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DP World Tour Championship preview: Rory McIlroy seeks rare double

The DP World Tour season concludes this week with the traditional finale - the DP World Tour Championship at the Earth Course in Dubai.

Rory McIlroy will be seeking to emulate Henrik Stenson (2013) as the only player to win both the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup and the Race to Dubai in the same season. 

WhatDP World Tour Championship
WhereJumeirah Golf Estates, Earth Course,  Dubai, UAE
WhenThursday 17th – Sunday 20th November 2022
How to watchSky Sports Golf 
OddsRory McIlroy 3/1, Jon Rahm 9/2, Matt Fitzpatrick 9/1, Viktor Hovland 10/1, Tommy Fleetwood 14/1, Shane Lowry 14/1

Rory McIlroy is in pole position in the Race to Dubai, looking to top the standings on his home circuit for the fourth time. The Northern Irishman won the Race to Dubai in 2012, 2014 and 2015, and he is slightly ahead of Ryan Fox with one tournament to play this year.

McIlroy can be backed at 3/1 to win the DP World Tour Championship, which would obviously guarantee Race to Dubai glory, too. He has twice been DP World Tour Championship winner - in 2012 and 2015 - and has already been well backed for this week's hat-trick bid.

Taking on McIlroy in Dubai will be former world number one Jon Rahm, who led the CJ Cup last time out before being overtaken by McIlroy over the weekend. Rahm said he was "battling swing thoughts" during the latter stages of the CJ Cup, but he has twice won the DP World Tour Championship and can be backed at 9/2 for this one.

Matthew Fitzpatrick is also a two-time DP World Tour Championship victor. The Sheffield man has since become a Major champion, having won the US Open in June, so plenty of punters will be backing him to top the Earth Course leaderboard again on Sunday at 9/1.

Viktor Hovland's presence adds to the star quality in this line-up. The Norwegian finished third in his only previous Earth Course appearance and he has since gone on to win the Dubai Desert Classic - the other high-class gathering in this part of the world.

Hovland finished tenth in the World Wide Technology Championship last time out and is a 10/1 chance for DP World Tour Championship glory. 

The first five places are available for standard each-way terms of a quarter of the odds. There are also alternative options in the Each Way Extra section, including a fifth of the odds for the first eight. Only 50 runners go to post in this no-cut event.

DP World Tour Championship course details

The Earth Course is a 7,675-yard, par-72, with four par-fives, ten par-fours and four par-threes. The Greg Norman-designed layout was specifically built to be the venue for the European Tour's season finale. 

The Volvo Masters at Valderrama was the traditional curtain-closer, but in 2009 the Race to Dubai started and the Jumeirah Golf Estates took over. The fairways are wide, although the 620-yard par-five 18th hole has a stream which splits the fairway in two, so much late drama can occur. 

The greens are large, undulating and quick, with plenty of run-off areas. The winning score has been between 14 and 25-under par in all 13 previous editions. 

Sunny and warm weather is forecast, with temperatures peaking at 34C. Light breezes are expected for the first three days, before a windy final round.

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Three to follow

Rory McIlroy

Given McIlroy's course record reads 3-5-11-1-5-2-1-9-20-4-6, there is every reason to believe the 33-year-old will contend for another DP World Tour Championship title. He has twice won the Dubai Desert Classic and loves competing in this part of the world.

McIlroy, who is 153-under par for his 44 rounds at the Earth Course, has won three of his last 11 tournaments. Last time out, the Northern Irishman saw off Jon Rahm and others in a high-class CJ Cup, and McIlroy is proving popular at 3/1 as he bids to avenge last year's Earth Course near-miss. He led going into the final round, before finishing sixth.

Min Woo Lee

Australian youngster Min Woo Lee is finishing the season strongly and his 28/1 odds will probably catch the eye of many a punter. Lee finished third in the Spanish Open last month, then third in the Andalucia Masters, before eighth place in the Nedbank Challenge last Sunday.

Lee made a solid Earth Course debut 12 months ago, closing with three consecutive 69s for 16th place, and better can be expected this time.

Antoine Rozner

With so much class in this field, the lesser-lights have their work cut out to take the title, but each-way investments in the big-price outsiders could be popular. Antoine Rozner may appeal to some at 66/1 given how well he has been hitting his ball in recent weeks.

Rozner has a good record in the Middle East, where both of his two DP World Tour victories have come.

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