Seven players could still win the Race to Dubai, including Rory McIlroy, Danny Willett and Justin Rose.
Hands up who correctly predicted the three winners of this year’s Final Series events?
Victor Dubuisson, Russell Knox and Kristoffer Broberg would have been few people’s picks, but all three have got the better of supposedly stronger opponents in recent weeks.
Let’s take a look a the five main talking points from the weekend…
Listen to our Podcast below
No. 1 – The game has strength in depth
Dubuisson, Knox and Broberg are all respected players on Tour, so it’s not as if the Final Series events have been won by complete unknowns. However, Broberg’s success in particular has shown that the game is in a very good shape.
Yes, the Swede finished just clear of the likes of fellow countryman Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose, but he also edged out Patrick Reed in a play-off. Reed is one of many Americans who are showing signs of being potential major winners and will certainly get to within touching distance over the next couple of years.
For Broberg to get the better of a player who is used to pressure (think his Ryder Cup antics or ‘one of the best players in the world’ comment), shows the game is in an excellent place.
No. 2 – Stenson still not able to get over the line
It would take a brave man to tell Stenson to his face that it hasn’t quite been his year; remember this is a man who has snapped a club on his knee before…
He would probably admit, though, that getting the job done has been an issue in 2015. Stenson was one shot off Broberg and Reed on Sunday and has also recorded four second places finishes this calendar year. That finishing touch might be just off right now, but 2016 could easily be the year when it all comes together.
No. 3 – Rose’s consistency on show again
If you were putting a small wager on any golfer in the game to finish in the top 10 of an event, there would be few candidates more appealing than Justin Rose. He had eight top 10s on the PGA Tour last season and has started the new season with a T6 finish at the Frys.com Open. In his last two European Tour events he has a win in Hong Kong and his T7 at the weekend to show for his efforts.
Another major to go with his US Open win in 2013 looks a real possbility over the next 12 months.
No. 4 – Fitzpatrick continues strong form
There’s no stopping one of the most talented English golfers in the game. Matt Fitzpatrick has finished in the top 20 four times in his last five events, including his victory at the British Masters. He put in another excellent performance last week to finish T13 with Ross Fisher, Marcus Fraser and Thomas Pieters.
Fitzpatrick has a chance to finish the European Tour season in style in the last of the Final Series tournaments. Even with Rory McIlroy returning to the field, a win for Fitzpatrick would surprise few.
No. 5 – It’s going down to the wire
It’s fantastic for the game that we are heading to the DP World Tour Championship with seven players still in contention to win the Race to Dubai. McIlroy will be the favourite and would secure his third Race to Dubai title in four years if he were to get the job done.
Danny Willett sits just behind the Northern Irishman in the rankings following his T28 at the weekend. Justin Rose, Shane Lowry, Louis Oosthuizen, Branden Grace and Byeong-Hun An are all still in with a shout, but will need several permutations to go their way if they are to dethrone McIlroy.