Monday, November 18, 2013

Stenson steals the march in Dubai

Henrik Stenson was crowned The Race to Dubai Champion after finishing an incredible season in stunning style by romping to victory in the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai. The Swede produced a golfing masterclass in the final round at Jumeirah Golf Estates, carding an eight under par 64 for a record 25 under par total to win by six shots from Englishman Ian Poulter, who pushed his rival all the way in the title race and signed off with a 66. Stenson became the first European to win the lucrative FedEx Cup on the US PGA Tour in September, and completed a brilliant double in Dubai despite battling a wrist injury throughout the week, to become European Number One.   Fittingly, his victory was completed with a majestic eagle on the par 18th, where he hit a three-wood approach to less than a foot from the hole. “It took a little time to sink in when I won the FedEx, and it just kept on feeling better and better as time went on and I'm sure this will be the same,” said Stenson, who has staged a remarkable comeback since falling out of the top 200 in the Official Golf World Ranking in early 2012. “I have managed to achieve something very special here this week.“To get the double‑double, winning the Tour Championship on both the tours, that's going to take some beating in the future. It's been a dream year, a dream summer for me, and the season of my life.“I’m just very, very pleased with the way I played. I knew it was going to be a tough week and I knew the guys were going to keep on charging and trying to catch me. Being in the lead, you want to play solidly and not make any silly mistakes. I had a couple of really good iron shots early in the round to set up three birdies in the first five holes. “It was blowing pretty hard with a lot of sand in the air on the back nine. I was just trying to hit fairways and greens and make pars coming in.” Poulter was the only player left with a realistic chance of pipping Stenson to The Race to Dubai title on the final day, needing to win the tournament and for his rival to finish worse than second, but his efforts were in vain as the Swede blew the rest of the field away with a record low total, beating by two the previous best set by Lee Westwood in 2009 and matched by Rory McIlroy last year. “I've tried to run Henrik down as hard as I possibly could,” said Poulter. “He's been in incredible form the last six months, and even with a sore wrist, he's managed to continue to press on and even today in the wind, he kept his head down and pressed on through. “He's played exceptional golf in the back end of the year - simply incredible, flawless. The guy is the hottest player on the planet right now, and all credit to him.”

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