Graeme McDowell will have to finish in the top three of the Dubai World Championship this week just to have a chance of denying Ryder Cup team-mate Martin Kaymer the European Tour number one spot.
There is a difference of over €290,000 between the two major winners with one event to go following McDowell’s fifth-place finish at the Hong Kong Open today.
Fourth place next Sunday is worth €272,000 and would not therefore be enough for McDowell even if Kaymer finishes last.
If the Ulsterman does come third Kaymer would have to be only 20th to stay top, but if he is second the German would need to be third – and if McDowell takes the €900,000 first prize the money list title will be his as well.
There is a massive bonus of €1m for finishing number one, so the US Open and US PGA champions could earn more than €1.9m next weekend.
It is down to the two of them. Lee Westwood, last year’s winner of both the event and the “Race to Dubai”, is over €920,000 adrift of Kaymer in third place.
Latest leading positions on the European Tour “Race to Dubai” money list after the Hong Kong Open:
1 Martin Kaymer (Ger) €3,283,930
2 Graeme McDowell (N Ire) €2,993,019
3 Lee Westwood (Eng) €2,362,143
4 Francesco Molinari (Ita) €2,249,324
5 Ian Poulter (Eng) €1,983,144
6 Ernie Els (Rsa) €1,911,760
7 Miguel Angel Jimenez (Spa) €1,907,952
8 Charl Schwartzel (Rsa) €1,873,139
9 Edoardo Molinari (Ita) €1,785,937
10 Louis Oosthuizen (Rsa) €1,767,617
11 Paul Casey (Eng) €1,543,311
12 Rory McIlroy €1,438,704
13 Luke Donald (Eng) €1,410,430
14 Ross Fisher (Eng) €1,309,024
15 Alvaro Quiros (Spa) €1,285,977
16 Peter Hanson (Swe) €1,237,728
17 Rhys Davies (Wal) €1,201,976
18 Padraig Harrington (Ire) €1,108,967
19 Richard Green (Aus) €1,102,793
20 Fredrik Andersson Hed (Swe) €1,082,669