Tour: McIlroy starts ominously well in Dubai

The Scoop

The defending champion is two off the lead and is the hot favourite on a course he loves

None of Marcus Fraser, Martin Kaymer Ian Poulter or Andy Sullivan can win the Race to Dubai regardless of what happens this week.

However, there is plenty of money and world ranking points for each of the first-round leaders to play for.

The top end of the leaderboard is crowded with some of the most acclaimed golfers in the world. The R2D leaders Mcilroy and Willett sit just two shots back on four under par. They are among a long list of quality players ready to pounce.

Australian Fraser missed most of last season suffering from a hand injury therefore the DP World Tour championship is the most prestigious event he has been at the top of the leaderboard of for quite some time.

Following his round the Australian said “It’s always nice to get off to a fast start and I kept it going.”

Englishman Ian Poulter had to alter his schedule last minute to play in Hong Kong during the final series due to falling out of the world’s top 50 golfers.

A win here would cement him in the WGC qualification places along with providing the Englishmanwith redemption after 2nd places here in 2010 and 2013.
There’s a lot at stake. I think more of it is probably pride than anything else – Ian Poulter Coming into the final series Andy Sullivan would have been hoping to make a surge for the Harry Vardon Trophy following his 3 wins this season.

However the Nuneaton player has struggled throughout the final series. “For sure, I think it’s time for me to try and kick on and get these big ones knocked off now,” said Sullivan.

Martin Kaymer won the Race to Dubai here five years ago but hasn’t had a win since the US Open last year.

The former World No 1 has slumped to 26th in the world rankings and a win here wouldn’t only improve that but also his confidence going into the next season where he will hope to turn his poor form around.

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