Stenson retains DP Tour title

Stenson retains DP Tour title

This was the first time he successfully defended a European Tour title and this was the first title win for him this season.



By Sunil K. Vaidya (sports Editor)

Published: Mon 24 Nov 2014, 12:27 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 9:28 PM

Dubai — It was a tense finish at the Earth but Henrik Stenson showed remarkable doggedness to chalk out his second successive $8 million DP World Tour Championship triumph by two strokes.

There were several firsts for the Swede at the Earth as he became the first player to retain the title at the Jumeirah Golf Estates, this was the first time he successfully defended a European Tour title and this was the first title win for him this season.

A double bogey at the 11th was followed by a couple of nervy pars but he notched up two birdies in the last two holes to raise his hands skywards in joy. He ended the final round with 70 and 16 under total (272).

“It was a horrible shot (at 11), one of the worst shots I’ve hit for a long, long time,” Stenson said after sealing the victory that gave him second place behind McIlroy in The Race to Dubai. “After that I had to dig deep, but I was still there or thereabouts and I’m delighted with the day and the week and my defence.”

His birdie on the 18th was his overall 23rd as he pocketed $1.33 million winning purse and additional $800,000 as bonus to move to the second position behind Rory McIlroy in the official World golf Ranking. “It was looking like a winless season for me but still a good one, but this is the icing on the cake,” the Swede said.

The Race to Dubai winner, McIlroy, who was the only player not to hit a bogey on the first nine at the Earth, must rue his back-to-back double bogeys on day three as despite the final round of 68, he had to watch on television screens, if the others following him would err or not.

The Northern Irish golfer had luck on his side when on the 18th. His first shot hit a rock but bounced back instead of landing in water and then he hit an advertising hoarding but still managed a birdie to finish with 14 under par for a total of 274. While Stenson was focused on avoiding any errors after the double bogey on the 11th, his playing partner Rafa Cabrera-Bello just crumbled under pressure at the business end of the tournament. He had the lowest scores on day two and three but finished with three over for a total of 75. The Spaniard inexplicably found water at both the 16th and 17th, making a pair of double bogeys in the process, and slipping into a tie for ninth.

Like McIlroy, Justin Rose also failed to find the closing birdie that could have really turned up the pressure on Stenson. And, both along with French Ryder Cup star Victor Dubuisson fell two strokes behind to hand over the title to Stenson, who has spent over a decade in the UAE. In defending his title at the Jumeirah Golf Estate, Stenson foiled McIlroy’s dream of holding two trophies on Sunday at the Earth.

sunilvaidya@khaleejtimes.com


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