HENRIK Stenson’s win on Sunday was not just the culmination of an extraordinary run of form; it was the greatest performance in a tournament, tee to green, that I have ever witnessed.
From Thursday to Sunday, the Swede was sublime. He set a new course record of 25 under par, hit 68 out of 72 greens, boasted the best driving accuracy and barely missed a single shot.
It brought him the DP World Tour Championship and, with it, the Race to Dubai title. Victory also completed a unique double double, with Stenson having already won the equivalent titles in America – the PGA Tour Championship and the FedEx Cup – just weeks earlier.
Those achievements alone are staggering, especially when you remember he was ranked 230th in the world at the start of last year.
Stenson, now third in the world, started his incredible run at July’s Scottish Open and has since had seven top-three finishes in 12 events.
As staggering as the numbers are, however, they don’t convey how beautifully he played to see off the challenge of Ian Poulter in Dubai, where I was commentating and watched every shot.
Poulter played the golf of his life as he did everything to try to catch Stenson and overtake him in the order of merit. The problem was his opponent was playing the greatest golf that I’ve ever seen.
Stenson’s next target is a first Major. The ball height he achieves means the Masters is built for him, but he hits his two wood so straight he could do well at any of them.
Credit must also go to young Frenchman Victor Dubuisson, who continued his own whirlwind ascent by finishing third. Ranked 134th at the end of 2012, Dubuisson shot into the top 40 with a maiden European Tour title this month in Turkey. He has now guaranteed his place at all Majors and WGC events and put more than 1.4m Ryder Cup points on the board.
It was also good to see Luke Donald, Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood – all in the top eight in Dubai – finish the year strongly. It turned out to be a great week for European golf and Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley must be rubbing his hands at the talent he will have at his disposal next year.
Sam Torrance OBE is a multiple Ryder Cup-winning golfer and media commentator. Follow him on Twitter @torrancesam