Dubai (UAE): The Race to Dubai moves on to the first ever European Tour Final Series this week after the ISPS HANDA Perth International brought joy and heartache in equal measure to golfers battling on the last laps of The Race to Dubai.
Following 23 year-old Korean Jin Jeong’s first European Tour win in Perth – a victory that brings with it a two-year Tour playing exemption – all eyes shifted to the lower reaches of The Race to Dubai where some notable names were left with a trip back to Qualifying School to fight for their playing cards for 2014.
But while former Tour winners Oliver Fisher, James Kingston, Richard Finch and Fredrik Andersson Hed failed to stay in the all-important top 110 in The Race to Dubai rankings, Ireland’s Peter Lawrie can breathe a sigh of relief after securing his playing rights for next season.
“I’ve never felt so much pressure as the last eight weeks; can’t sleep, can’t eat properly, it’s just horrendous,”
said the former Open de Espana winner.
“I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.”
Elsewhere, runner-up Ross Fisher would appear to have secured his place at the season finale DP World Tour Championship, Dubai after moving up to 43rd place in The Race to Dubai. Only the top 60 players will qualify to play in the US$8 million DP World Tour Championship on the Earth course at Jumeirah Golf Estates from 14 to 17 November.
“It would have been lovely to have won but I came up a little short,”
said former Ryder Cup star Fisher after losing to Jeong in a play-off.
“I knew I needed to play really well and I had some chances but that’s golf. I’m pleased I am knocking on the door and one of these days a win’s going to come. I’ve moved up in The Race to Dubai, got some good world ranking points and it’s a move in the right direction.”
Fisher’s runner-up spot means he will start the first event in the Final Series, the US$7 million BMW Masters presented by SRE Group at Lake Malaren Golf Club in Shanghai (24 to 27 October), the first of two back-to-back events in the Chinese city and featuring most of the big guns heading to the DP World Tour Championship.
The next three events – two in China and one in Turkey – will go a long way to determining the final 60 players who will compete for the prestigious DP World Tour Championship trophy as well as The Race to Dubai crown currently in the sights of leader Henrik Stenson of Sweden who will start in Shanghai with a €425,573 advantage over second placed Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland.