October 30 2013
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
Henrik Stenson was one of the hottest players on the planet over the summer as he steamrolled his way to the FedExCup.
He won twice in his final three PGA TOUR events, the second coming at the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola, to earn the $10 million bonus. In fact, he closed out the season with five finishes of third or better in his last seven starts.
Stenson is making his 2013-14 PGA TOUR debut this week and along with the 550 FedExCup points available, the Swede has his eye on another lucrative prize. He currently leads the European Tour's Race to Dubai -- and no one has won that bonus in the same season as the FedExCup.
Luke Donald and Rory McIlroy have won the money titles on both sides of the Atlantic. But the dual bonus titles is uncharted territory and the
This week's World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions counts as official money -- and Race to Dubai points -- on the European Tour, as well as the PGA TOUR. Stenson currently has 2,154,099 points while Graeme McDowell, who is second, has 1,710,374 and U.S. Open champ Justin Rose is another 49,153 behind.
"It's only one top finish from any one of the guys, or a couple of the guys, behind me to catch me or move beyond," Stenson said as he embarked on the four-event finale. "So I'm just going to focus on my game and try to have some good weeks. Hopefully, I can get one really good week out of these four, and that should hopefully give me a shot at the overall title."
Rose is well-aware of Stenson's unprecedented quest.
"Obviously Henrik is chasing down history this year in terms of winning both ... bonus titles, the FedExCup and The Race to Dubai," Rose said. "So I know the money list has been achieved but not what he's going for, both trophies.
"He's a good friend of mine, and I'll certainly be pleased for him if he's the guy to do it but obviously I want to make it as tough as I can for him. Obviously I have to get past Graeme McDowell, too.
Stenson, who was battling a cold and a nagging wrist injury that also flared up during the FedExCup finale at East Lake, played last week in the BMW Masters presented by SRE Group, which is the first of the four events that comprise "The Final Series" and tied for 34th.
With shares of an $8.5 million purse on offer in Shanghai, the Swede will certainly be hoping for a better result -- but a closing 65 Sunday at Lake Malaren could be just the send-off he needed.
The BMW Masters was Stenson's first start since the dual victories at East Lake. He tied for 13th in Shanghai in 2010 and will be seeking his second World Golf Championships title after winning the 2007 Accenture Match Play Championship.
“This is obviously a big event on our schedule and one which we always look forward to,” Stenson told the Courier in the UK. "“It is one of the strongest fields of the season and I have played quite well at Sheshan before, so I’m hoping for a good week. I need to have some good results if I am going to finish on top and win the Race to Dubai.
“I imagine it will still be quite open when we get to Dubai, so if I can have a good result this week it will really help me. If not, I will keep working away."