Nedbank Preview & R2D Update
It's all hotting up as we head into the penultimate event on the European Tour calendar this week in South Africa.
The Nedbank Golf Challenge marks the final staging post in the lead-up to the season-ender at Jumeirah Golf Estates and, given the healthy prize pool and Race to Dubai points on offer, an impressive field will be in attendance.
Let's get a preview of proceedings in Sun City this week and then have a look at the leading contenders for the Race to Dubai crown.
Venue: Gary Player CC, Sun City, South Africa
Yardage: 7,981 yds
You can get a tour of this stunning golf course below:
At the end of a hectic year on both the PGA and European Tours, three of the top five players in the Race to Dubai standings have decided to give the Nedbank a swerve and await next week's grand finale.
Justin Rose has played four tournaments on the spin and can easily be forgiven for his decision to take a well-earned week off, while the Spanish duo of Sergio Garcia and Jon Rahm are other notable absentees.
Race to Dubai leader Tommy Fleetwood heads the declared field, and he will be keen to build upon his healthy lead in the standings.
Tyrrell Hatton meanwhile will likely be at the head of affairs as he looks to finish off a season which has seen back-to-back wins on the European Tour - a feat matched last week by Rose.
Rafa Cabrera-Bello reverts his focus to Europe as he aims to finish 2016/17 on a high after an assured first season on the PGA Tour. A model of consistency over the last 12 months, he also managed to pick up a win at this year's AAM Scottish Open.
Who takes Henrik Stenson's crown in Dubai?
Possibly a week early on this one but we like to be ahead of the game. Who do we see as being in with a chance of taking the 2017 Race to Dubai title? Let's look at the most likey.
It would be hard to look past Tommy Fleetwood for the Race to Dubai title, even with Justin Rose wins becoming akin to London buses.
A chance to extend his lead in the standings presents itself this week as both Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia miss the trip to South Africa.
Last week's winner in Antalya will be hoping that he arrives in Dubai next week without Fleetwood having disappeared off into the distance in the standings.
Rose knows how to close in the latter stages of a season having won the old Order of Merit back in 2007. He has the game to get it done around Jumeirah Golf Estates and will undoubtedly keep his fellow Englishman honest in the season-ender.
Catch the highlights of the first of Justin's back-to-back wins at the WGC-HSBC below:
It may well take two wins - and even then other stars will have to align - but we think that there's at least another win in Rafa this season.
He could at least be in with a shout of finishing as 'Top Spaniard' in the Race to Dubai standings (an accolade that we've just created out of nowhere).
Who do you think will take the Race to Dubai title? Has Tommy got it in the bag? Let us know below.