Sunday, November 20, 2016

Stenson wins Race to Dubai, Fitzpatrick wins 

DP World Tour Championship in Dubai

Sweden's Henrik Stenson won the Race to Dubai for the second time after a brilliant final round at Jumeirah Golf Estates today confirmed his status as European Tour Number One.
The Open champion closed his season with a seven under par 65 in the DP World Tour Championship, which was won by Englishman Matt Fitzpatrick.
Stenson's Race to Dubai success brought the curtain down on a season in which he became the first Swede to win a major with his triumph at Royal Troon in July and claimed an Olympic silver medal. That breakthrough major title, along with his BMW International Open win in Germany and three other top two finishes, helped Stenson top the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex ahead of Masters Champion Danny Willett.
Stenson's victory in the Race to Dubai also secured an additional $1.25 million bonus from the $5million Bonus Pool awarded to the top ten at the season's end.
Having previously won the Race to Dubai in 2013, Stenson becomes only the third continental European and 12th player in total to finish Number One on more than one occasion, joining the likes of Seve Ballesteros Bernhard Langer, Rory McIlroy, Ernie Els, Colin Montgomerie, and Sir Nick Faldo.
“I'm very pleased to get my name on this trophy once again,” said Stenson. “It's been a great year, the best year of my career. I've always thought it was going to be hard to top 2013, but I think I've done that this year. Maybe not to the level of golf over six months, but certainly with the highlights of winning The Open, the Olympics and taking the Race to Dubai again. So it's been a great year and it feels lovely to finish in this way.”
Having started his season with a second place in the Nedbank Golf Challenge and joint third in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, it was not until June that he first tasted victory, winning the BMW International Open in Munich with a three-stroke victory at Gut Lärchenhof.
Buoyed by the confidence brought by winning, Stenson produced one of the greatest performances ever witnessed in an Open Championship to win the Claret Jug. 
Going toe-to-toe with Phil Mickelson, Stenson’s closing 63 broke a host of records including the lowest total to par in Open history and the lowest ever final round by a winner.
His 63 – a total matched by Mickelson on Thursday – equalled the lowest round in Major history and his 264 aggregate score was the lowest ever in a Major Championship.
From that moment Stenson and Willett, who made his own breakthrough with his Masters victory in April, were fighting for top spot on the Race to Dubai, with Stenson edging ahead after finishing joint second in the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai and then holding the challengers at bay over the course of the Final Series.
Recalling the names on the Harry Vardon Trophy awarded to the European Tour Number One, Stenson said: “We've got Ballesteros, we've got Langer, we've got Faldo, and then of course in the later years, we're more familiar with the names who won it; and Norman is on there. It shows a lot of history. To win it once is very satisfying and to win it two times is even more. It’s been a lovely season, and it is great to top it off like this.”


1 Henrik Stenson (Sweden) 16 events.         4,148,402pt
2 Danny Willett (England) 25 events.           3,734,528pt
3 Alex Noren (Sweden) 23 events.               3,447.323pt
4 Tyrrell Hatton (England) 24 events            3,233,586pt
5 Rory McIlroy (N Ireland) 14 events           2,971,988pt
6 Matthew Fitzpatrick (England) 29 events. 2,935,788pt
7 Branden Grace (S Africa) 16 events.         2,098,915pt
8 Rafa Cabrera Bello (Spain) 23 events       2,069,184pt
9 Bernd Wiesberger (Austria) 27 events      2,015,865pt 
10 Louis Oosthuizen (S Africa) 16 events   1,938,370pt

Fitzpatrick pips Hatton for season-ending 
World Tour title

EUROPEAN TOUR COMMUNICATIONS Englishman Matthew Fitzpatrick holed a nerve-shredding putt at the 18th to win the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai by a single shot.
The 22 year trailed Tyrrell Hatton by one shot as he stood at the 18th tee, but after Hatton carded a bogey at the last, Fitzpatrick calmly slotted in his birdie putt to get to 17 under and secure his third European Tour title.
Hatton was alone in second on 16 under, with Charl Schwartzel another two strokes back in third.
Swede Henrik Stenson posted a stunning 65 on Sunday to clinch his second Race to Dubai title, while Rory McIlroy also shot a closing 65 to get to 12 under.
Fitzpatrick started his final round one shot behind overnight leader Victor Dubuisson, but he made gains at the second and third holes to jump to the top of the leaderboard.
Fitzpatrick dropped into a tie for the lead when Hatton notched back-to-back birdies at the fifth and sixth to join him on 14 under.
But the Sheffield native rolled in his ten foot birdie putt at the long seventh to regain the outright lead.
Fitzpatrick was inches away from making another gain at the eighth but watched his birdie putt just miss the hole.
Hatton began his back nine with a birdie to join his countryman at the summit once more, and when Fitzpatrick dropped a shot at the same hole, he found himself in second place.
But Fitzpatrick responded in style, firing birdies at the 11th and 12th to share the lead with Hatton on 16 under.
Hatton took the outright lead once more when he holed his birdie putt from four feet at the 14th and he pulled off a tremendous par save from the bunker at the 17th to stay ahead.
But after sending his tee shot into the water at the last, Hatton made his first bogey of the day to fall back to 16 under and open the door for Fitzpatrick.
And after getting up and down from a greenside bunker, Fitzpatrick nervelessly holed his 4ft birdie putt at the last to produce a closing 67 and move to sixth in the Race to Dubai rankings.
Fitzpatrick was thrilled to finish his season on a high. He said: "It means the world to me. To win one of these Final Series events is really special, and this one in particular - obviously the last tournament of the year. For me to win on the final week of the year is special.
"Four footers aren't normally what you want for the win but to finish it off like that makes it a lot sweeter.
"It's been a long year for me, and I've got to admit, this is just icing on the cake as a year goes. It's been a great one."
Hatton remained focused on the positives despite missing out on a second European Tour title. He said: "Obviously it's a bitter pill to swallow, but it's been a great week and for me it's been the best year of my life. So I can't get too downbeat, but these things happen.
"You know, it is what it is and I'm happy with how the week went. I'm sure hopefully in the future, I'll take my next chance."


Par 288 (4x72). Prizemoney in Euros
271 M Fitzpatrick (England) 69 69 66 67 (1,217,174 euros)
272 T Hatton (England) 71 66 67 689 (811,443)
274 C Schwartzel (S Africa) 70 67 70 67, N Colsaerts (Belgium) 67 71 66 71, V Dubuisson (France) 70 69 64 72, S Kjeldsen (Denmark) 70 69 68 68, F Molinari (Italy) 68 667 70 70, B Wiesberger (Austria) 70 67 70 68 (270,669 each).
276 J Campillo (Spain) 72 71 68 65, T Fleetwood (England) 70 71 67 69, R McIlroy (N Ireland) 75 68 68 65, H Stenson (Sweden) 72 69 70 65 (147,839 each).
277 B H An (S Korea) 70 69 70 68, D Horseyt(England) 71 72 67 67, J Luiten (Netherlands) 68 69 73 67, L Westwood (England) 66 70 69 72 (114,452 each)
278 R Fisher (England) 72 71 67 69, J Wang (S Korea) 75 72 65 66 (100,417 each).
279 S Garcia (Span) 68 67 74 70, M Kaymer (Germany) 71 74 67 67, S Lowry (Ireland) 70 71 69 69, T Olesen (Denmark) 71 70 68 70 (89,941 each).
280 A Noren (Sweden) 71 69 69 71 (T23) (80,196)
285 Padraig Harrington (Ireland) 72 71 71 71 (T46) (39,071).
287 D Willett (England) 71 70 76 70 (T50) (33,369)
294 A Johnston (England) 78 70 78 68 (last of 60) (21,361).

+Did you know that Andrew (Beefy) Johnston played for England in the boys' home internationals at Moray Golf Club, Lossiemouth in 2006?
The England squad was:
Sam Hutsby (Lee on the Solent) capt, Billy Fowles (Wentworth), Luke Goddard (Hendon), Jack Hiluta (Chelmsford), Adam Hodkinson (Hallowes), Andrew Johnston (North Middlesex), Nick McCarthy (Moortown), Tom Oliver (Notts), Eddie Pepperell (Frilford Heath), Dale Whitnell (Forrester Park), Darren Wright (Rowlands Castle).
The Scotland squad - they drew 7.5-7.5 with England - at Lossiemouth was:
James Byrne (Banchory), Jordan Findlay (Fraserburgh), Cameron Gray (West Kilbride), Ross Kellett (Colville Park), Lewis Kirton (Newmachar), Shaun McAllister (Craigielaw), Chris Robinson (Wigtown and Bladnoch), Zack Saltman (Craigielaw), Gordon Stevenson (Whitecraigs), Michael Stewart (Troon Welbeck), James White (Lundin). Non-playing captain: Barrie Douglas.

Scotland won the title.



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