This Week in Golf -- December 8th through December 11th

EUROPEAN TOUR - DUBAI WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, The 2011 European Tour campaign, which actually began in December of 2010, comes to an end this week.

The season-long Race to Dubai concludes as world No. 1 Luke Donald tries to do something that has never been done before in professional golf - win the money title on both the PGA Tour and European Tour.

"It would mean history. No-one's ever done it, officially, and it would be a lot of satisfaction - for all the hard work," Donald said. "It's been a great year and that would be the icing on the cake."

After Donald secured the PGA Tour money championship with a win in Disney World, he seemed to be comfortably ahead on the European Tour race. Things changed last week.

When Rory McIlroy came from behind to win the Hong Kong Open on Sunday, he closed the gap. It will still take a minor miracle for McIlroy to get past Donald, the margin is 789,788 euros.

If McIlroy wins the Dubai World Championship, Donald would need to finish in the top eight to secure his victory in the Race to Dubai.

The top-60 players on the Order of Merit gained entry into this championship. The winner of the Race to Dubai gets an additional $1.5 million for his trouble. The top 15 actually split a large bonus pool.

This is the third year of the Dubai World Championship. Lee Westwood won in 2009 and Robert Karlsson walked off with the victory one year ago. Westwood parlayed that into a Race to Dubai title, but Karlsson did not. Martin Kaymer won that honor last season.

Golf Channel has all four rounds.

This is the final event on the European Tour for 2011.


FRANKLIN TEMPLETON SHOOTOUT, Tiburon Golf Club, Naples, Florida - Two-man teams highlight the final "silly-season" event on this year's PGA Tour calendar.

Greg Norman, the outgoing International Presidents Cup captain, hosts this championship and will partner this year with Fredrik Jacobson. Norman won this title in 1998 with good friend Steve Elkington.

This year's field features several of the best players in the world, including Steve Stricker, PGA Champion Keegan Bradley and potential Player of the Year, Webb Simpson.

Fred Funk and Brandt Snedeker both withdrew due to surgeries. Funk was replaced by Chad Campbell, who will team with Chris DiMarco, while Snedeker was replaced by Bo Van Pelt. He will join Stewart Cink on Friday morning.

This is a big week for J.B. Holmes. He will team with Kenny Perry, but this is scheduled to be Holmes' first competition since undergoing brain surgery in the summer.

Last year, Ian Poulter and Dustin Johnson won the Shootout, but neither is back to defend the title. Poulter is in Dubai for the Dubai World Championship and Johnson is recovering from minor surgery.

The format features modified alternate-shot during the first round, better ball Saturday and a final-round scramble.

Golf Channel has Friday's action before NBC takes over on the weekend.

This is the last PGA Tour sanctioned event for the 2011 season.