Stenson ready to lead from front in season finale

Wed Nov 13, 2013 10:08am EST
 
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By Matt Smith

DUBAI (Reuters) - Three players enter this week's $8 million DP World Tour Championship knowing victory in Dubai would put them top of the European 2013 money list.

Sweden's Henrik Stenson is the current leader, despite a barren year in Europe, with England's Justin Rose and Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell - winners of the U.S. Open in 2013 and 2010 respectively - close behind.

Ian Poulter and Wales' Jamie Donaldson are ranked fourth and fifth in the Race to Dubai, formerly the European Order of Merit, and each could still win if they prevail in Dubai and Stenson finishes third or lower. There are myriad other permutations depending on how the leader board shakes up.

"I think it's very important to be in the lead," Stenson told reporters. "It's always nice to have that cushion."

The 37-year-old said his victory in the U.S. Tour Championship in September, where he became the first European winner after going into the final round in Atlanta four shots ahead, would stand him in good stead to lead from the front again in Dubai.

"I've done well in big moments throughout my career," added Stenson, whose Dubai preparations have been hampered by a niggling wrist injury. "It's all down to focusing on your game, playing the best you can and not caring too much about what's going on around you."

SEWN UP

Whoever ultimately triumphs, the Tour must be delighted the Race to Dubai will be decided at the season's final event following Rory McIlroy's romp last year.   Continued...

 
Henrik Stenson of Sweden tees off on the 5th hole during the final round of the inaugural Turkish Airlines Open in the south west city of Antalya November 10, 2013. REUTERS/Umit Bektas