Henrik Stenson (Getty Images)
Henrik Stenson will aim to wrap up a magnificent season by winning The Race to Dubai after becoming the first European to win the FedEx Cup on the US PGA Tour.
The Swede triumphed in the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola to seal the FedEx Cup title and with it the US$10million bonus.
It was a fitting climax to a summer during which the 37 year old has climbed back to the sharp end of the Official World Golf Ranking and moved to the summit of The Race to Dubai.
Back to his previous career best as World Number Four, Stenson has also confirmed he will compete in all four events in the inaugural European Tour Final Series, a consecutive run of tournaments offering a prize fund of US$30.5 million and culminating in the US$8 million DP World Tour Championship to be staged on the Earth course at Jumeirah Golf Estates from November 14-17.
Stenson is sure to be the top box office draw when the fifth DP World Tour Championship brings the top 60 players on the European Tour to Dubai. One man not surprised by the Swede’s return to the top is his coach of 12 years Pete Cowen.
“If you look at Henrik’s stats, he just doesn’t have a weakness,” said Cowen. “He’s now got a lot more control over what he’s doing and his confidence is sky high.
“If Henrik gets a sniff of winning a tournament, then he’ll most likely win it. He could have won two Majors already this year but was only beaten by two players who had better final days. Now he’s back at the top, he’s confident and able to handle all the pressure there is. He’s got all the tournaments in the Final Series in his sights and wants to win The Race to Dubai. He also wants to win Majors and be World Number One, and why shouldn’t he be?”
Stenson, like any European Tour player hoping to qualify for the DP World Tour Championship – and earn a chance to compete for The Race to Dubai $3.75 million Bonus Pool – will have to play in two of the three events preceding the finale, presuming they are eligible for all three at the close of entries.
The three tournaments – the US$7 million BMW Masters presented by SRE Group and the US$8.5 million WGC-HSBC Champions (both in Shanghai) and the US$7 million Turkish Airlines Open – will see The Race to Dubai converted to a points table with €1 equalling one point.
A 20 per cent “points” bonus will be awarded to any player who competes in the first three events of the Final Series. The bonus will be added to the player’s points total prior to the DP World Tour Championship, improving their chances of winning The Race to Dubai or increasing their share of the Bonus Pool.
Among those hoping to be making their mark on the Earth course is Frenchman Julien Quesne who moved one step closer to joining Stenson at the DP World Tour Championship thanks to victory at the 70th Open d’Italia LINDT in Turin
Quesne’s ‘Italian Job’ was just the second win of his European Tour career and took him to 41st place in The Race to Dubai, giving the 33 year old a great chance of making his DP World Tour Championship debut. The win moves him to €553,398 in The Race to Dubai - his best single-season earnings – and fires him into the top 140 in the Official World Golf Ranking from 229th.
“I’ve had a great season this year. “It has been a very consistent season with six top tens before this week, and now it has become an amazing season,” he said. “I can now play so many of the biggest events at the end of the year and try to finish as high as I can on The Race to Dubai.”
Tickets for the four-day DP World Tour Championship are free of charge and can be obtained by registering online at the event website www.DPWTC.com.