Francesco Molinari, Tommy Fleetwood and three others to watch at the DP World Tour Championships

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Ahead of the DP World Tour Championship that starts on Thursday, we look at five star players set to shine.

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FRANCESCO MOLINARI

World ranking: 6

Race to Dubai position: 1

Last five DPWTC results: 13-16-4-4-17

Best finishes in 2018: Winner (BMW PGA Championship, Quicken Loans National, Open Championship), Second (John Deere Classic, Italian Open)

Top-10s in 2018: 2

The Italian has taken his game to a different level in 2018, with three tournament wins, including a first major at the Open Championship. He also made history by becoming first European to win all five matches at the Ryder Cup last month. The 36-year-old will be favourite to hold on to his Race to Dubai position and his crisp iron-play is a huge advantage on this course.

TOMMY FLEETWOOD

World ranking: 10

Race to Dubai position: 2

Last five DPWTC results: 37-12-53-9-21

Best finishes in 2018: Winner (Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship), Second (Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, US Open)

Top-10s in 2018: 8

The Englishman opened his year with a superb win at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship and has looked sublime since. His record-equalling round of 63 to finish a shot behind Brooks Koepka at the US Open is among his stand-out displays this season. Needs to win the DP World Tour Championship to have a chance of being crowned European number one again.

RORY MCILROY

World ranking: 7

Race to Dubai position: 6

Last five DPWTC results: 5-2-1-9-DNP

Best finishes in 2018: Winner (Arnold Palmer Invitational), Second (Dubai Desert Classic, BMW PGA Championship, Open Championship)

Top-10s in 2018: 6

The 2015 champion has the ability to light up the big stage, but has not tasted major success in over four years. In 28 career rounds at the Earth course, his worst score is an even-par 72. Having finished in a tie for 21st at the Nedbank Challenge in South Africa last week, the 29-year-old arrives in Dubai aiming to finish his season on a high. Expect his driver to continue to cause mayhem and help him to card some more low scores.

147th Open Championship - Previews

PATRICK REED

World ranking: 17

Race to Dubai position: 4

Last five DPWTC results: DNP-DNP-10-DNP-10

Best finishes in 2018: Winner (Masters), Second (Valspar Championship)

Top-10s in 2018: 6

A tie for seventh place finish in the HSBC Champions two weeks ago added some positivity to what has been a mixed season for the 28-year-old. Despite winning the Masters and placing fourth at the US Open, Reed managed just two other top-10 finishes since June. But like he has done in previous years, expect the American to fight tooth and nail until the last putt has dropped. Has the vast array of skills to improve on his two previous top-10 finishes in Dubai.

JON RAHM

World ranking: 8

Race to Dubai position: 11

Last five DPWTC results: DNP-DNP-DNP-DNP-1

Best finishes in 2018: Winner (CareerBuilder Challenge, Open de Espana), Second (Sentry Tournament of Champions)

Top-10s in 2018: 6

The 24-year-old clinched wins at the CareerBuilder Challenge and Spanish Open earlier this year as well as top-four finishes at the Masters and PGA Championship. His 19-under par 269 en route to lifting the DP World Tour Championship title in 2017 shows he has form around the Earth course. Expect a strong title defence from the Spaniard, who finished in a tie for 22nd in Shanghai two weeks ago.

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