All 12 members of European Ryder Cup team to feature at DP World Tour Championship

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The European Ryder Cup team sealed their sixth straight win on home soil with a resounding 17.5-10.5 triumph over Team USA and golf lovers in Dubai are set to see all 12 members of the European team in the Emirates next month.

Thomas Bjorn’s team will feature, along with the iconic Ryder Cup trophy, when the European Tour’s season-ending DP World Tour Championship takes place at Jumeirah Golf Estates from November 15-18.

Europe started the biennial tournament on the back foot having lost their opening three matches at Le Golf National on Friday before the dynamic duo of Francesco Molinari and Tommy Fleetwood put the first blue on the board with a 3&1 victory over Tiger Woods and Patrick Reed.

The result gave Europe a real boost as they went on to whitewash the Americans in the afternoon foursomes session to take a 5-3 lead heading into the second day.

Another dominant day for Europe saw them take five points from a possible eight on Saturday with the pairing of Molinari and Fleetwood proving pivotal once again as they became the first European duo in Ryder Cup history to win their opening four matches in group play.

With a four point deficit to make up in the final day singles, the US got off to the perfect start after picking up 2.5 points in the opening three games thanks to Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka and Webb Simpson.

Ryder-Cup-European-Tour-Golf

But defending DP World Tour Championship winner Jon Rahm got Europe their first full point with a 2&1 victory over Woods which started a surge of blue victories.

Six of the last eight matches all went the way of the home side which included Ryder Cup legend Ian Poulter defeating world No1 Dustin Johnson 2up, Thorbjorn Olesen thrashing Jordan Spieth 5&4 and Molinari sealing the winning point after becoming the first European to win five points in a single Ryder Cup with a 4&2 defeat of Phil Mickelson.

European Ryder Cup Captain Thomas Bjorn said: “I felt all along that this was a good group of guys, but I have to say, when we got here on Monday, we got together.

“This turned out pretty exciting because the way that the 12 of them have just joined up together as a team and the way they looked after each other throughout the whole week made captaincy pretty easy.

“I can’t describe how I feel about the 12 players. They have been amazing from day one, and I’m just so proud of them.”

America’s Patrick Reed, who managed one point from a possible four, is also set to line up at the DP World Tour Championship with the Masters tournament champion currently sitting in second place on the Race to Dubai rankings.

“We are so excited that all members of the victorious European Ryder Cup team will be coming to Dubai to play in the 2018 DP World Tour Championship,” said Nick Tarratt, Director European Tour International, Dubai Office.

The team of Tommy Fleetwood and Francesco Molinari were electric over the weekend.

The team of Tommy Fleetwood and Francesco Molinari were electric over the weekend.

“It was a special week for everyone in Paris and Dubai will be perhaps the first time the 12 will all be playing in the same tournament.

“We will also welcome captain Thomas Bjorn to Dubai in other roles around the DP World Tour Championship so it will be a full house. We have also started discussions for the Ryder Cup trophy to be on display during the week.

“This Ryder Cup victory will energise the local golfing community and it is a great start to the build up to the 2018 DP World Tour Championship.”

The DP World Tour Championship takes place at Jumeirah Golf Estates from Thursday to Sunday, November 15-18.

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Portugal Masters win puts Tom Lewis on brink of DP World Tour Championship appearance

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Tom Lewis took a giant step towards a maiden DP World Tour Championship appearance.

England’s Tom Lewis took a giant step towards a maiden DP World Tour Championship appearance after a three-stroke victory over Australian Lucas Herbert and England’s Eddie Pepperell at the Portugal Masters.

It earned him his first European Tour win since he won the same tournament in 2011.

Lewis, who secures a two-year exemption on the European Tour with the win, had been in 12th place on the European Challenge Tour’s Road to Ras Al Khaimah rankings coming into the tournament.

But the 27-year-old gained a promotion to the main tour after the biggest 54 hole comeback of the season.

Having finished the first round one over par, Lewis carded a second round 63 before a breathtaking 61 on day three moved him to within two heading into the final round.

Lewis once again turned on the style on an enthralling final day as he shot 66 to finish two clear of the chasing pack at Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course.

With the win, Lewis surges from 163rd to 62nd in the European Tour’s Race to Dubai rankings and is in with a great chance of gaining qualification for the DP World Tour Championship, open only to the top 60 ranked players.

“It’s unbelievable. I’m so happy, it’s been a rough ride but this week I played hard,” said the 2011 Open Championship silver medalist.

“To be back here in Portugal and play the way I played and to have the crowds we had, I feel great right now. I think this one means more, it means a lot to come and win this again. The next win was always going to mean more because of how much I had to work for it.”

As well as making significant strides in the Race to Dubai, Lewis has also jumped up to 109th in the official world golf rankings after starting the year in 394th.

“It’s great to see Tom back in the winner’s circle,” said Nick Tarratt, Director, European Tour International Dubai Office.

“Tom’s been playing a lot of golf on the Challenge Tour this year and it’s really given him a lot of confidence which you can see in his recent performances. After winning the Bridgestone Challenge he has come to Portugal and won on the main Tour so we are delighted for him.

“If he continues this fine run of form we could be welcoming him to Jumeriah Golf Estates for the first time in November. It would be a very special year if he were to achieve a spot in the top 60 of the Race to Dubai.”

Meanwhile, Herbert’s tied second-place finish also moved him to the brink of the Race to Dubai’s top 60. After picking up 201,937 points he moves from 103rd to 64th.

The top three remains unchanged with Italy’s Francesco Molinari leading the way, American Patrick Reed in second and reigning Race to Dubai champion, England’s Tommy Fleetwood, in third.

The DP World Tour Championship takes place at Jumeirah Golf Estates from Thursday to Sunday, November 15-18.

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Matthew Fitzpatrick becomes youngest Englishman to reach five European Tour wins

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Former DP World Tour Championship winner Matthew Fitzpatrick held his nerve to defeat Denmark’s Lucas Bjerregaard in a play-off to defend the Omega European Masters title and edge closer to the European Tour’s Race to Dubai top 10.

The Englishman, who became the first player to successfully defend his title at Crans-sur-Sierra Golf Club since Seve Ballesteros in 1978, entered the final round with a two-shot lead over France’s Mike Lorenzo-Vera after carding a bogey-free third round of seven under 63.

But Bjerregaard matched that in a blistering final round to force Fitzpatrick to birdie the last to take the tournament to extra holes.

Fitzpatrick, who also won the Swiss title last year by way of a play-off, coolly put his approach to within 12 feet on the first trip back up the 18th before sinking his birdie putt to get his hands on European Tour silverware for the fifth time.

The 2016 Ryder Cup debutant picks up 487,500 Race to Dubai points with the win and jumps up 10 places from 23rd to 13th in the Race to Dubai rankings.

Matthew Fitzpatrick

“That was tough, that was really tough,” said Fitzpatrick. “Of all my wins I’d say that was definitely the most difficult. I didn’t have my A game today, despite loving this place I just didn’t play my best today.

“I managed to grind it out, made some crucial birdies coming in and I’m delighted. This is one of my best.

“This is what I wanted to achieve this season – another win. To get it here again is so special and to get my fifth is amazing. I love this place.”

At 24-years-and-eight-days-old, the former British Masters champion also becomes the youngest Englishman to reach five European Tour victories, having won in every season since coming through Qualifying School in 2014.

“After the disappointment of missing out on a second appearance at the Ryder Cup, Matthew has bounced back superbly with another play-off triumph in Switzerland,” said Nick Tarratt, director European Tour international Dubai office.

“It’s no mean feat to win back-to-back at an event but Matthew has shown he is capable of great things over the years with sublime performances around the world including his memorable victory at the season-ending 2016 DP World Tour Championship.

“We look forward to welcoming the former champion back to Jumeriah Golf Estates at the end of the season.”

Bjerregard looked set for his second European Tour title after his sublime final round  but had to settle for second place after only making par on the first play-off hole.

Francesco Molinari leads the Race to Dubai rankings.

Francesco Molinari leads the Race to Dubai rankings.

The 27-year-old jumps up to 24th from 38th in the Race to Dubai rankings.

Lorenzo-Vera’s final round 67 saw him finish two off the lead in third place. The result moves him up to 42nd from 56th in the Race to Dubai and all but seals his spot at the season-ending DP World Tour Championship.

The top three in the Race to Dubai remains unchanged with Italy’s Francesco Molinari leading the way, American Patrick Reed in second and reigning Race to Dubai champion, England’s Tommy Fleetwood, in third.

The DP World Tour Championship takes place at Jumeirah Golf Estates from November 15-18.

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