Stenson Rises to Top in Dubai


Henrik Stenson followed up his opening 68 with a stellar 8-under 64 to take a one-stroke lead through 36 holes of the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai. The $8 million tournament, the season finale on the European Tour, is taking place at Jumeirah Golf Estates.

The 37-year-old Swede had a flawless Friday, carding four birdies on the front nine and four more on the back to reach 12-under 132. He enjoys a one-stroke lead over first-round leader, Spain's Alejandro Canizares, who shot a 67.

Four behind are Australia's Marcus Fraser (69) and Victor Dubuisson of France (66), who won last week's Turkish Airlines Open. Five behind at 7-under are Kiradech Aphibarnrat (70), Ian Poulter (68), 2013 U.S. Open champion Justin Rose (67) and Jonas Blixt (65).

Rory McIroy (67), Miguel Angel Jimenez (66), Pablo Larrazabal (66) and Francesco Molinari (68) share ninth at 138. Ross Fisher moved into a tie for 14th at 139 by matching Stenson's low round of 64.

Stenson, who sailed to victory in the PGA Tour's Tour Championship in Atlanta and the FedEx Cup, entered this week's event with a 213,468-point lead in the European Tour's Race to Dubai over Rose.

The top nine players in the standings still have a chance to win the Race to Dubai title, but only Stenson, Rose and Graeme McDowell (who's posted rounds of 72 and 68 and is tied for 21st at 140) control their destinies. If Stenson, Rose or McDowell emerges on top at the end of Sunday, they will win the Race to Dubai, regardless of where anyone else finishes.

"I keep track of what's happening with the other players, I'm too curious not to," Stenson said of the points' race. "I saw both Justin and Ian are 7-under, so they are chasing me as hard as they can."

Stenson is in ideal position halfway through Dubai to win the money-list title in Europe. "I have my game plan cemented on this course and it's been working out great the first two days," he noted. "It could have been a bit better, but there is no point being greedy. I am delighted with the first two days' work.

"I am in a great position to have a shot at winning and hopefully I will be there on Sunday afternoon."

For all the scores, visit http://www.europeantour.com/europeantour/season=2013/tournamentid=2013090/leaderboard/index.html.


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