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Henrik Stenson

STENSON SEALS RACE TO DUBAI

Open Champion Henrik Stenson sealed the Race to Dubai title as Englishman Matthew Fitzpatrick won the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai by a stroke. Source – BBC

World number four Stenson was 12 under and shared ninth place, regaining the European Tour crown he won in 2013.

Fitzpatrick, 22, one behind overnight, birdied the last for a 67 to finish 17 under and win his third tournament.

Tyrrell Hatton bogeyed the last for a 68 and was second, with overnight leader Victor Dubuisson four adrift.

World number two Rory McIlroy, who needed to win the tournament and Stenson to be outside the top 45 to have any chance of winning the Race to Dubai for a third successive year, had seven birdies and an eagle in a closing 65 and also shared ninth.

Sweden’s Alex Noren, six strokes behind overnight, would have claimed the $1.25m bonus prize for winning the European Tour money list prize had he won the tournament, but he could only post a 71 and finished eight under.
Masters champion Danny Willett needed at least a top-four finish to have any chance, but dropped to joint 51st place after a third-round 76, and he finished with a 70 to tie for 50th, 16 strokes off the pace.

Fellow Englishman Hatton, who secured his first European Tour victory at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews last month, looked set for another when he holed a bunker shot for a par at the 17th to retain a one-shot lead.

But his final drive found the stream meandering through the 18th fairway and he took six.

Fitzpatrick, however, who made his Ryder Cup debut this year, played a masterful shot from a greenside bunker at the last and then holed a breaking putt from four feet for victory.

The Sheffield golfer is now expected to move into top 30 and he said: “It’s happened so fast it’s difficult to take in some of the time, but this week has been a special one.”

A winner of the 2015 British Masters and the Nordea Masters in June, he added: “I just did everything really well and putted out of my shoes. It was fantastic all week and I think that’s where I gained on the field.”

Stenson, 40, who won his maiden major with victory at Royal Troon and then added an Olympic silver medal in Rio said: “I’ve had the best year in my career.”

The Swede likes to write his goals down at the start of the year and, asked what they might be for 2017, he added: “I can just cut and paste this year.”

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