Bernd Wiesberger, Rory McIlroy and four others to watch at the DP World Tour Championship

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Ahead of the DP World Tour Championship that starts on Thursday, we look at six star players set to shine.

BERND WIESBERGER

World ranking: 23

Race to Dubai position: 1

Best finishes in 2019: Winner (Made in Denmark, Scottish Open, Italian Open)

The Austrian has taken his game to a different level in 2019, with three tournament wins in Denmark, Scotland and Italy. He was even ranked as low as 378 in the world back in May and now sits on the cusp of the top-20. Incessant wrist problems curtailed his 2018 season, but the Vienna native has roared back to career-best form, making an early statement in his bid to qualify for the 2020 Ryder Cup in Whistling Straits. Could break into the top-20 if he prevails this weekend. What a story that would be.

TOMMY FLEETWOOD

World ranking: 10

Race to Dubai position: 2

Best finishes in 2019: Winner (Nedbank Challenge)

The 2017 Race to Dubai champion has had continued success this year, winning the Nedbank Challenge in Sun City and recording five top-10 and eight top-20 finishes on the European Tour, including second place at the Open Championship — his second runner-up finish in a major after the 2018 Open. The Southport man seems to love the UAE conditions, and has all the tools in his armoury to conclude the year as European number one for a second time.

JON RAHM

World ranking: 5

Race to Dubai position: 1

Best finishes in 2019: Winner (Irish Open, Spanish Open)

Rahm is a big hitter who impresses in the UAE, none more so than when he dominated the field – and the course – at Jumeirah Golf Estates to win the DP World Tour Championship two years ago. His form in 2019 is strong, with two top-10 finishes at the majors. The Spaniard, who is now based out of the United States in Arizona, constantly hovers in or around the leaderboard these days and is highly fancied this week. If things go his way over the first two days, then the 25-year-old could be the man to beat.

SHANE LOWRY

World ranking: 19

Race to Dubai position: 4

Best finishes in 2019: Winner (Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, Open Championship)

The Irishman is a different player this year after winning in Abu Dhabi and the Open Championship, and finishing eighth at the PGA Championship. The string of successes has increased his confidence and, backed by a strong Irish support in the UAE, the Offaly made will be hoping to finish his season as European number one. Has shown supreme class around the Earth course in the past, finishing in a tie for second in 2017.

MATT FITZPATRICK

World ranking: 25

Race to Dubai position: 5

Best finishes in 2019: Runner-up (Arnold Palmer Invitational, BMW International Open, Scandinavian Invitational, Italian Open)

The five-time European Tour winner has been consistently talked up as the next big thing in golf. At just 25, the Sheffield native has buckets of talent and has shown quality form around Jumeirah Golf Estates in the past, with a slender one-shot victory back in 2016. Clinical recent displays in Italy, Shanghai and Sun City should give Fitzpatrick the confidence he needs to challenge at the top of the leaderboard.

RORY MCILROY

World ranking: 2

Race to Dubai position: 6 (out of contention)

Best finishes in 2019: Winner (Players Championship, Canadian Open, Tour Championship, WGC-HSBC Champions)

The 2015 champion has the ability to light up the big stage, but has not tasted major success in more than five years. In 32 career rounds at the Earth course, he has shot an over-par score just twice. Having won in Shanghai recently, the 30-year-old arrives in Dubai aiming to finish his stunning season on a high. Expect his driver to continue to cause mayhem and help him to card some more low and threatening scores.

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