Runner-up gives Stenson Race to Dubai lead


A runner-up finish at the WGC-HSBC Champions gave Henrik Stenson the lead in the Race to Dubai standings heading into the European Tour's three-event final series.

Stenson shot a final-round 65 at Sheshan International to finish the week alongside Daniel Berger at 16 under, seven shots behind winner Hideki Matsuyama. While Stenson entered the week trailing Masters champ Danny Willett in the standings, he leapfrogged the Englishman after Willett finished 75th among the 78-man field in China.

Stenson won the Race to Dubai in 2013 and now leads Willett by 261,387 points, while Rory McIlroy is more than 1 million points behind Stenson in third place. The final series begins next week with the Turkish Airlines Open, followed by the 72-man Nedbank Golf Challenge and the 60-man, season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.

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"It's going to be tight all the way, and that's the way we like it," Stenson told reporters. "It would be nice to go into the last one knowing that if you win Dubai, you win the overall. Yeah, I'm going to try to put some more good golf out there and some more birdies."

McIlroy has already announced he will skip next week's event in Turkey over "obvious" concerns as the country deals with a series of recent bombings. Stenson is not included in the event's published field, and based on his comments after the final round in China it appears he may follow suit.

"Back home to Orlando, do a bit of work with (swing coach) Pete (Cowen), and then hopefully I can just carry on for the final two weeks," Stenson said.