European Tour

Stenson stalks money title

Henrik Stenson (AP Photo)
Henrik Stenson (AP Photo)

Dubai - Henrik Stenson's form showed no sign of relenting as the Swede, hoping to create history by becoming the first player to win the FedEx Cup on the PGA Tour and Race to Dubai crown on the European Tour, took a one-shot lead at the halfway stage of the $8 million DP World Tour Championship.

At the Earth course of Jumeirah Golf Estates, Stenson never looked in any trouble as he put together a stunning, bogey-free round of eight-under par 64 - the joint best round of the day.

That gave the 37-year-old a two-day tally of 12-under par 132, one better than overnight leader, Spain's Alezandro Canizares, who added a bogey-free 67 to his overnight 66.

Last week's Turkish Open champion, France's Victor Dubuisson, moved into contention again with a 66 that took him to tied third place at eight-under par 136 alongside Aussie Marcus Fraser (69).

Among those who can deny Stenson the honour of becoming the European number one by winning this week, number two in the Race to Dubai standings, Justin Rose (67), and number four Ian Poulter (68) were tied for fourth place at seven-under par 137 alongside Thai Kiradech Aphibarnrat (70).

Number three Graeme McDowell started the day with a bogey, but then regrouped with five birdies to finish with a four-under par 68 round.

Also moving in the right direction was the defending champion Rory McIlroy. The former world number one shot a five-under par 67 round to move up to tied ninth place at six-under par, six shots behind leader Stenson.

Stenson, who is playing with an injured right wrist, said he feared he had seriously injured his hand after coming down too steep on the ball on the sixth hole. But luckily for Stenson, and unluckily for the field, the wrist withstood the blow.

After the round, in which he hit 17 greens in regulation for the second successive day, Stenson said: "I'm just trying my best to carry on the momentum.

"I was playing nicely yesterday and had a lot of chances. Didn't take them. Today, I was playing the same more or less. I hit a lot of fairways, a lot of greens, gave myself opportunities and rolled a couple of nice putts in.

"I've got my game plan pretty much cemented on what to do on this golf course and where to hit it and I'm just trying to execute as good as I can, and that's been working out great these first two days and making a lot of birdies.

"Of course, it could be a bit better, but there's no point being greedy, either. Everyone is going to miss a few out there on the greens. They are tricky to read and a lot of grain and they are quick."

On his wrist, Stenson added: "It's been good. We've managed to keep it under control. The two days' rest that I had seems to have helped a bit.

"I got stuck in the ground on the sixth tee box and I was just like, 'ooohh, hopefully, it's not something bad'. I could feel it kind of was stuck and the shaft just kicked very late. But thankfully, I don't think it flared up because of that."

Canizares, who saved an excellent par on the 18th hole with a tricky 15-feet putt to remain just one behind Stenson, said: "I knew that it was going to be difficult to stay up there, because there are some great players. But I just played my golf and playing the way I'm playing, I know I was going to shoot a decent score.

"Today, I felt like I could have shot much better. But after that putt on the end, I'm not going to complain."

Complete second-round scores in the $8million DP World Championship, Dubai, on Friday at the par-72 Earth course of Jumeirah Golf Estates:

132 - Henrik Stenson (SWE) 68-64
133 - Alezandro Canizares (ESP) 66-67
136 - Victor Dubuisson (FRA) 70-66, Marcus Fraser (AUS) 67-69,
137 - Jonas Blixt (SWE) 72-65, Justin Rose (ENG) 70-67, Ian Poulter (ENG) 69-68, Kiradech Apibarnrat (THA) 67-70
138 - Miguel Angel Jimenez (ESP) 72-66, Pablo Larrazabal (ESP) 72-66, Rory McIlroy (NIR) 71-67, Francesco Molinari (ITA) 70-68, Peter Hanson (SWE) 70-68,
139 - Ross Fisher (ENG) 75-64, Luke Donald (ENG) 73-66, Chris Wood (ENG) 73-66, Martin Kaymer (GER) 70-69, Thorbjorn Olesen (DEN) 69-70, Thongchai Jaidee (THA) 69-70, Rafael Cabrera-Bello (ESP) 68-71
140 - Mikko Ilonen (FIN) 72-68, Graeme McDowell (NIR) 72-68, Richard Sterne (RSA) 70-70, Lee Westwood (ENG) 70-70, Jamie Donaldson (WAL) 68-72

141 - David Howell (ENG) 75-66, George Coetzee (RSA) 74-67, Joost Luiten (NED) 73-68,
142 - Marcel Siem (GER) 75-67, Shane Lowry (IRE) 71-71, Darren Fichardt (RSA) 71-71, Oscar de la Riva (ESP) 71-71,
143 - Raphael Jacquelin (FRA) 77-66, Paul Casey (ENG) 75-68, Craig Lee (SCO) 73-70, Scott Jamieson (SCO) 73-70, Louis Oosthuizen (RSA) 73-70, Brett Rumford (AUS) 71-72, Matteo Manassero (ITA) 71-72, David Lynn (ENG) 71-72,
144 - Peter Uihlein (USA) 72-72, David Horsey (ENG) 72-72, Simon Khan (ENG) 72-72,
145 - Felipe Aguilar (CHI) 79-66, Marc Warren (SCO) 74-71, Bernd Wiesberger (AUT) 72-73, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (ESP) 71-74, Thomas Bjorn (DEN) 71-74
146 - Branden Grace (RSA) 76-70, Gregory Bourdy (FRA) 76-70, Nicolas Colsaerts (BEL) 71-75,
147 - Julian Quesne (FRA) 74-73,
148 - Stephen Gallacher (SCO) 77-71, Tommy Fleetwood (ENG) 72-76,
150 - Thomas Aiken (RSA) 76-74,
151 - Garth Mulroy (RSA) 76-75

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