yet.

Rory McIlroy’s superb finish in Shanghai on Sunday means this year’s Race to Dubai winner isn’t quite a foregone conclusion yet.

Needing a top-five finish at the WGC-HSBC Champions over the weekend to stay in touch with money leader Luke Donald, McIlroy looked out of it with only four holes of his final round to go.

But birdies at the 15th, 16th and 18th holes helped him to a final-round 69 and a tie for fourth place, just what the doctor ordered to keep his hopes alive.

McIlroy is still a whopping €1,131,513 behind Donald, however, though while the World No 1 will only play one more event on the European Tour, the season-ending Dubai World Championship from December 8-11, McIlroy has confirmed he will play in that event as well as the UBS Hong Kong Open the week before.

In so doing, McIlroy, who moved up to second in the world with his finish in Shanghai, still has an outside chance of pipping Donald to the post.

Essentially, he would need to win both of those tournaments come December and hope that Donald finishes outside the top 12 in Dubai.

It’a a tough ask, but McIlroy has form at both those events, finishing second, second and sixth in the last three years in Hong Kong, and third and fifth over the last two years in Dubai.

Martin Kaymer, who produced a stunning finish himself to pick up the win in Shanghai on Sunday, is third on the money list, and would need to add a European event to his schedule to challenge for the Race to Dubai – something he is unlikely to do, considering what he is already committed to.

Charl Schwartzel and Lee Westwood are fourth and fifth in the Race to Dubai respectively, but are too far behind to have a chance of catching Donald, particularly as they too only have one event on tour left to play.

All of which means that only McIlroy can realistically catch the Englishman and prevent him from making history by becoming the first player to top the money lists on both sides of the Atlantic.

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