Comeback King Stenson eyes Dubai berth

22/07/2013 00:00:00
Henrik Stenson   (Getty Images)
Henrik Stenson (Getty Images)

Henrik Stenson is the latest big mover in The 2013 Race to Dubai and the Swede will return to his former home for the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai in November after the third top three finish in The Open Championship of his career.

Season’s earnings of €1,179,710 from 11 events – including his runner-up spot behind the eventual Open Champion Phil Mickelson at Muirfield last week – have moved Stenson up to fourth place in The Race to Dubai, and guaranteed him a place in the end-of season DP World Tour Championship, held over the Earth course at Jumeirah Golf Estates from November 14-17.

It heralds a spectacular return to form for the 37 year old, who saw his career hit a slump after previously hitting the heights of World Number Four in 2009 – the highest ranking held by a Swedish golfer.

“I'm very pleased with my performance over the week,” he said after finishing three shots behind Mickelson at The 142nd Open Championship. “I’ve got two third place finishes and now a second (at The Open), so we’re getting closer!

“I've made some great improvements this season, and I’m really getting back to form. Mentally I've been in a good place all week, but I still feel like I could up it a little bit and be a little bit more confident with my game. I’m going to keep on trying to put myself into these positions going forward, and hopefully we can close the deal in the near future.”

With seven European Tour titles to his name, as well as the 2009 Players Championship on the US PGA Tour, Stenson is no stranger to the winners’ enclosure.

The affable Swede, who spent many years living in Dubai, now has a family base in Orlando, Florida, and appears to be back to his best after falling to 230th in the Official World Golf Ranking.

“I found some form on the back end of last year,” he added. “It was great to be back in the winners’ circle at the South African Open in November. I’ve put down some long-term goals with my game and worked hard at them, and as always, that pays off in the end.

“I've been moving up in the World Ranking, and I’m still in a good spot. I have no points to defend for another six months, basically, so everything I add will either keep me where I am or make me go higher.  I’m kind of looking at trying to get back into the top 15, the top 10 by the end of this year if I keep progressing.  I can definitely see top ten in the world – I wouldn’t say I’m that far off.”

Stenson is set to be one of the top 60 players on The European Tour Money List who will compete in the US$8million DP World Tour Championship, the spectacular conclusion to The Race to Dubai. 

Currently leading The Race to Dubai is England’s 2013 US Open Champion Justin Rose, with Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell in second place ahead of exciting 20 year-old Italian sensation Matteo Manassero, who is just €170 ahead of Stenson.

Tickets for the four-day DP World Tour Championship are free of charge, and can be obtained now by registering online at the event website here