DP World Tour Championship: Top contenders

Sport360 staff 08:12 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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