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Henrik Stenson closer to historic golf double

CNN
Saturday, November 16, 2013 - 12:00am

 It has been a long season for Henrik Stenson but the Swede is on the verge of ending it in style after taking the halfway lead at the DP World Tour Championship.

With a win in Dubai, Stenson would become the first man to claim the Race to Dubai finishing as the European No. 1 and FedEx Cup in the United States in the same season.

And the 37-year-old moved closer to making history as he surged atop the leaderboard on the Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates by carding an eight-under-par 64 to move to a total of 12 under.

Undone by a bogey on his last hole in the first round, the current European Tour leader didn't drop a shot in the second and struck eight birdies.

"I have my game plan cemented on this course and it's been working out great the first two days," Stenson, who is nursing a lingering wrist injury, told the European Tour's website Friday. "It could have been a bit better but there is no point being greedy. I am delighted with the first two days' work."

Stenson is one of three golfers guaranteed of capturing the Race to Dubai by claiming the title this weekend the others are Justin Rose and Graeme McDowell and he admits he is keeping an eye on his major rivals.

If Ian Poulter emerges triumphant in Dubai, Stenson needs to finish second to clinch the Race to Dubai.

Rose and Poulter are five shots adrift but McDowell appears to be out of contention at eight shots behind.

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

"They are not going to back down so I better keep my foot and my head down, play another two good rounds and see where that takes me. I am in a great position to have a shot at winning and hopefully I will be there on Sunday afternoon."

Unheralded Spaniard Alejandro Canizares put in his second consecutive solid round a 67 and trails Stenson by a shot.

Last year's Race to Dubai champion Rory McIlroy watched this week by his tennis playing girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki sits six shots behind Stenson.

McIlroy has mostly had a season to forget but his 67 Friday lifted his mood.

"I finally feel I have got to the stage now when I can contend week in, week out and on the rare times I have got into contention this year I feel like I have played my best golf," the former world No. 1 told the European Tour's website.
 

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