DP World Tour Championship. Sweet Success For Stenson.

DP World Tour Championship proved to be a sweet success for Henrik Stenson, becoming the first man to win The Race to Dubai on the European Tour and FedExCup on the US PGA Tour

Sweet success for Stenson

Henrik Stenson / Getty Images

Henrik with new Rolex watch / Getty Images

Henrik won the DP World Tour Championship by six shots, carding a flawless final round -8 under par 64, and in doing so also won The Race to Dubai at the Jumeirah Golf Estates Earth Course. His winning total score was -25 under par;

“It has been an incredible summer for me, the autumn in America was great and now this. I played so well this week. I knew the guys would try to catch me, especially Ian who never gives up. I wanted to stay ahead of him and I managed to do that. I don’t know how I am going to be able to top this next year but I am going to give my best in the Majors and that becoming the first male Swedish player to win one would be the icing on the cake.”

In second place, and losing his bet, was Ian Poulter, a good final round of -6 under par 66 was not good enough to catch Henrik, but was a commendable effort. Ian finished with a -19 under par tournament total. He said of Henrik’s score;

 “I have to take my hat off to him, unbelievable. I tried to run him down as hard as I could but even with a sore wrist he has pressed on and I just could not get close enough. Henrik has not made a mistake all week and I just had to make sure of second place and some valuable Ryder Cup points. I have thrown a lot at him and given him so much stick, but he is the best player on the planet right now.”

Victor Dubuisson picked up third place, playing alongside Henrik today he could only manage a -1 under par round of 71. He looked shell-shocked out on the course as Henrik constantly bombed drives off the tee with a three wood, still out distancing his efforts with a driver. Victor was alone in third spot at -17 under par.

 Joost Luiten was in fourth place at -16 under par, and a trio of former World Number Ones,  Luke Donald, Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood, shared fifth spot on -15 under par. It was a welcome return to form for these three as they have not had good results this year.

 

DP World Tour Championship. Stenson’s Star Still Shines.

Henrik Stenson’s star still shines in the DP World Tour Championship as he takes a one shot lead into the final round at Jumeirah Golf Estates, Earth Course.

Henrik Stenson   (Getty Images)

Henrik Stenson / Getty Images

Henrik is sticking to his game plan to become the first man to win The Race to Dubai and the FedExCup in the same season. Saturday he shot a third round -5 under par 67 to maintain his lead at the top of the board, at -17 under par. He knows he does not necessarily have to win here to win the Race to Dubai, but he see’s no point in easing up;

“I am trying to avoid all that, I know I can win The Race to Dubai even if I don’t win here, but why not try my hardest to win this tournament? If I do I know that both trophies are coming home with me. It’s a great achievement to be the one who wins the most money throughout the year and I would love to emulate Robert. The guys are going to try their best to attack but if anything it makes me try even harder.They are the ones that need to overtake me so I am trying to stick to my game plan. It’s working so far so I don’t see any point changing.”

Second in this tournament is Victor Dubuisson, a winner already this season, beating Tiger Woods en-route to picking up the title at the Turkish Airlines Open.

Victor had a  marvelous -8 under par 64 third round and definitely keeps the pressure on Henrik if he wants this trophy.

Victor Dubuisson

Victor Dubuisson / Getty Images

More importantly for Henrik he has a four shot lead over Ian Poulter, who needs to win this title if he wants to win The Race to Dubai himself. Ian is currently tied in third place with Alejandro Cañizares at -13 under par.

Ian has a special motivation for beating Henrik here, he has a personal  100-dollar bet with Henrik, at 10/1, that he will overtake him, with the loser having to act as the winner’s personal waiter on a night out as well;

“The odds would be significantly shorter now and I have put myself in position to try to kick his backside tomorrow. It’s fun hunting Henrik and if I can get off to a decent start it’s going to be great on the back nine. Being European Number One would be a huge highlight in my career.”

The other two who could upset the odds in the Race to Dubai are Justin Rose and Graeme McDowell, who can still deny Henrik the title with victory here. Justin is at -11 under par and Graeme – 8 under par after both shot third rounds of 68.

Graeme says he is still in the competition;

“Alive and kicking, hats off to Henrik, he came here this week and is doing exactly what he needs to do. He has been the best player in the world the last six months and he needs to slip up tomorrow and I need to mount a massive challenge. I have not done much better than 68 round here before and I will need to do so tomorrow. I have not played my best the last three rounds but I am proud of how I have hung tough.”

DP World Tour Championship. Henrik Holds Lead At Half-Way.

 Henrik Stenson holds the lead at the half-way stage in the DP World Tour Championship, and also strengthens his grip on the title in The Race To Dubai.

Henrik Stenson   (Getty Images)

Henrik Stenson / Getty Images

Super Henrik Stenson shot a second round -8 under par 64 to lead the DP World Championship at the Jumeirah Golf Estates Earth Course, with a total of -12 under par. He is determined to become the first man to win The Race to Dubai and FedExCup in the same season and is firmly on course.

Henrik remarked that his game-plan is working;

“I have my game plan cemented on this course and it’s been working out great the first two days. It could have been a bit better but there is no point being greedy. I am delighted with the first two days’ work. I keep track of what’s happening with the other players, I’m too curious not to. I saw both Justin and Ian are seven under so they are chasing me as hard as they can. They are not going to back down so I better keep my foot and my head down, play another two good rounds and see where that takes me. I am in a great position to have a shot at winning and hopefully I will be there on Sunday afternoon.”

Just one shot back in second place is Alejandro Cañizares at -11 under par, who managed to save par on the 18th after finding water with his approach shot;

“I pull hooked it in the water, it was a terrible shot. I gave myself a chance and I really wanted to make that putt, because I haven’t dropped a shot in the whole day and I didn’t feel like I should have. I made that putt and it felt great. I played with Henrik on Sunday, and he’s a fun guy to play with, and tomorrow I’m just going to go out there and enjoy it and focus on my game. That’s all I can do.” 

Tied in third spot at -8 under par are Marcus Fraser and Victor Dubuisson.

Justin Rose and Graeme McDowell can still deny Henrik the title, with victory here. Justin is best placed on -7 under par under after a second round -5 under par 67 and Graeme shooting a -4 under par 68. Justin thinks this course is tailor-made to suit both Henrik and Rory McIlroy, with their extra length off the tee.

Rory shot a second round of -5 under par 67, which included an Eagle on the par five 14th hole. He said he needs a couple of rounds of 65 to get into contention;

“I think somewhere around 20 under par will win so I will need a couple of 65′s. I finally feel I have got to the stage now when I can contend week in, week out and on the rare times I have got into contention this year I feel like I have played my best golf.”

 

DP World Tour Championship. It’s Alejandro Cañizares Leading On Day 1

It’s Alejandro Cañizares Leading On Day 1 the DP World Tour Championship, the finale of The Race to Dubai.

Alejandro Canizares  (Getty Images)

Alejandro Cañizares / Getty Images

Alejandro shot a first round -6 under par 66, to lead the DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai. He was more concerned about his girl-friend being there than talking about his golf;

“My girlfriend is from the Czech Republic and I always forget she doesn’t have a Spanish passport and needs a visa. I only remembered when we got to the check-in desk at the airport in Turkey on Sunday evening and handed over the passports. Fortunately we had help from a lot of people and the tournament director Nick Tarratt was waiting with Dubai’s captain of immigration when we got to Dubai at 3am on Monday morning.”

Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Marcus Fraser are tied in second place, just one shot adrift of the lead at -5 under par.

Of the main contenders for the Race to Dubai title, Henrik Stenson has made the best start with a -4 under par 68, even though he managed to three putt the last hole today;

“It has been a lot of hard work all season and I just let my focus slip on the last. That sucks, but I am still in good shape and playing nicely. The guys are running on fumes so everybody is looking forward to getting done. You can’t win a tournament on Thursday but you can certainly play your way out of it. I would have taken four under at the start of the day so I just have to let the disappointment of the last slip away.”

Justin Rose, Henrik’s playing partner, is suffering from an inflamed shoulder that required an MRI scan recently. Justin shot -2 under par 70. He said Henrik is going to make it hard for them;

“Henrik is making it hard for the rest of us but that’s why I wanted it in my own hands and that’s still the case, so my goal remains the same for the rest of the week.”

Ian Poulter, -3 under par 69, carded four birdies and one bogey in his opening 69, but was frustrated at missing a number of chances to be higher up the leaderboard. He reflected on the missed opportunities;

“I am annoyed, I made two putts which were outside birdie chances and took a couple more but the rest were missed. I am frustrated but happy to be only three behind. I need to continue to be aggressive and see if I can nick it at the end. It’s a good mix to be really angry being three under par and still being in there for the next three days.”

 Rory McIlroy had to settle for an opening round of -1 under par 71, after being three under for his first four holes. But he reported his focus had improved.

” It’s much better than it has been the last few months and I am playing better, which is important. It’s good that the game is back on track. I have this event and two more so it would be great to get a win before the end of the season.”

Euro Tour Down Under, ISPS Handa International, Bo Van Pelt Takes Control

Bo Van Pelt  (Getty Images)

Bo Van Pelt/getty images

American Bo Van Pelt took control of the ISPS Handa International at Lake Karrinyup Country Club in Perth Western Australia, in the third round. Bo holed a 60 foot birdie putt on the 18th green, for a third round score of -5 under par and a tournament total of -12 under par, to take a one shot lead into the final round.

Bo said of his monster putt on 18;

” Once in a while a hole just gets in the way.I felt like I hit a pretty good second shot, just carried about five yards further. I was just trying to get the ball down there and two-putt and get out of there, and lo and behold, it goes in the hole. There’s still a lot of golf to be played. It was just nice to finish with a birdie like that and hopefully take that into tomorrow. Jason is a great player, Grillo is playing well and he’s probably going to come out and probably shoot a low one tomorrow. You’ve got to drive the ball straight and then put the ball in position on the greens, because they have a lot of slope and they are getting firm and they are getting fast.”

Jason Dufner, the World’s Number Ten, and the highest-ranked player in the field was delighted to have given himself a chance going into Sunday. He also had a good third round, matching  Bo’s -5 under par round to sit alone in second spot, with a tournament total of  -11 under par.

” It was a nice day to get a good score and move up and have a realistic chance of not having to do anything crazy tomorrow and being in contention to try to win the tournament. Sometimes in the middle of a round, something happens that spurs you to some better play, and I got a little bit of a tough break on seven on my tee ball. Thought it would be in the fairway but hung up in the rough, which put me a good way back and I ended up getting into a bunker 70 yards or so and hit it over the back and then chipped in. So not really thinking that you’re going to make birdie; in your mind you’re almost feeling like maybe bogey might come on a pretty easy hole. Chipped in there and then hit one stone on nine and birdied 10, 11, 12.”

 Emiliano Grillo started the third round with a four shot lead, but had a poor round of +1 over par, a very costly inward nine of 37 strokes did the damage as the Qualifying School graduate hopes to cement his place in the top 115 on The Race to Dubai. Emiliano currently lies in 112th place. With a tournament total of -10 under par, and third place, Emiliano is still only two shots adrift of the lead and will be sure to contest tomorrow.

Tied in fourth place are Spain’s Alejandro Cañizares and England’s David Howell, and although the pair are five shots off the pace, they both have plenty to play for. In The Race to Dubai they are currently 70th and 71st on the list, meaning they both need a big finish to force their way into the top 60 players who will make the trip to Jumeirah Golf Estates next month.