Stenson surges into lead

11/8/2013 9:30:00 AM
Henrik Stenson  (Getty Images)
Henrik Stenson (Getty Images)

Race to Dubai leader Henrik Stenson was among the frontrunners as the first round of the Turkish Airlines Open by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism was completed.

Some 63 of the 78-man field had to return to the Montgomerie Maxx Royal on Friday morning to complete their first rounds after heavy rain and thunderstorms in Antalya caused a three-hour delay on Thursday.

It was Stenson, having resumed on four under par, who made the biggest move to lead alongside South African Darren Fichardt and veteran Dane Thomas Björn after an eight under 64.

The Swede, who can wrap up the Race to Dubai title this week if he wins and Justin Rose and Ian Poulter are outside the top two, recorded four birdies in the eight holes he played this morning.

The final group of Tiger Woods, Stenson and Rose had just 45 minutes to prepare for their second round, with players going out in the same groupings in order to make up for lost time.

Like Woods, who gained a shot on his overnight one under over the final eight holes, Rose was struggling to make an impact on two under, but Poulter’s six-under-par 66 was keeping Stenson on his toes.

Stenson has offered the Englishman odds of 10-1 on a $100 wager that the Ryder Cup star will be able to catch him in the battle to become European Number One.

“I made a couple of nice birdies coming in and I'm very happy with the score,” said Stenson, who has already won the US PGA Tour's FedEx Cup after a season where he has posted ten top-ten finishes worldwide, winning twice.

“I knew Poulter was playing all right because he had a white towel around his arm to show me how I'm going to be looking when I'm pouring his drinks so I'm just trying to stay ahead of him.”