School children visit DP World Tour Championship

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Around 180 students from six local schools visited Jumeirah Golf Estates for the DP World Tour Championship where they were given a tour of the world-class facilities.

On day one of the tournament, the kids saw the top-60 players on the European Tour Race to Dubai rankings in competition.

The children enjoyed a fun filled day at the venue as the EGF’s initiative, supported by the European Tour and DP World, continued its aim of introducing the game of golf more Arab juniors across the region.

Robert Fiala, Marketing Manager of the Emirates Golf Federation said: “We took the kids around for a short tour of specific areas.

“We started off at the driving range then went to the media centre and on to the 18th green. We finished off the tour in the Kids Zone showed them to the area in the championship village where they can receive some free and private golf lessons.”

The programme has seen specialist coaches from Golf DXB host ‘introduction to golf’ sessions to over 6,000 students at UAE National Schools including American Academy Al Mizar, School of Research Science, Al Itihad Al Mamzar, Rashid School For Boys, Al Itihad Jumeirah and Al Khaleej School.

Fiala added: “We’ve had some really good engagement. They enjoyed seeing Rafa Cabrera Bello on the putting range, he waved at the kids which was great as he’s been directly involved with the initiative after visiting one of the schools and taking part in a golf coaching session.

“Rafa recognised some of the boys and they all wished him good luck, so I think that was a highlight. We saw that the youngsters are interested in this game. On the driving range you can see that they took serious interest in what is going on.”

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New Race to Dubai brand unveiled

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The new Race to Dubai brand.

The unveiling took place at Jumeirah Golf Estates ahead of the 2016 DP World Tour Championship – the final tournament of the season and the culmination of the Race to Dubai.

And the stars of the tournament were on hand to help with the unveiling, with winner of the 2015 Race to Dubai and DP World Tour Championship, Rory McIlroy, revealing his affection for the city and playing golf in the UAE.

“Dubai has always been a special place for me. I made my first cut here on the European Tour and then went on to have my first as a professional win in the Dubai Desert Classic. It’s been a pretty amazing journey since then – and throughout all the success I have enjoyed around the world, Dubai has been a constant part of the story for me, my family and friends.”

He continued: “I have been lucky enough to win the DP World Tour Championship twice as well as three Race to Dubai titles and I’m a resident here as it is the perfect place to come and work on my game. It’s become a real home from home for me so I always love coming back.”

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DP World Tour Championship: Top contenders

Sport360 staff 17/11/2016
Contenders: Stenson, Willett, McIlroy, Noren and Pieters.

Henrik Stenson (SWE)

World ranking: 4

Race to Dubai position: 1

DPWTC results: T59-1-1-T7-DNP-T24-T23
Best finishes in 2016: Winner (Open Championship, BMW International Open), second three times, including Olympics
Top-10s in 2016: 11

Stenson’s mastery on the Earth course is well known. He had a strangely off year in 2015, but is now coming back fresh and in good form. The Swede will be favourite to hold on to his Race to Dubai position. His crisp iron-play is a huge advantage on this course.

Danny Willett (ENG)

World ranking: 11
Race to Dubai position: 2
DPWTC results: T4-T21-DNP-T26-DNP-T55-T58
Best finishes in 2016: Winner (Masters, Omega Dubai Desert Classic), Second (Italian Open)
Top-10s in 2016: 5

A tied 11th place in last week’s Nedbank Golf Challenge seems to have rejuvenated the 29-year-old. But like he did last year when trailing Rory McIlroy, expect the Sheffield man to fight tooth and nail until the last putt has dropped.

Rory McIlroy (NIR)

World ranking: 2
Race to Dubai position: 4
DPWTC results: 1-2-T5-1-T11-T5-3
Best finishes in 2016:Winner (DDF Irish Open, Deutsche Bank Championship, Tour Championship)
Top-10s in 2016: 13

How good is the 27-year-old on this golf course? In 28 career rounds, his worst score on Earth is an even-par 72. Having taken the last two week’s off, he comes to the course fresh. Expect his driver to continue to cause mayhem and help him to some more low scores.

Alex Noren (SWE)

World ranking: 9
Race to Dubai position: 3
DPWTC results: T38-DNP-DNP-T39-T37-DNP-T6
Best finishes in 2016: Winner (Nedbank Challenge, British Masters, European Masters, Scottish Open)
Top-10s in 2016: 8

Once struggling with his career as he tried to get over a debilitating back injury, followed by tendonitis in both wrists, Noren is now proving to be a pain for the rest of the field. His hard work is paying off as he has won four titles in his last 11 starts and is hungry for more.

Thomas Pieters (BEL)

World ranking: 44
Race to Dubai position: 22
DPWTC results: T22-DNP-DNP-DNP-DNP-DNP-DNP
Best finishes in 2016: Winner (Made in Denmark), second (Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, Czech Masters)
Top-10s in 2016: 5

Darren Clarke benefitted from his faith in the young Belgian during the Ryder Cup, and he will have plenty of support here. This is only his second DPWTC, but the 23-year-old, who hits the ball a country mile, has the game to bring the golf course to its knees.

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