Technically, Jamie Donaldson, Sergio Garcia and Marcel Siem still have a chance to overtake Rory McIlroy for the Race to Dubai title, but it’ll require victories in the last two events and some help from the world No. 1.
If the trio fails to win this week’s Turkish Airlines Open, McIlroy will secure the season-long prize before next week’s finale in Dubai and without having played any of the previous three Final Series events. Though not ideal from a European Tour perspective, neither Lee Westwood nor Garcia had a problem with that scenario when asked about it Wednesday in Turkey.
In fact, they both said that McIlroy “deserves” to be Europe’s No. 1.
“I guess for the fans and stuff, it’s nice if it goes down to the last tournament,” Garcia told reporters. “But on the other hand, I’m also a big believer in that if you have done something extraordinary to be able to achieve that, to win before the last tournament happens, why shouldn’t you be the winner?”
On the PGA Tour, the FedEx Cup is designed to prevent the overall champion from being named before the season-ender, with points being reset heading into the Tour Championship. That’s not the way it works in Europe; the tour simply increases the point totals during the Final Series to create more volatility.
Said Westwood: “If you do have it where it’s all on the last event, we are getting into that area of copying the PGA Tour again and copying the FedEx. And people complain that it’s a little too volatile at the end. I’ve looked over the last few years and it just seems that whoever wins the Tour Championship wins the FedEx Cup in the States … that’s not ideal sometimes. I have no problems with it being over before the final event, especially this year with what Rory has done.”