How to watch DP World Tour Championship 2021: Schedule, tee times, TV channel and who could win Race to Dubai
The European Tour season reaches its conclusion at the DP World Tour Championship 2021 in Dubai this week, and with it the tour consigns itself to history after 49 years.
In these rapidly changing times it is perhaps fitting that only one of the six contenders who might win the European order of merit, renamed the Race to Dubai in 2009, plays the majority of his golf on the European Tour, and he, Min Woo Lee, is Australian.
The leading two players in the race, Collin Morikawa and Billy Horschel, have played only five stand-alone European Tour events between them this year, and owe their involvement to their success at majors and other events co-sanctioned by the PGA Tour, where they are based.
Indeed only three of the top ten in the Race to Dubai rankings are European Tour-based, which reflects the economic power and influence of the PGA Tour. The recasting of the European Tour as the DP World Tour from next week deepens the tour’s economic reliance on the Emirate of Dubai.
How to watch DP World Tour Championship 2021
- Dates: 18-21 November
- TV channel: Sky Sports Golf (from 6am-1pm each day)
- Tee times: See EuropeanTour.com
The financial imperative for change, which has been playing out for years, found a catalyst in the pandemic, which forced European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley to accelerate the shift towards a new partnership with those looking to push their own agenda.
Pelley was courted heavily by the Saudi PIF fund before the new owners of Newcastle United did a deal with the Asian Tour fronted by Greg Norman. Pelley, in consultation with the PGA Tour, with whom the new DP World Tour will work more closely, decided a special relationship with the USA while strengthening the bond with Dubai was the way to go.
This can be seen as part of the wider investment in sport by the region, a vast geo-political PR drive. For Dubai, the 25-year-plus association with golf has been central to its tourism initiatives and attraction of property investments by wealthy foreigners. Other sports have since made their own overtures in the region.
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Formula One debuts in Qatar this week and Saudi Arabia a fortnight hence before the season concludes in Abu Dhabi next month. The football World Cup rolls out in Qatar this time next year. Before you know it, Colleen and Wayne will be adding Qatar to their holiday itinerary. The way things are going at Derby County, Rooney might even consider replacing Xavi as coach at Al Saad.
Without the cash from the Middle East the European Tour could not have survived. The name change permits more plausibly the expanding of horizons globally and, with the increased prize money and closer ties with the PGA Tour, enhances its power to attract the biggest names to its events more frequently.
The presence of Rory McIlroy alongside Morikawa stiffens the proposition this week, though they remain the only top-ten golfers in the field. Horschel and Tyrrell Hatton make it four of the top-21, but as a season-ending showpiece the DP World Tour Championship tournament barely stacks up when compared to a routine PGA Tour event. The new arrangement under the new banner, beginning in South Africa next week, is effectively an acknowledgement of that.
Who’s in the Race?
The Race to Dubai has come down to a six-player shootout at the season-ending DP World Tour Championship.
Race leader Collin Morikawa is favourite to crown another astonishing year by taking the order of merit title for the first time. Morikawa, who turned pro only in two years ago, added his second major, the Open at Royal St George’s in July, to last year’s victory at the PGA Championship.
The world No 2 could finish last and still seal the deal should second-placed Billy Horschel finish in a tie for eighth or worse, and the other four contenders, Tyrrell Hatton, Min Woo Lee, Matt Fitzpatrick and Paul Casey, fail to win.
Race to Dubai points
- Collin Morikawa (3856.4)
- Billy Horschel (3620.2)
- Jon Rahm (3402.5)
- Tyrrell Hatton (2472.1)
- Min Woo Lee (2187.1)
- Matt Fitzpatrick (2113.2)
Correct as of 17 Nov
A win for either Morikawa or Horschel guarantees the title. To have any chance of ending the season on top, Hatton, Lee, Fitzpatrick and Casey must win and hope Morikawa and Horschel limp home well down the field.
The DP World Tour will have far greater alignment with the powerful PGA Tour and be built around the opulence of Dubai