DP World Golf Tour Championship: Dubai
Race to Dubai leader Henrik Stenson remains determined to finish the job and win the DP World Golf Tour Championship Order of Merit, despite continuing to be troubled by a wrist injury.
Basically, there are nine players who could be still crowned as European number 1 and the Swede holds a 213,468 euros lead going into the season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, having fended off his injury problems to finish in a tie for seventh at the Turkish Airlines Open.
I’ve just got to do the best I can.
However, Stenson saw his advantage cut as US Open champion Justin Rose ended in a tie for third, with Ian Poulter also boosting his bid for ultimate glory with a tie for fifth.
Afterwards, Stenson admitted: “I’ve still got the lead heading into the last week.
“I’m going to speak to my physio and see what he wants. Maybe if I pull out of the pro-am and give it two days of full rest, maybe I can do a light practice session on Wednesday.
“It’s obviously going to affect my preparations, but it’s been like that for the last three weeks, so I’ve just got to do the best I can.
“Long-term I hope I’m not damaging anything that’s going to take longer to get fixed later on.”
Stenson is in the easiest position to back, as the current leader he knows that if he wins here this week he is crowned the winner of the European Tour and takes home the prestige and loads more cash.
However, as we have said the Swede is still struggling with a wrist injury and it will be an amazing achievement if he can do the business this week.
Rose, Poulter, Macdowell and Donaldson are the others who can do it if others slip up without winning but finishing in the top few and for a few others there are possibilities but it is from the players I’ve named here who I expect the winner to come from.
The bookmakers believe Justin Rose is the most likely player to overtake Stenson in the final point’s table. If Stenson finishes last Rose will have to make the top five places to win the Race to Dubai.
However, the US Open champion will win the Race if he finishes first this week regardless of the number of points Stenson picks up in Dubai. Only Rose, Stenson and Graeme McDowell can control their own destiny as a win this week would clinch the title.
Rose’s progress through the rankings began with solid efforts on the European Tour, followed by wins which he then replicated on the PGA Tour. He proved himself at the highest level by winning a World Golf Championship event.
He then began to contend in majors and made the final step to the pinnacle of the game by winning the US Open in June.
The venue for this weeks jamboree is worthy of any Tournament in the World and it’s the Greg Norman designed Earth Course. It’s long and you have to say big hitters have an advantage here.
The DP World Tour Championship was first played here in 2009. The Jumeriah Golf Estates course in Dubai has been the host over the last four years. At over 7600 yards the course is above average in length even by modern standards.
There will be a premium on distance over accuracy off the tee but finding the greens in the correct number of shots and then putting well will also be key skills.
The organisers have toughened up the rough this year so if you do miss them you will struggle to get to the greens in regulation. The greens themselves are the size of small towns and undulating.
Norman has made this course an examination of all the players skills and with water seemingly everywhere it’s a test of their nerve as well.
Stenson is 5/1 to end his Major wait in 2014, while the FedEx Cup winner can be backed at 1/9 to have to wait until at least 2015 to secure a first Major title.
We think best value this week is with Ross Fisher…..Fisher stand 41st in the Race To Dubai Rankings but finished (-17) in the Turkish Airlines Open and has ….five top ten finishes from the last 10 tournaments, displays the accuracy and distance of the tee for this course……….a best priced 40/1 with bet 365
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