Stenson defends his Dubai crown and banks £1.3m

Frank Dalleres
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Stenson won his first title since last season
RYDER Cup star Henrik Stenson is targeting a first Major title in 2015 after the Swede concluded the season by scooping a long-awaited victory and a £1.3m payday.

Stenson survived a scare on the back nine to successfully defend his DP World Tour Championship title in Dubai yesterday and land a first win since his landmark 2013 campaign.

He appeared to have blown his chance when he hit his tee shot at 11 out of bounds, handing Rafael Cabrera-Bello a two-shot lead.

But he closed with two birdies to finish on 16 under par, while his Spanish rival was undone by consecutive double bogeys at 16 and 17 and faded to end five strokes off the top.

World No1 Rory McIlroy, who had already sewn up the Race to Dubai crown before the European Tour’s final tournament, was two behind Stenson in a share of second place with England’s Justin Rose and Frenchman Victor Dubuisson.

Stenson’s triumph earned him a first prize of £830,000, cemented second place behind McIlroy in the Race to Dubai, banking him a further £510,000, and is set to lift him to No2 in golf’s world rankings.

“It would be nice to have been ranked the world’s best at some point, but if I had the choice I would go for a Major championship so I am going to try and be in good shape for them next year,” said Stenson, who became the first man to win the Race to Dubai and the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup in the same season last year.

“It feels great. I’m exhausted to say the least. It was hot out there and tricky on the back nine. I did not play my best and had a shocking hole on 11.”

Ireland’s Shane Lowry finished fifth on 13 under to climb into the world’s top 50 and boost his chances of making a Masters debut next year. English youngster Tyrrell Hatton was a further shot back in a tie for sixth, alongside Louis Oosthuizen and Robert Karlsson.