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Golf, grand finale in Dubai: it’s hunting for Morikawa

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European Tour: the favorite can become the first American winner. Two blues on the field: Migliozzi and Laporta, for them it is the right prize of an extraordinary year

A long race that began in January in Abu Dhabi with forty events around the world. All to get to Dubai where the grand finale of the European Golf Tour began early this morning with the best 50 players in the standings to compete for the three million dollars destined for the winner out of a total prize pool of nine million, the highest in the history of the competition. And it is very likely that history will be made because for the first time the European circuit could have an American winner: in fact, Collin Morikawa, 24, n. 2 of the world ranking.

Americans

Morikawa, who in 20121 also won the Ryder Cup with the USA, already has two Majors on his showcase (Pga Championship 2020 and The Open 2021) and also triumphing in the Race to Dubai would put him in the gallery of the great ones. He has a few points advantage over another American, Billy Horschel. The two of them are the only ones with destiny in the bag, because they know that a victory in the tournament would also guarantee first place overall. A feat that can only be achieved by four others: the British Tyrrell Hatton, Matthew Fitzpatrick and Paul Casey, as well as the Australian Min Woo Lee.

The latter will need not only a success but also a misstep by Morikawa (fresh from the appointment of honorary member of the European Tour, which in 2022 will change its name to DP World Tour) and Horschel. As for the world Top 10, there is also the Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy who made his DP World Tour Championship in 2012 and 2015. And again: the Spaniard Sergio Garcia, the American Patrick Reed, the Irish Shane Lowry , the English Danny Willett (signed in 2018) and the German Martin Kaymer.

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Two Italians

Two Italians also qualified in Dubai: Guido Migliozzi and Francesco Laporta. For both the right prize for a super year. The Vicenza-based Migliozzi, despite having no win in his assets in 2021, nevertheless achieved extraordinary results, especially the fourth place at his debut in the US Open which opened up new perspectives for him, being able to play some tournaments also in America on a circuit, the Pga Tour, infinitely richer than the European one. Francesco Laporta, an Apulian from Castellana Grotte (Bari), last Sunday nearly won here in Dubai, in the Aviv Championship, second by just one shot. For him it was the fifth Top 10 of 2021. Laporta, best blue at the Italian Open which was played in September on the Marco Simone pitch in Rome, started playing quite late. It was his father who took him, when he was only thirteen, to the San Domenico Golf Club in Savelletri and entrusted him to the care of maestro Pietro Cosenza who still follows him today. Since then Laporta has not been afraid to find his own way, also moving to South Africa, on the Sunshine Tour. As he often likes to remember: it was only the commitment and the work that brought him here. In its growth it has also won the Challenge Tour, the European “Serie B”.

So on the pitch

Laporta takes the field at 10.10 local time (7.10 in Italy) paired with Ian Poulter, while Migliozzi will play with Tommy Fleetwood, with tee time at 11.55 (8.55 in Italy).

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