Henrik Stenson of Sweden successfully defended his title at the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai. The 38-year-old finished two shots ahead of Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose and Victor Dubuisson.
Stenson was locked in a battle with Spain’s Rafael Cabrera-Bello for the first part of the final round at Jumeirah Golf Estates, but the Swede looked to have blown his chance when he semi-shanked a tee shot on the 11th and went out of bounds. The resulting double-bogey put him two behind Cabrera-Bello.
The Spaniard dropped a shot at the 12th but was still one ahead with three holes to play. But he collapsed with consecutive double-bogeys after visits to the water on both the 16th and 17th holes. He finished the week in a tie for ninth.
Stenson birdied the par-3 17th to move to 15-under-par, one ahead of McIlroy, Rose and Dubuisson, who posted 72-hole totals of 14-under-par. Stenson needed a par at the home hole to secure the victory and he went one better with a closing birdie for a two-shot win.
(Related: Justin Rose’s putting secrets)
Four things we learned at the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai:
1 – It was a good payday for Henrik Stenson. He collected $1,333,300 for the victory, and the win pushed him to second place on the final Race to Dubai standings earning him a further $800,000 from the European Tour’s bonus pool. The Swede has moved to second place on the Official World Golf Ranking. Remarkably, this was Stenson’s first victory in 2014. “I had a couple of close calls this year to get my win and it was not to be,” he said. “It's been close but eventually you get something if you stick around and I surely did that.”
2 – Rory McIlroy might well have put an exclamation point on his double Major winning season. On the final hole he had a remarkable piece of good luck. His tee shot looked destined for the creek that runs through the fairway, but his ball struck a rock and bounced back into play. He was left with just a 3-iron to the par-5 green and a birdie, or even an eagle, looked on the cards. But he hit a poor shot into the grandstands and, in the end, could only make a par. He was philosophical in defeat though, “I just didn't play well enough to win, and if I had won playing like that, it would have been a surprise,” he said.
(Related: Rory McIlroy swing sequence)
3 – Ireland’s Shane Lowry finished the week alone in fifth, a result that has moved him into the top-50 on the Official World Golf Ranking and should secure him an invitation to The Masters next April. “It was one of the goals for me,” he said. “I’m thrilled and I can’t wait until next April.” The Irishman also climbed to 10th on the final Race to Dubai standings, thus picking up extra prize money from the European Tour bonus pool. The top-15 received a share of the spoils and Martin Kaymer was the man in 15th spot. Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher missed out in 16th place.
4 – It was another good week for Victor Dubuisson who ended the week tied for second. The Frenchman hasn’t actually won on the European Tour in 2014, but he’s been runner-up four times and finished in the top-10 a further four times. He finished the season in fifth place on the Race to Dubai standings.
(Related: Victor Dubuisson: What’s in the bag?)