After 46 tournaments in 25 different countries, the DP World Tour Championship will bring the curtain down on the European Tour season this weekend.
The top 60 players in the Race to Dubai rankings will battle it out at the Jumeirah Golf Estates in the United Arab Emirates for a share of the whopping $8 million prize purse.
The 2013 season is the most closely contested chapter since the inaugural Race to Dubai in 2009, which was won by Lee Westwood.
Heading into this year’s finale, there are no fewer than nine players with a chance of clinching the top spot in the European standings and joining Westwood, Martin Kaymar, Luke Donald and Rory McIlroy as Race to Dubai champions.
One of those in with a chance is the little-known Frenchman Victor Dubuisson, who clinched victory in the Turkish Airlines Open at the weekend.
Before his victory in Turkey, the penultimate event in the Race to Dubai, Dubuisson sat 49th in the Race and was merely hopeful of cementing his place inside the top 60.
Fast-forward one week, and the talented youngster heads to Dubai with an outside chance of finishing the season as European No. 1.
He currently sits ninth on 1,444,069 points having played 20 events, just under a million points behind Henrik Stenson, who sits on top.
While the chances of Dubuisson finishing No. 1 are quite unrealistic, the fact that it is even mathematically possible is testament to the talents of the 23-year-old prodigy.
Victor Dubuisson is highest ranked Frenchman in history of world ranking, 39th. Previous highest was @thomaslevetgolf at 41— Kelly Tilghman (@KellyTilghmanGC) November 11, 2013
He showed why he is highly touted, as he held his nerve under extreme pressure from some of the game’s greats on the final day in Antalya to clinch his maiden title on the European Tour.
With Tiger Woods, Jamie Donaldson, Ian Poulter and Justin Rose snapping at his heels, he kept cool to finish the event on 24 under par, two clear of the chasing pack.
The victory moved him up 100 spots in the world rankings to No. 39—per Official World Golf Ranking—making him the highest-ranked Frenchman since Thomas Levet, who reached 41 at the beginning of 2005, according to the European Tour.
Dubuisson will bring his excellent run of form to the desert this Thursday, Nov. 14.
His third-place finish at the Omega European Masters at the beginning of September was a sign of things to come. He consolidated with a top-20 finish at the Portugal Masters, and now with a tour title behind him, he will be full of confidence heading to Dubai.
Who will win the Race to Dubai?
With the top players all looking to hit the peak of their powers at the DP World Tour Championship, the season-ender will pose a difficult challenge for Dubuisson.
But he proved in Turkey what he is capable of, and if he can replicate that form in Dubai, then a top-10 finish is a possibility, with top 20 being a more realistic target.
Where he will end the season will depend on the performances of those around him, but if he can produce a solid four rounds then he will be expected to finish the year inside the top 10, something that never would have been predicted one week ago.