Stenson defends Dubai title

European Tour

Henrik Stenson defended his title at the DP World Tour Championships in Dubai on Sunday.

The Swede carded a dramatic final round of two under 70 to win by two strokes over world number one Rory McIlroy as well as Ryder Cup stars Justin Rose and Victor Dubuisson.

Stenson started the day tied for lead with Spain’s Rafael Cabrera Bello. However, Stenson’s wayward drive on the 11th, which finished up out-of-bounds, lead to a double bogey. Then it was Cabrera-Bello’s turn to slip up, which he did in spectacular fashion.

The 30-year-old found the water on both the 16th and 17th, leading to back-to-back double bogeys and taking him out of the running altogether.

The chasing pack of McIlroy and Rose would fail to find the birdie needed to put pressure on Stenson, who remained resolute to hit a superb tee shot on the par three 17th to set up a tap-in birdie for the lead. He then had a superb third shot into the par five 18th and rolled in the birdie putt.

“It feels great…I’m exhausted to say the least,” the 38-year-old told europeantour.com.

“It was hot out there and tricky on the back nine. I did not play my best and had a shocking hole on 11. I walked up to the tee with too much club in my hand and instead of changing I tried to cut a two-iron but hit a push, slice, shank straight into the buildings.

“That knocked me back but I did not give up. I just had to dig in there and wait for something to happen. I had a couple of close calls this year to get my win and it was not to be. It’s been close but eventually you get something if you stick around and I surely did that.”

The win takes him up to second in the official world golf rankings, but Stenson is still hunting that illusive Major victory.

“It would be nice to have been ranked the world’s best at some point, but if I had the choice I would go for a Major Championship so I am going to try and be in good shape for them next year,” he added.

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