We have arrived at Race to Dubai’s conclusion, the finale of the 2020 European Tour season, and I have to say I’m more than surprised that we made it this far.
If you had asked me in May if I thought we would see the Race to Dubai reach its end this week, I would not have believed you, and that is why I take my hat off to the European Tour for not only getting us back playing on courses all over the world, but making us all safe in the process.
We’re not like the PGA Tour in America where they can be largely based in one country for the entire season. We’re a global tour and with Covid-19 hotspots all over the place, it has been a major logistical undertaking by the European Tour officials. to get to the end of the Race to Dubai.
Here we are, at the final event and not only have we made it, we’re going to be treated to a cracking finish.
There are so many subplots to this week. Patrick Reed leads Tommy Fleetwood in the Race to Dubai order of merit, while Collin Morikawa and Lee Westwood are also right in the hunt.
But it goes beyond the four frontrunners. It’s mathematically possible for 61 golfers out of the 65-man field to win the race. We’ve never seen anything like this.
Forget last week’s event in South Africa, this week is going to be far tougher. The rough at Jumeirah is thicker and the greens are harder. It’s a fitting test for a top-notch field to take on.
I was amazed to discover no American has ever won the European Tour order of merit.
If you had asked me to name a former winner, I would have been convinced Tiger Woods would be a prime candidate, but remarkably it has not happened yet.
Reed has a chance to make history this week by being the first man to do it, while Morikawa has a real shot at it too.
While Morikawa has been largely based in the US, Reed has supported our tour this year. He has been in Germany, Scotland and Wentworth.
He is a good lad and a guy who revels in the role of pantomime villain. He is Captain America when it comes to the Ryder Cup and a golfer who can be a “Marmite” character for some.
But I admire him. He’s thick-skinned and, while he loves to dish it out, he has always been strong enough to take it.
He doesn’t need to be playing on the European Tour and competing in the Race to Dubai. He could easily have stayed across the Atlantic.
That’s why should he clinch the title this week I won’t be disappointed. He will have earned it for his commitment.
Open and shut case? I really hope not
I wonder whether the fact Donald Trump’s presidency is nearing an end means we will soon see the Open return to Turnberry?
The announcement that the major will visit Royal Liverpool in 2023 and Royal Troon in 2024 came as no surprise.
They are two fabulous venues and I expect Royal Portrush to be among the list of contenders for 2025.
But the silence about Turnberry has been deafening.
Take the politics out of choosing a course owned by the President of the United States and Turnberry would be a nailed-on certainty. It’s a brilliant course and hopefully we will see it named as an Open venue in the near future.
Christmas support for the children
I know 2020 has been a year like no other for all of us, but for some children out there they have more than just the coronavirus to worry about. Some wonder where their next meal is coming from or whether they will have a bed for the night.
That is why my foundation, along with my management company Bounce, has joined forces to try to make a difference for youngsters during the festive period.
We’ve decided that this year we will divert our largest fundraising event to help those who need it most by taking the lots we would normally auction at our annual dinner to an online Christmas draw.
'Tickets' are £10 each & I'll draw it Dec 20th 7.00pm
— Stephen Gallacher (@stevieggolf) December 3, 2020
The proceeds will support Aberlour, Scotland’s Children Charity Covid fund.
We will also allocate funding to River Kids in West Lothian and plan on having prizes from the friends I’ve made in sport, entertainment and business.
Tickets are available at £10 each and I will make the draw live on December 20 at 7pm.
For anyone who wishes to learn more or help us reach our target of raising £50,000, further details can be found at gofundme.com/f/stephen-gallacher-foundation-for-aberlour