Crowds flock to epic Race to Dubai finale

The 2016 DP World Tour Championship saw more than 63,000 fans flock to Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai to watch the thrilling conclusion to this year’s European Tour, while millions more watched TV coverage around the world, writes Michael Stoneman

Now in its eighth year, the tournament has grown to become one of the most significant events in Dubai’s sporting calendar and underlines the emirate’s status as a major player in the international golf landscape.

Along with the Omega Dubai Desert Classic and the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters, the tournament helps generate an estimated US$80m of direct economic impact for Dubai each year, while the event was also beamed into more than 420 million homes around the world by over 40 broadcasters.

The final event of the 2016 European Tour season saw Englishman Matthew Fitzpatrick triumph over compatriot Tyrell Hatton by a stroke after a gripping final round, while Sweden’s Henrik Stenson secured the year-long Race to Dubai points title after finishing in a tie for ninth place.

With the Race to Dubai title on the line and a field featuring 60 of the top players in the European Tour rankings, the 2016 edition of the DP World Tour Championship attracted crowds of more than 63,000 people during the four days of the tournament.

In addition to world-class golf on Jumeirah’s Earth Course, fans were also treated to a wide range of activities away from the fairways. The Championship Village proved to be the social hub of the tournament, featuring the DP World Golf Zone, a giant TV screen, an Emirates ‘Fly with me’ Kids Zone and live shows from renowned golf trick shot artist David Edwards.

For the third year running, the European Tour and tournament sponsors Jumeirah Golf Estates and DP World also offered their support for “Shanab” – a men’s health initiative by Friends of Cancer Patients, which raises awareness about the importance of screening for testicular and prostate cancer.

Through the Birdies for Good initiative, every birdie and eagle made by the professionals over the four days of competition amounted to $50 and $100 respectively being donated by the sponsors. This amounted to a total of $51,400, with 974 birdies and 27 eagles made during the tournament.

And, fittingly, the final birdie of the event went to winner Fitzpatrick, who sank a four-foot putt on the 18th to secure the biggest win of his career and signal another highly successful staging of the DP World Tour Championship.