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Golf: Stenson tops McIlroy, Rose in Dubai finale; rises to World No. 2

Henrik Stenson held off Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose and Victor Dubuisson to retain his title at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai to move to World No. 2. Photo: Getty Images.

Henrik Stenson held off Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose and Victor Dubuisson in Dubai to retain his title at the DP World Tour Championship and move to World No. 2. Photo: Getty Images.

November 23, 2014: Henrik Stenson will move to No. 2 after he successfully defended a title for the first time in his career following a thrilling finish to the DP World Tour Championship, The European Tour’s season-ending event in Dubai.

 

The popular Swede, who used to live in Dubai, carded a closing 70 at Jumeirah Golf Estates to finish 16-under-par, two shots ahead of World No. 1 Rory McIlroy (68), Justin Rose (69) and Victor Dubuisson (68), his Ryder Cup teammates.

 

Stenson, 38, earned a first prize of £830,000 and a bonus of £510,000 for maintaining second place in The Race to Dubai behind McIlroy.

 

“It feels great,” said Stenson. “I’m exhausted to say the least. I had a couple of close calls this year to get my win and it was not to be. It’s been close, but eventually you get something if you stick around and I surely did that.”

 

Spain’s Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Stenson’s playing partner, held a two-shot lead with seven holes to play, only to bogey the 12th and run up double bogeys on the 16th and 17th after finding water on both occasions.

 

Stenson also found trouble on a rollercoaster back nine, hitting his tee-shot out of bounds on the 11th to gift Cabrera-Bello a two-shot advantage. However, a brilliant five-iron tee-shot on the par-three 17th produced a tap-in birdie as Stenson reclaimed the lead and he then finished in style with a birdie on the 18th.

 

“It was hot out there and tricky on the back nine. I did not play my best and had a shocking hole on 11,” Stenson said. “I walked up to the tee with too much club in my hand and instead of changing I tried to cut a two-iron, but hit a push, slice, shank straight into the buildings. That knocked me back, but I did not give up. I just had to dig in there and wait for something to happen.”

 

The Swede was happy to move up to No. 2, but was looking to again attempt the twin targets of the top ranking and a first major as he set his sights on 2015.

 

“It would be nice to have been ranked the world’s best at some point, but if I had the choice I would go for a major championship, so I am going to try and be in good shape for them next year.”

 

McIlroy and Rose had missed birdie putts on the 18th from near-identical positions, while Dubuisson had to settle for a birdie after almost holing out from a greenside bunker. McIlroy failed to take advantage of a lucky break on the 18th when his tee-shot hit a rock in the creek that runs through the middle of the fairway and bounced to safety.

 

Rose was ultimately left to rue a slow start to the week – he was four-over after 10 holes of the opening round – and his failure to pick up a shot on the 17th or 18th after a brilliant escape from the trees on the 15th had set up his third birdie in a row.

 

“All week I was clawing my way back, right from the start on Thursday,” Rose said. “Today I did everything I needed to do early in my round and made a few poor mistakes in the middle of the round. That was where I struggled.

 

“But all in all, lots of positives and a good week. It’s a little bit like Shanghai (the BMW Masters) where I had a good chance there as well after a poor start (four over after four holes), but at least it tells me I’m playing well and getting myself into contention. It’s never easy to win every time.”

 

Ireland’s Shane Lowry shot a 66 to finish fifth and move into the top 50 and secure a Masters Tournament debut next April.

 

“It was one of the goals for me playing these last four tournaments,” Lowry said, speaking about breaking into the top 50. “I’ve been between 52 and 54 in the world for a month or so now and I felt like I have been playing the golf to have the high finish to get in there. I just wasn’t scoring well and finishing 15th to 25th. A nice, high finish this week is going to do it for me, so I’m thrilled and I can’t wait till next April.”

 

DP World Tour Championship, Jumeirah Golf Estates, Dubai, UAE

272 H Stenson (Swe) 68 66 68 70

274 V Dubuisson (Fra) 71 68 67 68, J Rose (Eng) 71 66 68 69, R McIlroy (Nir) 66 70 70 68

275 S Lowry (Irl) 66 71 72 66

276 T Hatton (Eng) 70 68 68 70, R Karlsson (Swe) 71 68 68 69, L Oosthuizen (RSA) 69 71 70 66

277 R Cabrera-Bello (Esp) 73 64 65 75, J Luiten (Ned) 70 69 68 70, B Grace (RSA) 72 67 68 70

278 J Donaldson (Wal) 72 70 67 69, S Garcia (Esp) 73 69 69 67, T Fleetwood (Eng) 69 74 67 68, T Olesen (Den) 67 70 69 72

279 P Larrazábal (Esp) 71 69 69 70, F Molinari (Ita) 73 69 69 68, S Dyson (Eng) 73 70 67 69, R Ramsay (Sco) 67 69 75 68, B Wiesberger (Aut) 72 70 68 69

280 D Willett (Eng) 69 67 71 73, M Warren (Sco) 71 71 65 73, A Sullivan (Eng) 73 69 67 71, I Poulter (Eng) 75 69 70 66, H Otto (RSA) 71 68 70 71,
 281 E Pepperell (Eng) 76 69 66 70, A Levy (Fra) 71 72 71 67, O Fisher (Eng) 72 70 73 66, G Coetzee (RSA) 70 70 69 72, L Donald (Eng) 76 66 71 68

282 K Broberg (Swe) 70 67 72 73, N Colsaerts (Bel) 73 72 70 67, T Jaidee (Tha) 72 72 67 71, S Gallacher (Sco) 72 68 71 71, D Fichardt (RSA) 72 68 72 70

283 T Bjørn (Den) 71 69 69 74, R Wattel (Fra) 71 70 71 71, T Aiken (RSA) 76 66 72 69

284 M Kaymer (Ger) 72 69 74 69, M Siem (Ger) 76 66 72 70, E Els (RSA) 75 67 70 72

285 D Howell (Eng) 71 67 73 74, E Molinari (Ita) 69 74 69 73, R Fisher (Eng) 69 73 67 76, M Jiménez (Esp) 71 73 69 72, B Koepka (USA) 78 68 70 69

286 W Ormsby (Aus) 73 71 69 73, G McDowell (Nir) 72 70 72 72, L Westwood (Eng) 70 71 74 71, C Schwartzel (RSA) 72 71 70 73

287 F Zanotti (Par) 73 72 72 70, J Blixt (Swe) 70 74 70 73, R Sterne (RSA) 71 74 71 71

288 E Grillo (Arg) 68 75 72 73

292 O Wilson (Eng) 75 72 72 73, M Ilonen (Fin) 74 76 68 74

293 D Lipsky (USA) 76 75 70 72

295 M Baldwin (Eng) 75 74 71 75

297 M Manassero (Ita) 75 72 75 75

298 M Hoey (Nir) 73 78 70 77,

 

Source: The European Tour (www.europeantour.com); Editing by SportAsia

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