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DP World Tour season review: Rory McIlroy clinches fifth Race to Dubai crown

It has been another action-packed season on the DP World Tour and it ended, for the second year in a row, with Rory McIlroy top of the Race to Dubai standings.

The Northern Irishman won twice on the DP World Tour this year, claiming the spoils at the Dubai Desert Classic and the Scottish Open to take his overall tally to 16 victories on the European circuit.

McIlroy finished the campaign top of the R2D table to land the Harry Vardon trophy for the fifth time, leaving him third in the all-time standings - one behind Seve Ballesteros and three adrift of Colin Montgomerie.

It was, however, another year without a Major triumph for the 34-year-old, who missed the cut at the Masters before going tied-seventh at the PGA Championship, second at the US Open and then tied-sixth at the Open.

McIlroy's last Major victory came back in 2014 but he can be backed at 13/8 to win any of the 'big four' events in bet365's 2024 Specials market, and his recent decision to resign from the PGA Tour Policy Board could help his quest to end his long wait for a fifth Major.

The world number two was only a small part of a sensational DP World Tour season and it was a memorable year for 14 individuals, all of who broke their duck on the European circuit.

Bradbury starts glut of breakthroughs

Dan Bradbury was the first of 14 players to win on the DP World Tour for the first time this season and he accomplished this feat at the Joburg Open - event two of an eventual 45 that were played - with a three-shot victory over Sami Valimaki.

Another first-time winner came in the shape of Swedish sensation Ludvig Aberg, who took just under two months since turning professional in June this year to land his first title at the European Masters.

The Swedish sensation earned a captain's pick for Europe's Ryder Cup team and he contributed two points from his four matches to help win back the cup from the USA, who went down 16.5-11.5 at Marco Simone Country Club, Rome.

Not intent on slowing down, Aberg also broke his PGA Tour duck in November at the RSM Classic, the final event of the Fall Series, to lift him to a career-high ranking of 32nd in the world.

First-time winners on the DP World Tour this seasonTournament
Dan BradburyJoburg Open
Ockie StrydomAlfred Dunhill Championship
Matthew BaldwinSDC Championship
Nick BachemJonsson Workwear Open
Simon ForsstromSoudal Open
Tom McKibbinEuropean Open
Dale WhitnellScandinavian Mixed
Daniel HillierBritish Masters
Vincent NorrmanBarbasol Championship
Dan BrownISPS HANDA World Invitational
Todd ClementsD+D Real Czech Masters
Ludvig AbergEuropean Masters
Ryo HisatsuneOpen de France
Matthieu PavonOpen de Espana

Siem ends long trophy drought

Another feel-good story of the season was Marcel Siem's one-shot victory at the Hero Indian Open in February, as he held off fellow German Yannik Paul.

Siem, 42 at the time, last won at this level at the 2014 BMW Masters but a closing 68 was enough to see him return to the winners' circle, much to his relief.

10 handed PGA credentials

This season was the first that offered the top 10 finishers in the DP World Tour's Race to Dubai standings, not otherwise exempt, a PGA Tour cards for the next campaign.

It was a nip-and-tuck battle for the final positions but the 10 players that have earned playing privileges on the US circuit are as follows:

Adrian Meronk

Ryan Fox

Victor Perez

Thorbjorn Olesen

Alexander Bjork

Sami Valimaki

Robert MacIntyre

Matthieu Pavon

Jorge Campillo

Ryo Hisatune

Hojgaard ends year on a high

While Rasmus Hojgaard was the unlucky 11th player to miss out on one of the 10 PGA Tour cards, his brother, Nicolai, had something to celebrate after winning the season-ending DP World Tour Championship.

In a year in which Nicolai was also part of Europe's triumphant Ryder Cup side, he produced a stunning final round on the Earth Course to finish two strokes ahead of Tommy Fleetwood, Viktor Hovland and Matt Wallace.

It was Hojgaard's first Rolex Series event win and his third overall on the European circuit, having previously won the Italian Open in 2021 and the 2022 Ras Al Khaimah Championship.

The 22-year-old will be hoping to make greater inroads when it comes to the Majors next year and he is 25/1 to land one of the 'big four' in 2024.

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