(Reuters) - Henrik Stenson is doubly determined to stay at the top of the European Tour’s Race To Dubai money list especially as it would mean he avoids paying out 1,000 pounds ($1,600) in a losing bet to Florida neighbor Ian Poulter.
Swede Stenson has a lead of 145,000 euros over second-placed Graeme McDowell, with Poulter 542,000 euros adrift in fourth spot ahead of the final two events of the season, this week’s Turkish Airlines Open and the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.
“I had a bet with Poulter when he was some way behind and he still wants me to pay for a night out if he catches me,” Stenson told reporters at the Montgomerie Maxx Royal course in the Turkish city of Antalya on Tuesday.
”I‘m going to try to make sure that doesn’t happen. It’s a tight race and most likely it’s still going to be an open story in Dubai.
“The bet was a hundred bucks and he got 10-1 so it’s going to be bad for me if he wins.”
Stenson can certainly afford to pay out after picking up $11.4 million for winning the U.S. PGA Tour’s FedExCup series and the season-ending Tour Championship in Atlanta.
“We were having a laugh at Lake Nona in Florida a couple of weeks ago,” said the Swede. “He said, ‘We have to have a bet, I‘m going to chase you down’.”
Poulter closed the gap on Stenson by finishing second to American Dustin Johnson in last week’s WGC-Champions Tournament in Shanghai while the Swede could only manage a tie for 31st position.
The FedExCup winner said he had been troubled by a sore wrist in recent weeks.
”It’s been bothering me a bit ... but during play it’s been all right,“ added Stenson. ”It’s all about keeping it mobile, taking some pills every now and again and doing quite a lot of icing.
”I’ve kept my hand in the ice bucket for quite some time. There’s always going to be some wear and tear over long-term golfing.
“It wasn’t a thing that came on suddenly so that was a good thing. It wasn’t like I hit a shot and just all of a sudden I started feeling a lot of pain.”
The 78-man Turkish Open, which features world number one Tiger Woods, begins on Thursday and offers a first prize of 848,930 euros.
($1 = 0.6269 British pounds)
Editing by Justin Palmer