David Howell won the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in spectacular fashion on the weekend after holing an eight-foot putt on the second hole of the play-off.
The result meant he will take part in the climax of the European Tour Race to Dubai for the first time – a feat he is relieved to have achieved.
“Finally!” smiled Howell. “I am delighted to have guaranteed my place in the DP World Tour Championship.”
The Dubai resident has had to watch from the sidelines since its inauguration in 2009, but after claiming the cup in Scotland on the weekend he will be able to walk onto the course with the world’s best, vying for the season’s final prize.
The victory also boosts his chances of gaining a place in Europe’s 2014 Ryder Cup team as he recognizes one has to be playing in the biggest events “and that’s what makes a victory like this so important.”
England’s own Lee Westwood first won the DP World Tour, with Rory McIlroy winning lasts year’s big prize.
Howell’s victory bumps him up into 12th position in the Race to Dubai where the winner there receives a ten-year exemption from the European Tour, whilst the winner of the DP World Tour gets a five-year exemption.
With the Jumeirah Golf Estates being Howell’s home course, he will be very comfortable come the 14th November. After five years of trying he will want to prove his worth.
“Jumeirah Golf Estates is my home course so it will be very nice to be able to play in the tournament,” Howell said. “Neil Graham is the General Manager, Club Operations and one of my best mates so it will be pretty cool to be able to play his course and try and keep this form going.”
Henrik Stensson currently leads the way for the Race to Dubai. With six more events to play, that could all change come the big finale. Europe’s top 60 will be attending the event and gunning for glory to finish off 2013.
Lee Westwood will be looking to emulate his success in the inaugural tournament whilst Rory McIlroy will be hoping to end 2013 in style like he did last year.
With the Ryder Cup places still up for grabs, it’s an extra incentive for all involved to prove why they are worthy of a place on the European side.
In 2012, Europe produced miracles, coming back from four points down on the last day and overtaking the USA when Martin Kaymer’s five-foot putt dropped in.
Those heroics will spur the top 60 on to hopefully be a part of more Ryder Cup history. First though it is the small matter of contending with the DP World Tour Championships.
The relatively new format to the European Tour has provided much excitement for golf fanatics as well as the professionals and with six more events until the DP World Tour Championship, there is still plenty of time to whet the appetite.
Tickets are free of charge for the DP World Tour Championship starting the 14th November to the 17th. Tickets can be obtained by registering online at the event website www.DPWTC.com