Willett ready for Dubai showdown

DANNY Willett steps onto the tee this afternoon knowing he’s just four rounds away from pulling off the biggest win of his fast-rising career.

The Rotherham star starts the European Tour finale in Dubai alongside title rival Rory McIlroy in a head-to-head to decide who finishes top of the rankings. If second placed Willett (28) can reel in the narrow 1,613 points difference then it will cap an amazing year for the Rotherham Golf Club star.

The Jumeirah showpiece is being seen as a straight matchplay shootout although seven players can still overtake the top two if they slip down the leaderboard.

If he wins on Sunday, Willett will also come close to doubling his prize money for the campaign, a sum that currently stands at around £2.3m.

The DP World Tour champion will bank in the region of £933,00 and to that would be added Race to Dubai bonuses of £1.3m.

Willett could have given himself the upper hand ahead of this week had he taken full advantage of McIlroy sitting out last week’s BMW Masters in Shanghai, but he could only tie for 28th.

He accepts that ultimately it could turn into a straight shoot-out between the two in Dubai, but is focused on putting himself in a position to win coming down the stretch on Sunday.

Willett and McIlroy tee off together in the opening round at 12.40pm UK time.

Aussie Marcus Fraser was the early leader with an -6 round of 66.