Nov 11th, 2015
Will it be Willett?
Danny boy breathing down Rory’s neck
Words: The Brigadier Photography: Getty Images
"Excuse me love. Does my thumb look big in this?"
After a great performance at last week’s WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai, Danny Willett must be raring to go this week. And he’s hoping that a strong finish will see him make the Race to Dubai “all but over.”
Willett is 74,000 points behind Rory McIlroy, but will overtake him should he come in the top 28 in Shanghai, so he must fancy his chances, having shot a 62 last week, and not having to travel out of Shanghai for this week’s BMW.
To make matters even better for Danny, Rory won’t be playing. He’s decided to give the BMW a skip, and practice out in Dubai ahead of the final event in the Race to Dubai series, the DP World Tour Championship.
A third win on the European Tour this season will give Willett 1.2 million points, which will give him a lead which Rory won’t be able to catch.
“I know I’ve got a chance to sneak up on Rory this week and if I managed to win the tournament, then I suspect the Race to Dubai would be all but over,” Willett said.
“If we can go to Dubai somewhere close or in front, or hopefully in front by a good ways, it will make it really good,” said Willett.
Whatever, we are in for a thrilling final event – assuming that Willett does indeed maintain his excellent form and finish in the top 28 this weekend, he will have that crucial lead over McIlroy. It is very much on.
Willett admits his form dipped slightly after finishing third in the Italian Open, but has come back strongly with a share of 11th in the Turkish Airlines Open and a tie for third across the city at Sheshan International on Sunday.
“I had a bit of a lull before that. I was working on a few things and it took a little bit longer to bed in, but hopefully it’s on the way back up now to where we’ve been and I can keep moving forward.”
There’s still competition out there for Danny. Shane Lowry, Louis Oosthuizen and Justin Rose need to finish second or better and Branden Grace requires a win to take the lead, so they are going to have to find form if they are to have any chance of squeezing past Rory or Danny.
Get your popcorn and your beers out and strap yourself in for the ride.