In Dubai the first round of the DP World Tour Championship, the last seasonal tournament of the top European men's golf circuit, speaks French. In the United Arab Emirates after the first round Julien Guerrier and Matthieu Pavon lead the rankings, with a score of 67 (-5) shots, together with the Dane Nicolai Hojgaard.
At the Jumeirah Golf Estates (Earth Course, par 72), behind them there is another transalpine, Antoine Rozner, 4th with 68 (-4) alongside the Swede Jans Dantorp and the Polish Adrian Meronk, looking for his fourth success of the season .
In the key event of the Rolex Series, which offers a total of 10,000,000 dollars, of which 3,000,000 will go to the winner, and sees the best 50 players of the DP World Tour 2023 on the field, a false start for the two most awaited big names .
The Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy, number 2 in the world ranking and already certain champion of the Race to Dubai, is 15/o with 71 (-1) after a see-sawing round supported by five birdies and stained by four bogeys. Even further back is the Spaniard Jon Rahm.
Second in the world ranking, winner of the DP World Tour Championship in 2022, but also in 2019 and 2017, in Dubai he is only 24/o with 72 (par). Jon Rahm attended Arizona State University and won 11 college tournaments, second only to Phil Mickelson who won 16 titles.
In 2015 he participated as an amateur in the Phoenix Open, finishing fifth. On April 1 he became first in the World Amateur Golf Ranking and remained there for 25 weeks, then regained the position and held it for another 35 weeks.
He thus qualified for the U.S. Open and the Open Championship the following year: in the first of the two tournaments he came twenty-third, then turned professional, simultaneously losing the right to play in the Open. The Quicken Loans National was his first professional event and he finished third.
The Canadian Open instead saw him come second. At the end of the season he obtained a card for the 2017 PGA Tour. Rahm found his first success in the Farmers Insurance Open thanks to an eagle on the last hole, managing to enter the major tournaments on the world scene.
At the Mexico Championship, an event in the World Golf Championships series, he finished third, two strokes behind the winner Dustin Johnson, while in the second event, the Dell Technologies Match Play, he lost the final against Johnson himself.
He later won the Irish Open by six strokes and the final tournament of the European Tour season, the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, also winning the rookie of the year award.