Henrik Stenson set his sights on a major championship after successfully defending a title for the first time in his career in a thrilling finish to the DP World Tour Championship.
Stenson carded a closing 70 in Dubai to finish 16 under par, two shots ahead of the world No 1 Rory McIlroy and Ryder Cup team-mates Justin Rose and Victor Dubuisson. Ireland’s Shane Lowry finished a shot further back in fifth to move into the top 50 in the world and all but secure a Masters debut next April.
The victory was worth over £1.3m to Stenson thanks to the first prize of £830,000 and a bonus of £510,000 for maintaining second place behind McIlroy in the Race to Dubai – although even that paled into insignificance compared with the £7.3m he banked last year for becoming the first man to win the FedEx Cup and Race to Dubai in the same season.
It also took him to second in the world rankings but the 38-year-old Swede said: “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.”
Spain’s Rafael Cabrera-Bello 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 had also found trouble on a roller-coaster back nine, hitting his tee shot out of bounds on the 11th to gift playing partner Cabrera-Bello that two-shot advantage, but a brilliant five-iron tee shot on the par-three 17th produced a tap-in birdie to reclaim the lead.
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.Reuse content