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Stenson In The Race To Dubai Driving Seat After Finishing Tied-Second At WGC-HSBC Champions
(31 October 2016)

 

Sweden's Henrik Stenson moved into the top spot in the Race to Dubai rankings after finishing tied-second with America’s Daniel Berger behind winner Hideki Matsuyama at the World Golf Championship-HSBC Champions to gain 712,836 points and take his season-total to 3,843,284.

It was a timely move from the 40-year-old two-time DP World Tour Championship (2013 and 2014) and one-time Race to Dubai (2013) winner with just two weeks to go before the season-ending grand finale gets underway at Jumeirah Golf Estates from Thursday, November 17 to Sunday, November 20.

“It's going to be tight all the way to the end, and that's the way we like it,” said former Dubai resident Stenson. “It would be nice to go into the last event knowing that if you win in Dubai, you win the overall (Race to Dubai title).”

Japan’s Matsuyama opened with a birdie at the first and added gains at the fifth and seventh to widen his advantage to four strokes at the turn after taking a three-shot lead into the final round.

Berger matched Matsuyama's front-nine 33 but carded a bogey at the 10th, as the Japanese extended his lead with a hat-trick of gains from the 13th.

Matsuyama's second successive bogey-free card appeared under threat when his approach in to the last rolled in to the hazard, only for the leader to get up-and-down to save par from 10 feet and complete a third victory of 2016.

Stenson and Berger were Matsuyama's closest challengers on 16 under. It was the Swede's best finish in the event, and his first top 10 since the tournament was given World Golf Championship status in 2009.

World Number Three Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland and USA's Bill Haas shared fourth place a shot further back as McIlroy missed from three feet for birdie on the 18th in a closing 66.

“It's been a decent week,” said McIlroy who has pulled out of this week’s Turkish Airlines Open. “Obviously there's a couple good scores in there mixed in with a couple of ones that I'd like to take back. But you know, overall, the week's been pretty good.”

A bogey-free 68 lifted USA's Rickie Fowler in to a tie-for-sixth with England's Ross Fisher and Italy's Francesco Molinari, while defending champion Russell Knox of Scotland, who began the final round three shots off the lead, struggled to a closing 74 to finish in a tie for ninth with Spain's Sergio Garcia.

McIlroy's tied-fourth finish gained him 336,944 points to solidify his third place position in the Race to Dubai rankings, with a season-total of 2,824,149.

Molinari and Fisher shared sixth, with each of them gaining 213,156 points. Molinari moved from 23rd to 17th and enhance his total points to 1,224,264 while Fisher moved from 18th to 15th (1,299,799).

Both Knox and Garcia shared ninth and gained 153,980 points each. The Scotsman moved from 31st to 27th and boosted his season-tally to 993,707.

British Masters champion Alex Noren of Sweden came in tied- 12th and won 121,372 to strengthen his fourth place in the Race to Dubai rankings and increased his season-total to 2,318,604.

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