Henrik Stenson has set his sights on emulating his fellow Swede Robert Karlsson by winning the Harry Vardon Trophy, after he extended his lead at the top of The Race to Dubai with a fine performance in the US PGA Championship.
The 37 year old took third place at Oak Hill Country Club to earn €413,254.47 taking his total prize money for the season to €2,118,960, with Graeme McDowell edging ahead of US Open Champion Justin Rose into second place as the Race to Dubai intensifies.
Stenson, whose fourth top three in succession also elevated him back into the top ten of the Official World Golf Ranking, increased the gap at the top in the season-long race to €425,472 with McDowell, winner of the Volvo World Match Play Championship and the Alstom Open de France, taking his earnings to €1,693,388 after a final round 66 for a share of 12th place, overtaking Rose on €1,661,271
Stenson’s impressive showing in Rochester continued a rich vein of form, which also yielded top three finishes in his previous three events – The Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, The Open Championship and the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
As he attempts to balance a busy schedule taking in tournaments around the world, Stenson will return to European Tour action for the Final Series, an exciting new climax to the season which starts with the BMW Masters and WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai, China, then heads to the Turkish Airlines Open before the finale, the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai at Jumeirah Golf Estates.
“It’s great to stay top of The Race to Dubai after another excellent week, and to even extend my lead,” said the seven-time European Tour champion. “I’ve been playing extremely well and I’ve enjoyed being in contention in some big tournaments.
“Obviously I’m disappointed I haven’t come away from any of them with a trophy, but this bodes very well for the rest of the season and hopefully I can continue this form to the end of the year.
“Hopefully I will still be top or close to the top when the Final Series comes around, and I can give it my best shot to win it."
Karlsson became the first Swede to win the Harry Vardon Trophy as European Number One in 2008, and Stenson will give it his best shot to join his countryman.
“Robert Karlsson won it in 2008, so it would be good to follow in his footsteps. I finished well in the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai last year (tied seventh) and it’s a place I always enjoy going back to.
“You have great hotels and the weather is almost always fantastic at that time of year, so it’s an event I’m looking forward to, particularly as I should have a chance to make it very successful for me – although there’s a lot of golf to be played before then.”