DP World Tour Championship: Dubuisson Grabs 54-Hole Lead

The Frenchman, Victor Dubuisson has played as well as anyone without a win in Dubai with two top-threes and a T13 in 2015 at the “Earth” course hosting this week’s DP World Tour Championship.

Of the course this week for the DP World Tour Championship, Dubuisson said, “It’s just a course I like.”

Dubuisson’s (or should I say, Dubai-sson’s?) affinity for the track at Jumeirah Estates could continue to grow if he closes out his one-stroke lead at the Race to Dubai finale.

The long hitter (301.7-yard average this week, seventh in the field) was sensational on Saturday, carding seven birdies and a hole-out eagle on the par-4 fifth to reach 13-under at the European Tour season’s final event.

Dubuisson began the day six back of co-leaders Francesco Molinari (-11, T5) and Sergio García (-7, T13), but four birdies in his closing five holes quickly moved him nine spots up the leaderboard.

Not to be outdone, Rafa Cabrera Bello (-11, T5) also finds himself in the mix for the tournament title thanks to a 63. Carding the low round of the tournament has him well-positioned to make a run at his first win in 2016, or at least his eighth worldwide top-five finish in what has been a breakout year for the world No. 30.

Twelve golfers hang within five of Dubuisson’s lead entering Sunday, including three men just one back. Tyrrell Hatton (67 on Saturday), Nicolas Colsaerts (66) and Matthew Fitzpatrick (66) also took advantages of the healthy scoring conditions to form a trio tied for second at 12-under.

Twenty-eight of the top 30 in the 60-player field were under par on Saturday, but one of the two that stands out was García. His ill-timed 74 was his highest score in over two months since a 76 at the PGA Tour’s BMW Championship. In a non-major European Tour event, you have to go back to April to the Spanish Open to find a tally that high in what otherwise has been a solid year.

Rory McIlroy carded a four-under 68 but was visibly frustrated down the stretch. At four-under through 10 holes and five-under for the tournament, the comeback was on. A win this week would put him in the mix for the Race to Dubai Final Series title, as well as an ascent to world No. 1.

Most of us would be over the moon to shoot a 68 at our local muni. After eight holes passed with just one birdie and a bogey on the par-5 last, McIlroy wasn’t in much of a mood to celebrate

After the round, McIlroy said:

I turned 62 into a 68. I hit a lot of good shots and didn’t hole many putts and what happened on the 18th was the story of the day. I could have got myself back into it.

He is tied at five-under with the Race to Dubai leader, Henrik Stenson. A win between McIlroy, Danny Willett or Alex Noren is just about required to dethrone Stenson.

Noren has the best chance at seven-under, but it appears the golden scepter will be going back to Stenson for the second time in his career.

Willett’s rough go of it continues. He posted just one birdie for a 76, leaving him in a tie for 51st as well as thankful to still be cashing a check in the no-cut event.

Those in the mix for a title or not can still play for extra cash.

The top 10 finishers in the Race to Dubai point standings will split $5 million USD. The projected list, accompanied by points (which are equivalent to Euros won) and projected bonus payout, is as follows:

The projected list, accompanied by points (which are equivalent to Euros won) and projected bonus payout, is as follows:

  1. Henrik Stenson — 4,080,760 ($1.25 million)
  2. Danny Willett — 3,732,200 ($750,000)
  3. Alex Noren — 3,479,228 ($600,000)
  4. Tyrrell Hatton — 2,966,732 ($500,000)
  5. Rory McIlroy — 2,904,346 ($400,000)
  6. Rafa Cabrera-Bello — 2,255,153 ($350,000)
  7. Branden Grace — 2,106,903 ($325,000)
  8. Lee Westwood — 1,941,742 ($300,000)
  9. Louis Oosthuizen — 1,930,611 ($275,00)
  10. Victor Dubuisson — 1,929,992 ($250,000)

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DP World Tour Championship Leaderboard

  • 1. Victor Dubuisson (70-69-64) — 13-under
  • T2. Tyrrell Hatton (71-66-67), Nicolas Colsaers (67-71-66), Matthew Fitzpatrick (69-69-66) — 12-under
  • T5. Francesco Molinari (68-67-70), Rafa Cabrera-Bello (71-71-63), Lee Westwood (66-70-69) — 11-under
  • T8. Four tied at 10-under
  • T12. Tommy Fleetwood (70-71-67) — eight-under

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