Henrik Stenson heads into the final Major of the season in pole position in the Race to Dubai after overtaking US Open Champion Justin Rose at the top with his joint second place finish in the WGC – Bridgestone Invitational.
The Swede, who also moves up to 11th in the Official World Golf Ranking, has been enjoying a golden spell in the height of summer with a joint third place finish in the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Castle Stuart followed by runner-up in The Open Championship at Muirfield and joint second in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Akron in Sunday, and now heads to Oak Hill Country Club for the US PGA Championship in peak form.
Stenson said: “I played well in Scotland. I did really well at the Open. I was one of the guys in the mix there, and I feel comfortable. I've been out in the last group two times out of the last three weeks I've played, and at the Open I was second, also. I'm getting used to being out last and playing well. I'm looking forward to next week.”
Stenson hit the front on the Race to Dubai with just ten events remaining until the start of the Final Series – the lucrative final four events which climax with the 2013 DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, to be staged on the Earth course at Jumeirah Golf Estates from 14-17 November.
Only the top 60 players on The European Tour prior to the final event of the season will qualify for the $8 million DP World Tour Championship, which also offers a Race to Dubai Bonus Pool of $3.75m to be divided amongst the top ten players in The Race to Dubai at the conclusion of the tournament.
While Tiger Woods cruised for an eighth victory in Ohio, Stenson closed with a level par 70 to finish on eight under alongside defending champion Keegan Bradley.
Spaniard Miguel Angel Jiménez took a share of fourth spot with a final round of 69, while Englishman Chris Wood signed for a 71 to finish tied seventh on his debut at Firestone Country Club.
Stenson dropped one shot on the final day, on the third and then put together a run of 13 pars before a birdie on the penultimate hole.
“I played nicely,” he said. “I hit a lot of fairways and greens and eventually managed to snap the par streak with a solid birdie on the 17th and made a lovely two-putt on the last to stay in second place.
“I’m very pleased with the week. Tiger punctured this tournament on Friday with his 61, but I did what I needed to do today and I’m very happy.”
Wood was delighted with his first outing to Akron, Ohio, having opened with rounds of 66 and 68 to earn a third round pairing with Woods.
“This week has been a great experience and I can’t be too disappointed with today,” said the Bristol man. “Yesterday was a massive learning curve for me, playing with Tiger. I tried not to watch, but I wanted to learn from him and the way he scores.
“It was probably the best experience I’ve had on a golf course. I’ve gained a lot of confidence from this week.”