Stenson hopes birdie blitz bodes well for Dubai defense

Wed Nov 19, 2014 6:01am EST
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By Matt Smith

DUBAI (Reuters) - Henrik Stenson hopes his final round birdie blitz in Turkey last weekend bodes well for his defense of Europe's season-ending $8 million DP World Tour Championship, which starts on Thursday.

Last year, the 38-year-old romped to a six-stroke victory at Dubai’s Earth course that also saw him top the European money list, capping a stellar year in which he also won the U.S. PGA Tour's end-of-season FedExCup.

Stenson has yet to win a tournament this year, but if his final round in Belek is anything to go by, he may be finding form at just the right time.

Stenson bagged nine birdies, including four in his last six holes, for a closing 64 and third place at the Turkish Airlines Open.

“I struggled on the greens the first three days ... (but) it gives the confidence a little boost ,” Stenson told reporters.

“I was putting nicely and I would love to bring some of that momentum in here this week.”

A member of Europe's Ryder Cup winning team, he was also runner-up at the Volvo World Match Play Championship in October and third at the U.S. PGA Championship in August.

“I was battling a bit of fatigue and when you're in a bad spell, you're tired, you don't have the energy to practise and get going. Then it becomes a bad cycle,” said Stenson.   Continued...

Aug 10, 2014; Louisville, KY, USA; PGA golfer Henrik Stenson tees off on the 10th hole during the final round of the 2014 PGA Championship golf tournament at Valhalla Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports