Stenson seeking flying start in Turkey

11/5/2013 12:44:00 PM
Henrik Stenson   (Getty Images)
Henrik Stenson (Getty Images)

Henrik Stenson is targeting a fast start the Turkish Airlines Open by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism having seen his lead cut at the top of the Race to Dubai in China last week.

Stenson’s nearest rivals Graeme McDowell , Justin Rose and Ian Poulter all finished in the top five the WGC-HSBC Champions to make up ground on the Swede, who shared 31st position after recovering from a sluggish start with a superb closing round of 65.

It was a similar scenario at the BMW Masters the previous week, when Stenson’s closing 65 at Lake Malaren Golf Club only promoted him to tied 34th after he struggled initially with a wrist injury picked up in practice.

He is now hoping to kick-start his Final Series in Turkey and pull clear of the chasing pack once again, with his lead over McDowell currently standing at €145,865.

“I've had eight rounds now competitive in the last two weeks, and three of them have been really, really good,” he said, “It was just the putting the first two days last week that really let me down and I played well at the weekend.

“I put one good round together the first week in China, two the second, so hopefully three here and four next week in Dubai. I hope I’m heading in the right direction.

“Hopefully I can be a bit quicker out of the blocks this time and have a good week.”

Having already won the FedEx Cup on the US PGA Tour, Stenson can claim a historic double should he remain on top of The Race to Duabi after next week’s DP World Tour Championship, Dubai.

Regardless of his performance over the Montgomerie Maxx Royal course in Antalya this week, Stenson is expecting the outcome of the Final Series to go right to the wire.

“I always felt like it was going to be a tight race and someone was going to play well from the guys who were chasing me if I didn't get it going,” he said.

“It's kind of working out the way I thought it would do at this point, and now, there are two weeks left,and Graeme is not playing this week, but it's going to come down to what happens the last week in Dubai, I'm pretty sure of that.  I'm going to try to have a good week in Turkey and so are the other boys.

“You just keep your head down and try to play well.  I've had enough rounds now to hopefully get going again, and if that wrist is keeping in place, as well, I hope I can have a good tournament.”

With two lucrative events remaining on The 2013 Race to Dubai and a share of the $3,750,000 bonus pool in his sights, Stenson is in line for another big pay day. And he revealed that total could be further swelled following a fun wager with Poulter over who will finish the season as Europe’s Number One.

I had a bet with Poulter when he was quite some way behind,” he said. “I'm going to chase you down but I said I'll try and keep you behind.  He got odds of 10 to 1 on a hundred bucks, so I'd better be sure he stays behind.”