Henrik Stenson rattled in eight birdies for a second-round 64 to lead Dubai’s World Tour Championship by one shot from Alejandro Canizares yesterday, putting the Swede firmly in control of a five-man tussle to top the 2013 European money list.
The world No 3, who finished 12 under par, has yet to win on the European circuit this year but won the USPGA Tour’s end-of-season FedEx Cup in September and seems poised for another bumper payday following a near-flawless performance at Jumeirah.
“I hit a lot of fairways, a lot of greens, gave myself opportunities and rolled a couple of nice putts,” he said. Stenson, England’s Justin Rose and Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell would all top the money list should they prevail over 72 holes on the desert course.
Englishman Ian Poulter and Wales’s Jamie Donaldson would do likewise if they win this tournament and Stenson finishes third or lower.
The chasing quartet are struggling to keep up with the nerveless Swede; Rose (67) and Poulter (68) are among a group of players tied for fifth on 137, or seven under, while McDowell (68) and Donaldson (72) are on 140.
Rory McIlroy, the outgoing money list winner, could steal a late march on the leaderboard after scoring a steady 67 to put him on 138. “The way I’m hitting the ball I’m giving myself plenty of birdie chances. I feel there is a low score in there,” he said.