The Race to Dubai tees off today at the Sheshan International Golf Club, China, with a strong field contesting the HSBC Champions trophy.

The new season-long competition replaces the European Tour Order of Merit.   

Six of the world’s top ten players are in Shanghai hoping to lay down an early marker, including 2008 Order of Merit champion Robert Karlsson.  

World No.2 Phil Mickelson will be present for the opener, as will Padraig Harrington, Anthony Kim, Camilo Villegas and Sergio Garcia.

“I want to be in it and I want to win it,” said Garcia.

“The Race to Dubai represents a real statement of intent by The European Tour and by Dubai.

“The Tour has clearly moved up a gear in its ability to attract the world’s best players and Dubai has reinforced its position as a centre of world golf.”

Meanwhile, Harrington emphasised the growing importance of the Race to Dubai as a season-long goal.

“I think the Race to Dubai will add a sparkle,” said the world No.5.

“I know many of the pros, including myself, are looking at our schedules to give ourselves the best chances of going out there and winning it.”

The Race to Dubai will conclude next November when the top 60 players will go head-to-head in the richest tournament in golf – the Dubai World Championship.  

The Race to Dubai favourites gallery